The stakes weren’t super high, but it must feel good to be Cloud9 Blue.
C9 defeated Team Envy in an intense VALORANT First Strike qualifier grand final series, snagging the first seed for next week's closed qualifier and plenty of bragging rights.
Envy, sporting a new roster with former T1 players Victor “food” Wong and Austin “crashies” Roberts, started off strong with a first match victory. Even though C9 definitely made their opponents sweat, they ultimately fell to Envy 13-11.
It's unsurprising that C9 popped off on Split, however, as they've historically outperformed opponents on the map. Envy started to mount a comeback in the second half, but Tyson "TenZ" Ngo had other plans. The Canadian racked up a game-high 29 kills on Reyna, snagging more than double the kills of second-place Skyler "Relyks" Weaver, who had 14. C9 won the map 13-7.
Bind would be the deciding map and C9 would have a decisive victory. The team got an early lead and never looked back, with Relyks' Raze outperforming food's. Relyks used the explosive agent's kit perfectly, zoning enemies, gaining control of choke points, and landing plenty of headshots. He led his team to a 13-5 victory and a first-place finish in the open qualifier.
The VALORANT action continues in next week's Nerd Street Gamers Closed Qualifier. The top 16 teams from the open qualifier are already locked in, with big names like TSM, Sentinels, 100 Thieves, and T1 making the cut. Some other contenders, like Cloud9 White, NRG Esports, and Immortals will have to try their luck in the next UMG Open Qualifier.
The top four teams in the closed qualifier will move on to the final event. The bottom four advance to the UMG Closed Qualifier.