Esports

Three Takeaways from FaZe Clan VALORANT Invitational

TSM beat Sentinels in Grand finals of the FaZe Clan VALORANT Invitational. The team took the $25,000 prize off the back of Matthew “Wardell” Yu who lead the tournament in KDA and kills. Sentinels took it to another game five Grand final, but couldn’t pull out the win this time.

This is the biggest North American VALORANT to date and has set the landscape for who are the big contenders in North America.

Here are Three Takeaways from the FaZe Clan VALORANT Invitational.

Immortals are becoming a serious contender

Immortals came out of the gate strong when the organization signed its completed roster. The team had a string of 4th and 3rd place finishes in June, with its highest placement at the T1 X Nerd Street Gamers Showdown at 3rd place.

Since then, the team has struggled to go deep in tournaments. Now, the team finished thrid in this tournament and showed real poise in clutch situations. Noah “jcSani” Smith and Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk both had a stellar tournament with Amgalan “Genghsta” Nemekhbayar putting in a great performance as well.

If Asuna keeps putting out clips like that, teams are going to have a hard time keeping this young team out off Grand Finals.

T1 and 100 Thieves are not who we thought they were

Both T1 and 100 Theives came into the VALORANT scene with expectations. T1 was touted as a contender for best team in North America and 100 Thieves as a vehicle for Spencer “Hiko” Martin to make a name for himself in the esports new title.

T1 has at least shown flashes of its potential, but 100 Theives look like a team destined for an overhaul or massive improvement by some of its players. This is the second A-tier tournament that the squad has failed to get out of groups and its game play hasn’t improved since its debut back in T1 X Nerd Street Gamers Showdown where it finished 5th-6th.

Hiko, Zachary “Venerated” Roach, and Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond can put up kills, but they can’t seem to close out games and the team loses pistol rounds like its their job.

T1 at least made it out of groups this tournament, but didn’t do much outside of that. The team has the raw skill to compete at the highest level, taking maps off of TSM, Sentinels and Cloud9, but hasn’t had a run of form that would put them into talks to be the best in the region.

With an early exit this tournament and a huge upset loss to orgless team Homeless in the PAX Arena Inviational, T1 may have to be relegated to the second tier of North American teams.

FaZe Clan looks solid despite early exit

FaZe Clan’s new roster had unrealistic expectations coming into their own tournament. Fans are already making fun of the organization in its debut tournament, much like they did to Immortals in that organizations own tournament.

That may be a bit too harsh for a team that finalized its roster the week leading up to this invitational. This team’s origin story is similar to Sentinels, create a roster around former pros in other esports with a veteran CS:GO core that can help lead and mold the squad. Sentinels also had a rough time starting out and there is no reason Faze Clan cannot follow suit.

Despite the teams exit early in the playoffs, it still made it out of groups with both Corey “Corey” Nigra and Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo getting into the top 20 for KDA and Average Combat Score respectively.

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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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