Gambit withstand test from X10 CRIT in VCT Champions quarterfinals, advance to semis

Gambit got the job done, eventually.

Photo via Riot Games

Gambit are through to the semifinals of VCT Champions after enduring a gutsy, impressive performance from X10 CRIT today in the quarterfinals. The last Southeast Asian team is now out of Champions, but they had a phenomenal showing in Berlin with a win over Envy and a great performance against Gambit.

The series started on VALORANT’s newest map Fracture, X10’s pick. This marked the first appearance on the map at Champions for both teams. Brimstone made just his second appearance at Champions with Chronicle picking him up for Gambit. Instead of the traditional patient executes from Gambit, they engaged in huge gunfights with X10 all over the map, leading to a back-and-forth early first half. But then Gambit reverted to their methodical playstyle, executing onto sites and using utility and smart angles to make retakes from X10 nearly impossible. Gambit won six straight to close out the half with a 9-3 lead.

A gorgeous retake from Gambit in the second half pistol drew a force buy response from X10, who blitzed into the B site from the lower main entrance with Spectres to catch the Masters Berlin champs off guard. Gambit got their lead up to 11-5 but still struggled to completely put X10 away thanks to some great post-plant flanks. But some minor defensive adjustments from Gambit finally caught X10 by surprise and a big hold from d3ffo was the difference. Gambit closed out Fracture 13-7.

X10 showed some life on their defensive half of Ascent, playing deep lurks that caught Gambit off guard after believing they cleared the angles. Gambit adjusted by taking more aggressive mid control, overwhelming X10 in their B site executes. X10 countered that with a heavier mid presence, forcing Gambit to attempt their site takes while effectively being pinched, taking a 7-5 lead into halftime.

X10’s aggressive attacking side produced an anti-eco round victory for them, growing their lead and letting them punish the Gambit economy. X10 built up an 11-7 lead before a terrific hold from nAts on A delivered Gambit a lifeline round. But X10 fired back immediately with a hyper-aggressive Jett knife dash from Patiphan to break open A and spell the end for Gambit on Ascent. X10 ended up stunning Gambit on their own map pick, 13-7.

Gambit opted for a more aggressive composition on Breeze with Reyna and Skye alongside Jett, Viper, and Sova. And they got off to a hot start with a flawless pistol on defense. The wide-open areas on Breeze gave Gambit plenty of spots to set up crossfires and traps, but their aggressiveness allowed X10 to save their utility for post-plants. Gambit adjusted by playing back in sites and forcing X10 to spend their utility early. They ended up taking a 7-5 lead into halftime.

X10 winning the following pistol let them tie the score at 7-7, but Chronicle delivered a huge triple kill to salvage the X10 bonus round and keep Gambit ahead. Another B site triple from d3ffo two rounds later increased the Gambit lead to 10-7 before it increased again with Gambit using their mid control to pinch the A site. Gambit didn’t let up and Chronicle finally finished X10 off with another triple to secure Breeze 13-7 and the series 2-1.

Gambit become the third team from the EMEA region to reach the semifinals after both Acend and Team Liquid advanced the day prior. A Fnatic victory over LATAM’s KRU would mean an all-EMEA semifinals, ensuring a European champion.

Gambit will face either Fnatic or KRU on Saturday, Dec. 11 at 2pm CT.

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