Team Heretics’ victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas in the quarterfinals of EU VCT Masters One today was mostly due to the excellent Heretics entry first kill/first death differential, according to NiP’s Kévin “Ex6TenZ” Droolans.
"Their Reyna destroyed us, so many first picks," Ex6TenZ said after the VALORANT match. "That should not have been the case... but it has been the case."
Heretics, known for their rigid agent composition, switched it up against NiP. The result was a 2-1 (13-5, 13-6 in maps won) throttling of a strong NiP team. Žygimantas "Nukkye" Chmieliauskas, normally on Raze, played Reyna for Heretics on the final two maps of the series to the tune of a 46-31 K/D with a staggering 14 first kills over the final maps. Dustyn "nieSoW" Durnas played Reyna on the first map, running a 19-13 K/D with seven first kills. Heretics' Reyna player won the first kill battle exactly seven times in each of the three maps played.
NiP aren't out of the tournament, though—not by a long shot. Tomorrow they play up-and-coming team Acend. Should NiP defeat Acend, they'll punch their ticket to the semifinals, and a rematch with Team Heretics could shortly be in order. Ex6TenZ is confident they can defeat Heretics should a rematch occur.
"We prepared a lot of things and they played different," Ex6TenZ said. "I think we can just play again tomorrow. I think we can win."
NiP are definitely still a favorite in the tournament, despite being outclassed by Team Heretics during the quarterfinals. Ex6TenZ thinks his team is still good on Bi
nd and Split, despite their 13-5 loss on Bind.
The strategy for NiP is still overall good—they just need to stop giving away so many of the first picks. Playing a four-vs-five is never ideal, and the team that had the best entry first kill/first death differential stat won the map.
"Today it was about them killing us," Ex6TenZ said, and it's easy to agree with that assessment.
NiP will play tomorrow at 11am CT against Acend for a final shot at semifinals.
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