Brazilian VALORANT team LOUD proved they deserved their automatic spot in the 2022 VCT Masters Reykjavík playoffs by defeating Team Liquid 2-1 in an intense series.
LOUD didn’t have to fight through the group stage as they secured their spot in the playoffs by winning the Brazilian Challengers One event. Meanwhile, Liquid cut their teeth by beating KRU Esports and XERXIA Esports to secure their playoffs spot. The exciting series started on Icebox, where XERXIA defeated Liquid, and the team failed to redeem themselves against the Brazilian squad.
Liquid looked like they would hold the line on Icebox defense considering they won the first two rounds, but LOUD proved they could take both sites with ease. LOUD won the next five rounds, successfully baiting out abilities and outsmarting the European team. Liquid finally stopped LOUD in round eight, but the Brazilian team had a plethora of credits that allowed them to buy again with ease. LOUD answered back by winning round nine, but Liquid pulled off an incredible retake in round ten, led by ScreaM, who dominated with Jett’s knives.
LOUD called a timeout before round 11, but Liquid still held A site without allowing the Brazilian team to get the spike down. But LOUD maintained a two-round lead by winning the final round of the half, preventing Liquid from retaking B site.
Liquid started the second pistol round by pushing towards A site but rotated to B with seconds to spare. Jamppi lurked through mid, securing a crucial kill before killing two more enemies on the site, helping his team take the round. LOUD almost won round 14, killing four enemy players and missing the defuse by a couple of seconds. While this round tied the score, it was still a substantial loss for Liquid.
LOUD retook B site in round 15 and continued to hold Liquid at bay for the next three rounds. Liquid decided to risk it and invest in their buy in round 19, which worked out as they won and prevented LOUD from going to match point. LOUD called a timeout to make sure they didn’t let the map get away from them, and they took the game to match point in round 21.
Liquid used Sage’s wall and Viper’s ultimate to plant the spike in round 22, staying alive on their map pick. They also won round 23 and almost continued their comeback in round 24 but couldn’t prevent the defuse, so LOUD took map one.
Another long pause between the first and second maps added a lull in the action, but Liquid came back strong with two round wins to start the second game on Haven, which included a 4k from Nivera in round two. LOUD prevented Liquid from bonusing in round three, but Liquid narrowly won round four to maintain their lead. ScreaM almost clutched round six, but LOUD successfully avoided his knives to add another round under their belts.
The rest of the first half was dominated by Liquid as they refused to drop another round. Several rounds ended with only one or two Liquid players left alive, but they still held the line and went into the second half with a comfortable 10-2 score line.
Liquid took the second pistol round to further solidify their lead, but LOUD finally stopped the bleeding in round 14. LOUD almost prevented the spike from being planted on C site in the following round, but Liquid once again outgunned their opponents to take the game to match point. Liquid bullied their way onto A site with ease, tying the series 1-1 and closing with a brutal 13-3 scoreline.
Ascent started off with a bang as L1NK almost secured an ace for Liquid, but pancada managed to kill multiple players and almost clutched the round. Liquid ultimately won the round and maintained their momentum in round two. A significantly long tech pause added another lull in the exciting series, and LOUD came back strong after the break to win the next two rounds.
Liquid couldn’t retake B site in round five, but they did kill the entire enemy team to significantly impact their economy. But LOUD bounced back with ease, winning round six, forcing Liquid to stick with light armor and pistols in round seven. This wasn’t an issue for Jamppi, who clutched round eight with Jett’s ultimate ability. The remainder of the first half was a slugfest as both teams traded blows and secured a 6-6 score line going into the second half.
Both teams refused to let their opponent run away with the lead in the second half as LOUD took the pistol round, but Liquid answered back in round 14. Liquid also won round 15, but LOUD proceeded to go on a four-round win streak before Liquid stopped them from running away with the series in round 20. Liquid managed to win one more round, but LOUD finally closed the brutal series with a 13-10 win on Ascent.
LOUD will face G2 Esports in the upper semifinals on Sunday, April 17 at 12pm CT. Team Liquid will face ZETA Division in the lower round on Saturday, April 16 at 3pm CT.