Apex Legend Players Shock CS:GO in ESPN Invitational

ESPN Esports hosted a VALORANT tournament this week, April 20-22, with influencers, streamers or former professional players, from different esports titles as well as the developers of the game.

Team Canyon, compiled of Apex Legends influencers, won the ESPN Esports VALORANT Invitational. They dethroned the kings of the beta Team Mirage, a team of Counter Strike: Global Offensive players, in the finals with a game score of 2-1.

ESPN Esports VALORANT Invitational Groups

The eight team tournament was a two group, round robin format with the top two teams in both groups advancing to the playoffs. The playoffs consisted of two best-of-one matches in the semifinals with a best-of-three match for the finals.

Group A

Group A played its round robin on the first day. The teams from this group consist of players from Overwatch, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and Rainbow Six Siege. The early favorites to make it out of the group stage were Team Mirage and Team Six, compiled of Siege players.

Team Mirage left its group easily, only dropping 8 rounds the entire stage. This was no surprise to any of the commentators or analysts, the players on Team Mirage have been playing in tournaments all through the beta and haven’t lost a match yet. They claimed the No. 1 seed of Group A.

Team Heroes, which consisted of Overwatch players, were the other team to leave Group A. The squad surprised everyone with a comeback win in their game against Team Six and taking the No. 2 seed after going 2-1.

The only other thing to come out of Group A was the poor showing by the League of Legends representatives. Team Rift only won one round the whole group stage and forfeited its last game.

Group B

Group B was the more competitive group. It consisted of Public Unknown Battle Grounds, Fortnite and Apex Legends players as well as the developers of VALORANT.

Team Dev, the favorite to win the entire tournament, started out with a loss in its first game of the group. The team dropped a game to the eventual No. 1 seed of the group Team Canyon.

Team Canyon swept the group, going 3-0, while the No. 2 seed was up for contention between Team Dev and Team Llama, the Fortnite team. Team Dev did eventually lock up the seed, advancing thanks to its round differential.

Team Battlegrounds, the PUBG team, did go 0-3 but showed a lot more fight than Team Rift. The squad went toe to toe against Team Canyon and Team Llama, with a round score of 8-13 and 10-13 respectively.


ESPN VALORANT Invitational Playoff Bracket

The top seed of Group A played the bottom seed of Group B and the top seed of Group B played the bottom seed of Group A in the best-of-one semifinal matchups.

Team Canyon and Team Heroes started the playoffs off with a highly competitive match. The Overwatch squad proved that its playoff run was no fluke and had the round score tied at half. But, after the switch in sides Team Canyon pulled away, eventually winning the game with a 13-11 round score on Bind.

The other semifinals matchup was also a very close contest. Most experts from ESPN predicted that Team Dev and Team Mirage would face off in the finals, but Team Dev fell to the No. 2 seed in its group. While Team Dev kept it close all game, Team Mirage pulled out the win and advanced to the final with 13-11 round score on Haven.


Mendo's screen from the ESPN VALORANT Invitational game three

The first game was played on Bind and looked to be all but over at the half. Team Mirage had a 10 round lead before Team Canyon responded with a steadfast defense. Team Mirage won the first game, but not without a fight from the Apex Legends squad. The round score was 13-8.

Game number two was played on Haven. Team Canyon took the lead early, they had a two round lead going into the half. Team Mirage made the round score close, but in the end the battle royale-based team took the second game. Team Canyon evened the game score with a 13-10 round score.

The third and final game was played on the heavily defense-favored Split. Team Canyon started out on attack and managed to split the first half 6-6. They then held on in the second half to win the series with a 13-10 round score.

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Declan McLaughlin

I am an Indiana University student with a degree in journalism and a passion for esports. I have written about multiple games, League of Legends, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Rocket League, for multiple media outlets. You can catch me dying first every round in VALORANT or trying to get out of Silver in League of Legends.

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