First Strike Japan Regional Final is perhaps the most interesting of any global First Strike event as we move towards the exciting proposition of international VALORANT. Here’s a look at the thrills and spills of First Strike Japan as Absolute JUPITER absolutely demolished the competition, not dropping a single map all tournament.
The quarter finals opened with a one-sided stomp, as REJECT annihilated SCARZ, 13-5, 13-6, in what was a 2v5 for all intents and purposes. Yuma “Dep” Hisamoto and HaReeee each ended with incredible ACS’, 344 and 332, respectively. With those performances REJECT were simply far too much for SCARZ to handle. The second quarter final was far closer, BlackBird Ignis just barely edged out the win over Crazy Raccoon, 13-11, 14-12, and despite the loss the man of the match award has to go to Hiroto “rion” Tateno who put together a very strong, 47 kill performance. BlackBird Ignis were in for a tough semi-final against heavy favorites REJECT.
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The second set of quarter finals opened with the tournament favorites, and the top team in Japan, Absolute JUPITER, dismantling Sengoku Gaming. While it was a 13-8, 13-3 mauling, it honestly felt like a 1v1 half the time. Ryu “Reita” Oshiro ended with a match-high 42 kills and an absurd 330 ACS, while Shin “Shuzz” Ji-seok put up 306 ACS… in a defeat. Reita is a superstar and perhaps the best player in Japan, but Shuzz put up what would be MVP numbers… in a one-sided victory, let alone a one-sided thrashing defeat. The quarter finals wrapped up as DetonatioN Gaming put together a sweep over FAV gaming, though it wasn’t nearly as one-sided as the first match. 13-11 on Ascent followed by a 13-8 Bind put the match to bed quietly. Hiromichi “mittiii” Urahigashi would need to continue his form, 165 ADR, 292 ACS as well as a +11 on opening duels, if DetonatioN Gaming wanted to overcome Absolute JUPITER, the tournament favorites.
First Strike in Japan had followed the chalk thus far and that didn’t change as we moved into the semi finals. Absolute JUPITER dismantled DetonatioN Gaming 2-0, 13-9, 14-12. While the matches ended relatively close Kouji “Laz” Ushida and Reita were simply unplayable for Detonation Gaming. Absolute JUPITER will wait for BlackBird Ignis in the grand final, after BlackBird Ignis edged past REJECT 15-13, 13-11 in what was far and away the biggest upset of the tournament. Most impressively was Souta “popogachi” Morita who put in one of the performances of the tournament on Haven, going 24/15/15 with 180 ADR and a strong 304 ACS. BlackBird Ignis were the surprise of the tournament as they moved onto the grand final.
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If you thought that Absolute JUPITER were dominant earlier in the tournament the grand final was simply a one-sided smash job. Absolute JUPITER took the title 3-0, 13-1, 13-3, 14-12. Blackbird Ignis didn’t show any signs of life until the third map, where an excellent performance from Masayuki “oitaN” Takahashi was enough to take the map to overtime, but not enough to take a mapwin. Laz was absolutely unplayable across the grand final, putting up 284 ACS, a 2.46 ADR and 64 kills. Absolute Jupiter are the class of the field in Japan, and seem to be absolutely on the war path to completely run the region for the foreseeable future. The real competition for Absolute JUPITER is likely to come from Korea, with Vision Strikers taking home the First Strike Korea Regional Final title.
First Strike Japan Regional Final
The Final Standings for First Strike Japan Regional Finals:
1. Absolute JUPITER – ¥3,000,000
2. Blackbird Ignis – ¥1,000,000
3. REJECT – ¥400,000
4. DetonatioN Gaming – ¥200,000
5-8. Crazy Raccoon – ¥100,000
5-8. SCARZ – ¥100,000
5-8. FAV Gaming – ¥100,000
5-8. Sengoku Gaming – ¥100,000