Valorant Champions Tour 2021 Europe: Stage 1 Masters 1 has found its first semifinalist after the series between Team Heretics and Ninjas in Pyjamas. In the matchup that went to the third map, Heretics moved along in the bracket.
The teams took the audience to Split for the first map of the series as the pick of Ninjas in Pyjamas. It was NiP’s choice on the paper, but Heretics turned it into its playground immediately. Heretics literally gave the lesson of how a team can benefit from a six-man roster by putting niesoW in the roster and shocking Ninjas in Pyjamas. With the unpredictable plays from niesoW on Reyna and well-prepared strategies, Heretics crushed NiP in Split 13-5. Despite trying to stay alive in the second half, Heretics didn’t allow its opponent to comeback by playing with a high level of confidence.
Heretics started the map with a roster change; Rubino took the place of niesoW, but it held onto Reyna by giving her to nukkye. Unlike the first map, NiP obtained control of the game in the beginning until nukkye decided to kill everyone in the server. The first half passed with a tie. Second half was an absolute back-and-forth battle. After taking the pistol round, Ninjas in Pyjamas amplified their lead to 11-7, while nothing went well for Heretics in defense. Even though the last First Strike champion suddenly remembered how they won Split, NiP succeeded in closing out the map with a 13-11 and made the series 1-1.
Pure domination on attack was the key factor for Heretics in its journey to a win. Nukkye and his friends kicked off the crucial map with a great start by taking the first five rounds on defense, but NiP had no intention of giving up the semifinal spot easily; they recovered and brought five rounds to the scoreboard, despite ending the first half with a 7-5 disadvantage.
When you witness a half like this, anticipating close second-half competition is usual, but Heretics turned up the intensity. It activated the monster mode, lost only one round on attack and crushed Ninjas in Pyjamas’ defense with great map rotations and lurks. The final was inevitable: Heretics won the map 13-6 and the series 2-1, advancing to VCT 2021 Europe: Masters 1’s semifinal.
Ninjas in Pyjamas still have a chance as they will continue their run in the lower bracket where they will face ACEND on March 19.