CSGO and Apex pros dominate the ESPN Valorant Invitational
Riot Games’ brand new title Valorant has just seen its very first tournament – although the game itself isn’t released to the general public yet, there’s already a tournament underway. The ESPN Esports Valorant Invitational was the first of its kind.
After two days of tournaments, there are now the play-offs left on Wednesday. The final four teams featured there are Team Dev, Team Mirage, Team Heroes, and Team Canyon. Team Dev isn’t exactly a surprise here – the developers themselves have the most practice, after all, and they did well in the first two days of events.
Esports professionals from various titles have gathered to play the first Valorant Invitational tournament and prove their FPS prowess. From League of Legends through Fortnite and PUBG, everyone gets a chance to try out competitive Valorant. Eight teams in total were formed and played the group stage in two groups of four. The top two in each group advance to an elimination bracket and the rest are eliminated.
While we do not expect much from LoL players, for the rest of the FPS pros the tournament is also a chance to prove they are the top FPS performers compared to the others.
The first two days both were set as round-robin tournaments. On Monday, April 20th, Team Mirage, Team Six, Team Heroes, and Team Rift were up against each other in six matches. After one forfeit from Team Rift and five matches played, Team Mirage and Team Heroes managed to advance to the Play-Offs.
It’s no real surprise that Team Rift forfeited – despite their valiant efforts, they lost 1:13 and 0:13 in their first two matches. In fact, all wins were very decisive. Team Mirage beat Team Six 13:6, Team Heroes beat Team Rift 13:1, Team Mirage defeated Team Heroes 13:2, then defeated Team Rift 13:0, and finally, Team Heroes defeated Team Six 13:9.
Day 2 looked quite similar – Team Canyon, Team Dev, Tam Llama, and Team Battlegrounds were up against each other. Team Canyon defeated Team Dev 13:4, Team Llama defeated Team Battlegrounds 13:8, Team Dev managed to beat Team Llama 13:5, then Team Battlegrounds 13:1. The closest match in the first two days was between Team Canyon and Team Battlegrounds, where Canyon won 13:10. The last match of the day was between Team Llama and Team Canyon, where, despite a 9:6 score, Team Canyon won on round differential.
So, Team Dev and Team Canyon advanced. Despite this, Team Llama made a huge impact on fans – just about everyone agreed that their unconventional plays and fast moves made for great entertainment. One player in particular – Llama’s Harrison “psalm” Chang was lauded for his great performance.
The last day of plays will see two semi-final rounds that determine the final participants. Team Canyon, Heroes, Mirage, and Dev are, respectively, made up of Apex Legends pros, Overwatch pros, CS:GO pros and the developers respectively. With Fortnite players, PUBG players, Rainbow Six Siege players, and League of Legends players already disqualified, it seems pretty obvious which games best prep players for success in Valorant.
It’s not too surprising – first glances at the game showed that it resembles both Overwatch in terms of player characters and abilities and CS:GO in terms of maps and even visuals. The combination works well, and it clearly gives certain players a strong edge over others – at least at the pro level.
Be sure to check out the Valorant semifinals and finals tomorrow so you can see just who has the biggest edge, game-wise. Expectations are split – both Team Heroes and Team Canyon are expected to do extremely well, while Team Dev isn’t expected to make it to the finals – then again, the game creators might just surprise us!