Monday, December 5, 2022

Shopify and showstopper special send X10 Sapphire home from VALORANT Game Changers Championship

The 2022 VALORANT Game Changers Championship is well underway and teams are making their way through the lower bracket today, starting with the first match between North America’s Shopify Rebellion and Thailand’s X10 Sapphire. Both teams have veteran players on their rosters, with bENITA and JinNy previously competing in CS:GO.

Today’s matchup was a back-and-forth affair, with each team clearly showing their strengths through the two maps that were played. Despite getting behind early, Shopify took the 2-0 win with the help of their star duelist player, special.

Coming into today, the Game Changers tournament has had to make adjustments to the match schedules because some players in the tournament are under the age of 18. In Berlin, local restrictions prevent children from working late into the night.

Today’s opening match was rescheduled from 8am CT to 6am CT. Despite the rescheduling, both teams came out firing and ready to go on Haven.

Haven was X10 Sapphire’s map pick, which wasn’t a surprise since coming into today’s contest, the team was undefeated on the map over the last 11 times they’ve played it.

The first half of the map began largely as expected, with X10 Sapphire taking an easy 9-3 lead on their attacking side. The APAC team plays the map with an aggressive strategy that seemed to catch Shopify off guard.

But Shopify, as a team that has time and time again had to face tough contests in their own region, came back in the second half to tie things up and send the map to overtime. In overtime, the teams traded rounds until Shopify eventually came out on top 16-14.

In the post-match interview, specially referenced the aggression that X10 Sapphire brought to the table as part of the reason her team struggled in the early half of the map.

Shopify’s map pick was Pearl, and after a close call on Haven, they came into their map pick fired up. Though Babytz put up a fight with a good Chamber performance, sonder was the star of the map.

X10 Sapphire struggled to net rounds in their favor, and the few intermittent wins they did get left them unable to build up their economy.

To cap off the match, sonder waltzed her way into spawn and got an ace with a perfectly executed Neon ultimate. This sealed the deal for her team, 13-6, and also saw her win player of the match.

X10 Sapphire are now eliminated from the tournament. Shopify will go on to face the winner of Cloud 9 White vs. GUILD X. If C9 win their match, it would set up a rematch between the two top teams in NA that have been battling the entire year.

Shopify’s next match is tomorrow, Nov 19, at 10am CT.

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