Envy grabbed themselves second place in their first outing with new additions Austin “crashies” Roberts and Victor “food” Wong. The team looked solid, particularly on Ascent and Bind where they sported +80% win rates.
Third place went to TSM, who were back to prove they were still among North America’s best. Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik was a huge difference-maker for TSM this event, finding himself on Omen and putting up 243 ACS and 1.22 KD. We also saw some other role changes for the team this tournament, with Stephen “reltuC” Cutler on Sova and James “hazed” Cobb on Cypher, though he sometimes brought out Viper on Split while reltuC played Killjoy.
Finally, we have Gen.G Esports. In their first event with Shawn “Shawn” O’Riley, Gen.G looked like an entirely different team. Shawn took over a duelist role for the team, with Anthony “gMd” Guimond moving over to Omen, and Shawn generally played fantastic with 243 ACS and 1.31 KD, and many big clutches.
Sentinels are certainly the biggest surprise to see outside of the top 4. The most dominant team in North America, and #1 on THESPIKE.GG’s North American rankings by a wide margin, Sentinels looked shaky this event, and most importantly looked like they’d failed to adapt to the meta. They were taken advantage of first by Jonathan “Silenx” Huntington and then by Gen.G’s Shawn, who each played Reyna. The character’s high mobility and ability to jump in and out of engagements seemed to completely fluster the Sentinels, and they’ll have adaptation to do for the closed qualifier.
100 Thieves’ new roster got off to a pretty good start, and followed up their close match against Moon Raccoons with a destruction of Dignitas. However, they were torn apart by Subroza’s Omen. Top 8 isn’t a bad debut by any means, but they’ll need to aim higher for the closed qualifier.
T1 and The Slimy Boogermen round out the top 8. T1 looked okay in this event, but had one of the most atrocious Split maps ever against Envy. They did the exact same thing every round: sat Brax’s Cypher outside A and Spyder’s Omen outside B Garage, pushed Mid with their remaining 3 members, waiting until there were 20 seconds left on the clock, and tried to hit a site. It was uninspired and completely shut down by Envy. T1 has promise, but also has work to do to be able to hit it. As for the Boogermen, they surprised a lot of teams in this event, even giving Cloud9 Blue a run for their money, so they’ll have even more upset potential in the closed qualifier.
Finally, we have the last 8. There’s plenty of surprises here. Spot Up are back on a big VALORANT stage for the since June, and XSET’s new roster looked very promising in their qualification run. Complexity may have finally clicked with new additions Mike “sharky” Gariti and Jonah “JonahP” Pulice, and Luminosity’s surprise win over Andbox puts them in contention too: they’re now fielding mada in their starting lineup, and he’s made a large difference for them.
Positional swaps for Renegades seem to have worked wonders, as Alexander “retrQ” Kadan’s Jett was a huge factor in their success this week. Dignitas looked pretty good with new additions Bryan “mAKKA” Drouillard and Chad “oderus” Miller, but they didn’t set the world on fire either. Similarly, Equinox had a pretty good event with their upset over FaZe, but didn’t have an incredibly close match against Cloud9. Finally, Built By Gamers’ new roster performed quite well, but fell out to the Boogermen in a very close 3-game set.
The Nerd Street Gamers Tournament takes place from November 4th-8th next week, and advances the top 4 teams to the First Strike North America Regional Final. Making top 8 is also a priority, as that will mean you don’t have to go through the next open qualifier. The event will be played on a new patch, though the new map Icebox and new agent Skye will still be disabled. Be sure to tune in on twitch.tv/nerdstgamers or twitch.tv/Valorant_Esports_NA!