As the first international VALORANT Game Changers tournament nears its end, three teams are still fighting in the lower bracket to make their way to the grand final.
Today’s first match was the highly anticipated North America vs. North America matchup between Cloud9 White and Shopify Rebellion, a contest that fans in the region have been seeing over and over this year. Though C9 has won every single Game Changers event in North America, Shopify are one of the only teams that have been able to step up to their level.
The match today was one of the closest contests in the entire tournament so far, but Shopify were finally able to overcome the thorn in their side that is C9, taking today’s match 2-1 in a huge upset.
Shopify chose Fracture as the first map of the day. The two teams have notably different approaches compositionally to this map. While Shopify runs the traditional Breach as their initiator, C9 instead puts Bob on KAY/O. Bob has come out with incredible performances on the agent, making it a solid pick for her.
While both initiators were solid on the first map, Jazzyk1ns on her signature Neon was flying around the map and getting kills left and right. Shopify was put in a tough situation with a several-round deficit, down 8-4 on the half.
But again the difference in compositional approach was apparent, as the difference-maker for Shopify was flowerful on Chamber. She stepped up for her team and Shopify were able to push the map into overtime, a familiar place for these two teams.
Alexis also continued her streak of incredible maps. She has been stepping up noticeably on LAN, making her one of the star players of the tournament so far. Katsumi sealed the deal for C9 in overtime to give them Fracture.
C9 expectedly picked Haven as the second map. This map has been C9’s comfort ground for most of the year, and Shopify has struggled to finish out the map against them.
Shopify started off the map strong by taking the first two rounds, and continued this trend through the first half, giving themselves an advantage up 7-5. This was the best start Shopify has had against C9 on Haven this entire season.
The team continued with confidence on their opponent’s map pick. Shopify’s in-game leader KP was the key player for her team on Haven. She got 19 assists through the map and was an important component of her team taking the map 13-9. This was the first time C9 has lost Haven at a Game Changers event all year.
The next map, Icebox, has been a permaban for C9 in NA this year. Through KP’s stellar in-game leadership, Shopify held their ground on Icebox despite several close thrifty round clutches from C9, who looked uncomfortable on their composition, clearly playing in a different style with katsumi on initiator and Bob playing Viper.
Flowerful once again had an incredible game on Chamber, and Shopify stayed collected to take Icebox 13-9. The players and coach rob-wiz jumped for joy up from their seats as they finally defeated their rivals on the biggest stage in the world.
But after this incredible match, Shopify aren’t done for the day. If they want to make it up to the grand final to face G2 Gozen, they need to beat Brazil’s Team Liquid. That match will start around 12:45pm CT.