The First Strike North America title belongs to 100 Thieves after a great series against TSM. The team fired on all cylinders, every member made big contributions, and TSM provided a strong opponent, making things difficult every step of the way. In the end, though, it was not to be for the long-standing group of 5, as the title of Best VALORANT Team in North America goes to the newer squad built around veterans and supplemented with star young talent.
TSM’s pick of Split started off the big match, and 100 Thieves lined up with triple duelists to match TSM’s own usual strategy for the map, Spencer “Hiko” Martin lining up on Raze. Interestingly, 100 Thieves opted to begin on attack, unusual in general but especially so on Split. After losing the pistol, 100 Thieves half bought for two rounds in a row, losing both and essentially making the 4th round the first where both teams had rifles. A Run It Back from Taylor “drone” Johnson grabbed two, and things were already looking bad for 100 Thieves. They did manage to win back an eco round, though, as well as the follow up. More rounds would be traded, with Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk and Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella finding tremendous entries but Matthew “Wardell” Yu and drone knocking them down. The half ended 7-5 TSM.
A misplay by TSM failing to check a corner led to a double kill for Joshua “steel” Nissan and a pistol win for 100T, and standard rounds followed. TSM won against the big rifles on the fourth with a big opening trade, and were starting to pull away. Another huge rifle win in the 18th round was countered with an eco win from 100T, but even winning the two follow-up rifle rounds, with a clutch from Quan “dicey” Tran, wasn’t quite enough to crack TSM’s economy. It did make the game close, though, and one more round tied it up. A huge eco win for TSM put the score at 12-11, and one more rifle round for 100 Thieves brought things to overtime.
100 Thieves were able to exploit Subroza in B Garage on their attack, and suddenly they just needed a defensive win to take TSM’s pick in their first time playing it throughout the event. It wasn’t to be though, as James “hazed” Cobb clutched down to the wire. Another attack win for 100 Thieves put them in the exact same position, and excellent rifling from the defenders on B brought the first map to an end at 15-13.
Stephen “reltuC” Cutler again grabbed Skye for Bind, and while 100 Thieves took the pistol, TSM kept things close. They edged ahead after converting on most rifle rounds, and things were back and forth. Clutches were all over the place, Hiko grabbing several for himself, but there were also whiffs, with 100 Thieves nearly losing a 5v2 on an ill-advised rotation and TSM failing two easily winnable rounds. The half ended 7-5 for the attacking 100T after yet another clutch from Hiko.
100 Thieves took the pistol, but a big opening from Wardell won TSM rounds of their own. Asuna pulled off an absolutely massive 3-man Showstopper into an ace, and while TSM were doing their best to shut down 100T’s site hits, a clutch again from, who else, Hiko, put 100 Thieves up 11-8. TSM weren’t done yet though, with Subroza coming alive to bring things to 12-11. A solid site hold ultimately went 100 Thieves’ way, and they were up 2-0 heading to map 3.
Back to TSM’s pick, it was Ascent, and compositions were mostly standard, one difference being Asuna on Reyna. 100 Thieves started out very hot, taking the pistol and the rifle round off some nice Jett knife play from dicey. TSM kept themselves in it when they read 100 Thieves’ Lockdown site fake on B, but another ultimate from dicey – two in very early succession early on in the map – was capitalized on to make the score 5-2. TSM really turned up the heat later in the half, though, with drone scoring a 4k on his Phoenix. TSM actually exited the half in the lead, 7-5.
steel wiped up three with his classic on A Link in the pistol, but a force from TSM with very low HP kept them ahead. TSM surged up to double digits, and some incredible Operator play from Wardell was enough to push them through. 13-7, surprisingly the biggest win of the match yet. It wouldn’t be a 3-0, and things moved to Haven.
steel was on Cypher for Haven, something we’ve come to expect throughout First Strike, and Asuna played his third duelist of the night in Phoenix. Hiko picked up where he left off and immediately clutched the pistol round 1v3, and while they also grabbed the third round, TSM would get a few of their own thanks to something else that was becoming a theme, drone’s Run It Backs. Asuna showed up big in the next rounds, grabbing a double kill with the Stinger inside an Omen smoke to help them win an eco and following it up with a 2k Run It Back. 100 Thieves would keep the momentum going, and Hiko would end the half with a clutch, because why wouldn’t he. 100 Thieves entered their defense ahead 8-4.
Hiko helped 100T grab the pistol as well, and Asuna showed up big to grab the opening pick of the rifle round with his Stinger. At 11-4, things were looking over, and while Wardell did his best and clutched up a 1v2, it was too far to go. 100 Thieves took the map 13-7, the series 3-1, and the First Strike North American championship.
First Strike North America Regional Final
Final Standings for First Strike North America Regional Finals:
1. 100 Thieves – $40,000
2. TSM – $20,000
3-4. Envy – $10,000
3-4. Sentinels – $10,000
5-8. Immortals – $5,000
5-8. Renegades – $5,000
5-8. T1 – $5,000
5-8. FaZe Clan – $5,000