VCT Masters 2 reflection: What we learned from VALORANT’s first international event

Ten teams sought glory at VCT Masters Two Reykjavík, hoping to take the trophy home to their respective regions. And while North America’s Sentinels came out on top, players, fans, and casters got to see various metas and playstyles in action.

With Masters Two behind us and Masters Berlin ahead, ’ VALORANT writers reflected on three pressing questions going into VCT Stage Three.

Which agent deserves a nerf after VCT Masters Two?

VALORANT Jett Red 1

Andreas: Viper is toxic—and not just because she wields poison and gas. The recent decay damage buffs make the agent oppressive, forcing enemies to push through her toxins and instantly take 30 damage or wait it out. And when the best players in the world get their hands on her, Viper’s power magnifies ten-fold. She had an impressive 49-percent pick rate at Masters Two, according to VLR.gg, and her usage has seemingly gone from niche to necessary. Get her out of my games, please.

Jalen: For the sake of variety, I think Jett deserves a nerf. She had the highest pick rate of any duelist in Iceland and is deadly in the right hands. Her current kit is not necessarily overpowered or unbalanced, but there is a clear preference for her over every other duelist. She is also one of the most annoying agents to play against, and I won’t complain if I don’t see her in ranked as often. 

Jerome: If you’re reading this Riot, please nerf Jett. She had a ridiculous 80-perfect pick rate in Iceland—by far the most at the tournament. She’s a fun agent to watch and undoubtedly has a high skill cap, but teams are often over-reliant on her to perform. If sacrificing Jett means agents like Phoenix, Reyna, Raze, and Yoru get more time to shine, I’m all for it. 

Scott: I don’t think Jett should be nerfed just because she’s popular. She’s not overpowered and her presence doesn’t necessarily mean a win. I think we saw signs of the Astra meta taking hold, and I think it’ll be full blown by the time Stage Three rolls around. If not now, then in a month or so, we may need to look at giving Astra a possible nerf.

Which region was the biggest surprise in Iceland?

vct masters keyart 1536x864 1

Andreas: After dethroning Korean superstars Vision Strikers, NUTURN set their sights on the rest of the world. And they almost did it! They took out NA sensations Version1 and came close to beating Fnatic in the lower bracket final. Though NUTURN finished third at the event, they were exciting to watch and represented Korea well. And since the region will have two slots at Masters Berlin, Korean players will have even more of an opportunity to show what they got.

Jalen: Europe surprised me by not dominating in Iceland. In my heart, I always knew Sentinels would take the title, but I was nervous about Fnatic and Team Liquid. Both teams went undefeated in group play in the EMEA Challengers playoffs and looked fantastic coming into the tournament. It’s clear Fnatic and Liquid are still two of the best teams in the world. I sincerely hope NA can stay one step ahead and keep VALORANT as our place to shine.  

Jerome: Honestly, NA pleasantly surprised me. Sentinels were considered the favorites by some of my colleagues, but I never thought the team had it in them. A background in CS:GO (and strong EU pride) has made me skeptical of the region. But Sentinels, and even Version1, were two of the most impressive teams at the tournament. Their mid-round decision-making, adaptability, and fragging power gave them the cutting edge in Iceland. 

Scott: Europe surprised me in the sense that the two teams did the opposite of how I expected them to perform. Liquid looked lost in the big pressure matches against V1 and Fnatic, only really feasting on the teams from LATAM and Brazil. Fnatic came up clutch over and over, and their 3-0 loss to Sentinels in the grand finals was one of the closest 3-0’s I’ve ever seen. Their improvement over the whole tournament was remarkable.

Which player left the biggest impression at the international event?

boaster
Photo via Riot Games

Andreas: It has to be anyone on Version1. Going into Masters Two, they were clearly considered underdogs at an event that featured the best teams in the world. But they outperformed everybody’s expectations and upset EU superstars Liquid, sending them to the lower bracket. Whether it was penny’s stellar Jett play, effys’ clutches, or vanity’s cat ears, they won the hearts of fans from all over the world.

Jalen: Boaster won the hearts of fans everywhere with his entertaining and outgoing style, but another player matched his energy every time he was on stage: Patiphan. X10 Esports bowed out of the tournament slightly early, but they still left a lasting impression on fans. Patiphan had one of the best walkouts of the event, and every time they put the camera on him it was wonderful. I hope we see Patiphan again in Berlin. 

Jerome: Never mind David Attenborough, Marcus Rashford, and Paul McCartney, Boaster should be a British national treasure. The Fnatic in-game leader’s infectious personality rubbed off on everyone at VCT Masters Reykjavík, from the players to pundits to the viewers. His boisterous attitude was one of the highlights of the tournament. His silly moments, funny faces, witty one-liners, and clever celebrations were beautifully contrasted with his raw emotion on stage. Count me a Boaster fan.

Scott: I believe in TenZ supremacy. Boaster was an absolute joy to watch, V1 made NA proud, and NUTURN’s solo got what could be a tremendous career sendoff. But TenZ was the best player in Iceland, hands down. I think people dismiss his impact because of how good the entire Sentinels team is, but I don’t buy it when people say they could win with anyone filling that spot. And unfortunately for anyone in Sentinels’ way, “he’s here to stay.”


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