Gambit handed Team Liquid a shocking defeat today in the lower bracket of the EMEA VCT Stage Three: Challengers Playoffs. They recovered from a Liquid comeback in overtime of the final map in this VALORANT match to secure one of four EMEA spots at Masters Three Berlin.
ScreaM and Jamppi got the opening kills and the final kills in a retake to open Split in the pistol round, but Gambit wrestled back control with great mid-takes while winning duels. Some more heroic plays from both Jamppi and ScreaM allowed Liquid to keep a 7-5 lead going into halftime. After a back-and-forth start to the second half, Liquid held off Gambit from building any momentum, stealing away the CIS team’s map pick in the final round of regulation, 13-11.
Bind began with more production from ScreaM, rocking his map favorite battle-Sage and reaching six kills with no deaths in just the first two rounds. But Gambit fought back into the match off of some strange Bucky buys and some unreal A site retakes they had no business winning. Taking those rounds boosted Gambit with the momentum they needed to slow down Liquid’s attacking side, heading to halftime of a must-win map with a 9-3 lead. Gambit then took the pistol after Redgar won a one-vs-one against ScreaM. Another clutch from Redgar in a Gambit bonus round against a Liquid full buy spelled the end for Liquid on Bind, with Gambit taking it 13-3 to send the series to Icebox.
Gambit got off to a hot start on Icebox, keeping the Liquid economy in shambles for most of their attacking half. Any attempt Liquid had to reverse their fortunes was met with a massive clutch from a Gambit player, whether it was Chronicle on Reyna or Sheydos on Sage. Gambit secured a 9-3 lead going into their attacking side after halftime. Liquid won an essential second-half pistol round, but later on lost a must-win round to a one-vs-three against Chronicle that should have broken them. But Liquid stayed alive with some strong holds on both sites, including a mesmerizing two-vs-four retake led by L1NK.
Liquid eventually tied it at 11-11 and then took a 12-11 lead off a wild round that ended in a heart-racing one-vs-one retake by soulcas. A clutch from nats, though, tied it again 12-12 to sent the match to overtime. After splitting the first two overtimes, Gambit finally clinched the win 16-14 to end the series.
This victory secures Gambit one of the four EMEA spots at Masters Three Berlin, joining Acend, SuperMassive Blaze, and the winner of G2 Esports vs. Giants Gaming. Gambit become the first CIS roster to qualify for an international VALORANT LAN and a deep run in Berlin could net them a direct spot to Champions with a Last Chance Qualifier spot already secured.
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