The Dream Run

A home run. A strike. A hole in one.

There are many terms in different sports to describe a perfect run. It is that rare occasion, when everything goes your way, you overcome all obstacles, and you take home the trophy.

We have completed our dream run. 

As March 21st 2021, we are the first ever Valorant Masters Champions EU!

Mere weeks after founding this team from scratch, we have gone against all odds (and all predictions), and taken home the trophy. So let’s use this moment in time to take a look back on our journey so far.

It all started with koldamenta, Nbs, and a dream. Back in late 2021, we decided to put together a Valorant team (at the time under the name Raise Your Edge Gaming). Since we knew that former RYE player Jose Luis "koldamenta" Aranguren Herrero had made the switch to Valorant, we knew just who to talk to to make it happen.

We had valued koldamenta before for his work ethic, skill, and professionalism, so when he offered to join forces with former pro gamer and now Valorant coach “Nbs” to create the best roster in EU, we didn’t think twice.

After many Scrims and many more negotiations, the roster that would shake the scene was created:

Jose Luis Aranguren Herrero - Koldamenta 
Santeri Heikki Juhani Sassi - Bonecold 
Vlad Shvets - Kiles 
Mehmet Yağız İpek - cNed 
Patryk Kopczyński - starxo 
Laurynas Kisielius - NBS

So, where else to go than to the one place where all the best teams compete: The European VCT Series. We knew it would be a tough road ahead, since to even make it to the big stage, we’d have to go through one of three open qualifiers, where a single mistake will take you out of the race.

The first qualifier started promising, but would pit us against what was at the time considered to be one of the 2 best teams in EU: FPX. This first major test was our chance to prove, that we were a top team ourselves. Sadly, we were not ready for the challenge, and got knocked out of Qualifier number 1.

Shortly after, the second chance rolled around the corner, as it was time to fight our way through qualifier number 2. At this point in the story, we hit the lowest point of our performance, as we get knocked out early and lose another shot at qualifying for Masters.

We came together, we analyzed, practiced, and talked a lot amongst ourselves. No time went idly by, as we were determined to make this improbable dream come true.

And when our last shot had arrived, we were ready.

With new-found grit and determination, we tackled the final open qualifier. With nothing to lose, and all to gain, we gave it our best every round. And finally, standing on our last legs, we managed to become one of 8 teams to compete in the first European Masters tournament ever. Alongside NIP, FPX, Heretics, Ballista, Guild, Dfuse, and Alliance, we were set to compete for the win.

In our very first match, we lost to NIP, knocking us down to the lower bracket, and on the edge of disqualification yet again. 

This situation became a huge turning point for us. We had achieved our goal of reaching Top 8 in EU, which we were already very happy with. So now was the time to have some fun!

Letting go of expectations and the stress we put on ourselves proved to be a magical formula. We decisively beat Ballista for our shot at revenge against NIP, who we also take out of the tournament easily.

And there it was, Top 4. Where we hadn’t dropped expectations before, we could feel them rising up again. Could we actually do it?

Our next opponent was none other than FPX, who had kicked us out of the first open qualifier so easily before. But we had prepared. We wanted revenge. And we got it.

In a nailbiter going the full distance, we beat the favourites and move on to the finals.

Our team captain koldamenta didn’t sleep a lot that night. Matter of fact, most of us had trouble sleeping, as the biggest match of our careers was mere hours away. But koldamenta wasn’t awake because he was nervously awaiting the match. Nor because he was celebrating. No, koldamenta was awake because he went through strategies, VODs, and more strategies.

In the fashion of a true captain, he concocted strats for all maps (since it was going to be a bo5) against the current kings of EU: Heretics.

And so began the match that would make us the most feared Valorant team in EU.

The grand final started on Split, notoriously known as our weakest map. Even though we expected Heretics to dominate this map, we kept up with their pace. They came out on top nonetheless and claimed the first point.

We were quick to even out the scales as we take Bind decisively and make it a 1:1. At this point, everything was back to square one. The first 2 matches, as if they didn’t happen, seemed to not matter. The bo5 became a bo3, and the winner would take home the crown and $60 000.

Haven was a map both teams were strong on. We knew we can take it, and so did Heretics. After a tough fight, we had to submit to a stronger team, giving Heretics the 2:1 lead, making the next round a match point for them.

The round of icebox we played next would be the reason for many teams to ban it against us in the future. With very rapid aggression, and powerful control through the operator by cNed, we battle it out, head-to-head, with EUs number 1 ranked team. Despite our strong performance, Heretics answer just as strong, and take us to OT, where we take the game by a hair to take us and Heretics to the final game.

Ascent. Everything on the line. The game is as close as it gets. When the counter showed 11:12, we knew this was it. One round to make us champs. And yet again we go ahead on the back of cNed, proving why he is called the best Jett in EU. Ending up in a 2 vs 1 situation, Bonecold and Starxo swing on RUBINO and make it all a reality.

Acend is the first Valorant Masters EU Champion.