After starting out slow in international VALORANT play, Crazy Raccoon finally got their first win at VCT Masters Three Berlin today. The team from Japan eliminated Brazil’s Havan Liberty in two maps and became the latest squad to qualify for Champions at the end of the year.
The series started on Havan Liberty’s pick of Haven. Both sides looked comfortable on the three-site map, trading rounds throughout the first half. Havan started to slow down their executes on attack after a few initial rushes, but neth’s explosive Raze play and Medusa’s lockdown Cypher defense prevented Havan from capitalizing on early frags. Crazy Raccoon took a 7-5 lead into halftime.
A Skye on Skye one-vs-one in the second half pistol round went the way of CR’s Fisker before a fast A take ballooned the Crazy Raccoon lead to 12-5 before Havan could finally stop one of their attacking rounds. Havan flirted with the idea of a comeback but couldn’t quite close the gap. Crazy Raccoon closed out Haven 13-9.
That avalanche of attacking rounds continued on Crazy Raccoon’s own pick of Split as more Cypher-driven lurks from Medusa consistently stumped the Havan defense. Havan’s best-looking defense didn’t come until the final round of the first half and they went into the second half trailing 9-3 on the brink of elimination.
Some expert pistol kills from Crazy Raccoon made a potential Havan comeback even more unlikely, but the Brazilians began a run regardless, taking five straight. Two big clutches from Fisker after a timeout, however, slammed the door on the comeback, securing the Crazy Raccoon win.
In the grander scheme of VALORANT Champions Tour, the result for Crazy Raccoon today didn’t matter. With ZETA DIVISION’s loss to Vivo Keyd just prior, Crazy Raccoon had secured one of Japan’s spots in Champions in November just by VCT points earned. As one of only three teams to make both international Masters events, the Crazy Raccoon roster didn’t need a deep run in Berlin to secure that spot in the world championship.
But this win could be a key momentum driver for the team after going 0-2 in Masters Reykjavík and beginning their Berlin run with a crushing loss to Gambit. Now, they’ll have another chance against Gambit with a playoff spot on the line.
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