Gambit Esports were pushed to their limits by a hungry Crazy Raccoon side in the Group C decider. But, the CIS giants dug deep to finish the series within two maps to book their place in the playoffs of Valorant Champions Tour Stage 3 Berlin Masters.
Gambit Esports were shocked by 100 Thieves in the Group C Winners Bracket, with the latter staging an incredible comeback to seal their place in the playoffs. Crazy Raccoon prevailed over Havan Liberty in the Group C eliminator in a much-improved display. The aforementioned series of events set up a grudge match between Crazy Raccoon and Gambit Esports.
Gambit Esports opted to pick Ascent while Crazy Raccoon went for Icebox, with the CIS heavyweights selecting Split as the potential decider.
CR started on the defensive side with intent, winning the pistol thanks to the 1v1 clutch from Byeon “Munchkin” Song-beom on the B retake. CR even converted the bonus round, with Yusuke “neth” Matsuda grabbing a triple kill to retake A site, making it 3-0. Gambit soon found themselves 5-0 down, with CR not providing an inch to capitalize upon. Trailing 6-0, Gambit woke up from their slumber, winning three in a row to cut the deficit into half. CR did get a seventh round in the first half on the back of a solid B hold. But, Gambit clawed back at the lead, finishing the half with just a two-round deficit.
Gambit soon equalized the score, winning the pistol and the subsequent anti-eco with ease. A triple kill from Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov yielded Gambit the bonus round win as well. CR rotated for a late A execute through the A short area, winning the postplant to make it a one-round game at 9-8. A brilliant triple kill from Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin on the A defence restored Gambit’s two-round buffer. Chronicle’s triple kill with the Odin on the B retake brought up the map point for Gambit. A well-timed A mains push from Igor “Redgar” Vlasov caught CR off-guard, with the Astra picking off two to hand Gambit enough of an advantage to close out Ascent 13-8.
CR once again had a strong start, bagging a 3-0 lead on the Attacking side, with a good A hold from Munchkin allowing the Japanese outfit to convert the bonus round. Gambit though, won the thrifty to make it 3-1. But, CR responded winning their weaker buy to respond immediately. A 1v2 postplant clutch at B site from Teppei “ade” Kuno extended the lead, with a quadkill from Park “Bazzi” Jun-ki making it 6-1 in CR’s favor. Trailing 7-1, Gambit pulled it back once again. CR still ended the first half with a commanding 8-4 lead.
A quadkill from Munchkin enabled the B retake, with CR winning the pistol. However, Gambit won the thrifty, opting for a B execute, with Chronicle bagging a crucial double kill with the Ghost at B site. Gambit rode the momentum they captured from the thrifty win to make it a one-round game at 9-8. CR though, halted Gambit’s run, shutting down an A split attempt to open up a two-round cushion. Gambit opted for tube control before rotating to plant the spike at A. Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov bought time brilliantly in the 1v1 postplant situation at A against neth to make it a one-round game once again.
The CIS giants took the lead, with a B execute on the 21st round but CR equalized the score, with Munchkin’s Shock dart finding nAts to kill him and deactivate the Viper’s Pit. Gambit brought up the match point with an extremely patient B execute late into the round. A clutch triple kill from Hideki “Fisker” Sasaki ensured the A defence held up to save the match point and force overtime.
ade brought things down to a 1v1, activating Viper’s Pit on the B postplant. However, his Snakebite baited his position out for Bogdan “Sheydos” Naumov to clutch the 1v1 and bring up the match point once again. Redgar found himself in a 1v2 situation on the postplant at A but clutched it with aplomb to secure a 14-12 win on Icebox.
The win secures the second seed for Gambit Esports from Group C to set up a clash against Vision Strikers in the Quarter-Finals of VCT Stage 3 Berlin Masters. Commiserations for Crazy Raccoon, who proved the Japanese scene is not one to be trifled with. However, Crazy Raccoon will return for Valorant Champions, having qualified from Japan after their performance in Iceland and Berlin.