Three Take Away’s From Pop Flash

As Sentinels cement its status as the best VALORANT team of the Ignition Series era, other North American teams showcased what the region has to offer. Competitive VALORANT has come a long way since the first Ignition Series event, and Flashpoint’s tournament showcased the best that North America has to offer.

Here are three take away’s from Pop Flash, the last North American Ignition Series event.

We Live In A Post-Sage World

Courtesy Riot Games

In the beginning, every team composition needed a Sage to compete at the highest level. Now, teams have had enough time with the game, and new Agents being added to the game, so the time of Sage has come to an end.

Almost every team had a map where they did not run a Sage, either opting for another Duelist for more kill threat or Killjoy for more vision and base utility.

At the start of the Summer, the only team that brought out Sageless compositions was TSM. Now, if teams do not have some strategies without Sage on each map, they are behind the competitive learning curve.

Anyone Can Beat Anyone

This tournament was the first North American Ignition Series event where TSM did not make it out of groups. The team flamed out after losing to the newly minted Dignitas twice.

Unlike other regions, Europe and Japan, there is no one team that is head and shoulders above the rest. TSM and Sentinels may have been the final match up in some of the more recent events, but Gen.G, T1, Immortals, and Cloud9 have all made deep runs and can compete blow for blow against the top two.

Even some pros have said that on any given day, the top four teams in the region can take a series off of each other. Especially now that most organizations have caught up in terms of talent and strategy.

What makes this even more apparent is the fact that FaZe Clan and 100 Thieves are waiting to showcase what they can really do in the post Ignition Series-era.

This Game Has Legs

At almost every event, Twitch chat has been alight with copy and paste spam about how VALORANT is a boring game and is not a viable esport. As recent viewership numbers and story lines have proven, this could not be farther from the truth.

There were bumps in the road, certain formats and the only-online reality of tournaments certainly did not help. But, the game has improved since then. The spectator mode has been improved, certain Agents have tweaked to allow more counterplay, and Cypher’s camera can no longer hold a gun.

VALORANT esports may not be perfect, but it is far from dead.

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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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