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Fragster | 22. September 2021

Gambit’s journey to becoming champions of VCT Masters Berlin

Gambit has just won VCT Masters Berlin with a spotless but hard-fought 3-0 win against Team Envy. This win has once again cemented them as the top EU team, humbling North America and the rest of the world with an almost perfect run— reminiscent of the fallen Sentinels’ foregone dominance.

With unrivaled brilliance and teamwork, the CIS squad has finally claimed the top spot in professional Valorant. But what did the team have to do to get to where they are now? Let’s take a look at their journey from missing Reykjavik to winning it all in Berlin.

The road to Berlin

Gambit’s championship run was a story years in the making. The CIS-based Gambit roster was formed in late September 2020 with Chronicle, d3ffo, Sheydos, and nAts— with their captain, Redgar, joining in early 2021. Assigned to coaching the squad was Engh.

They quickly became household names in EU and CIS, beating top teams left and right, and were praised as one of the most consistent teams in the region. 

However, the team’s resolve was challenged when they struggled against Fnatic and failed to qualify for VCT Masters Reykjavík. (It’s pretty ironic that Gambit winning in Berlin secured Fnatic’s spot in Champions). The CIS squad however came back with a vengeance, subsequently dominating CIS/EU scrims and the whole EMEA region in Stage 3 Challengers Playoff that booked them a ticket to the Masters in Berlin.

Gambit’s superior performance in VCT Masters Berlin

Group Stage: Breaking records right from the get-go

Gambit was seeded into Group C with Crazy Racoon, 100 Thieves and Havan Liberty. They immediately made a show of power when they dismantled Crazy Racoon 2-0 on opening day — dropping only two rounds in two maps. 

Gambit then faced 100 Thieves in the winner’s match, where they seemed to be the same beast. They had a significant lead up to the first half of the second map, until their hopes for a flawless group stage were shut down by an unbelievable 10-streak comeback from 100T.

Gambit and Crazy Racoon met again in the playoff decider series. And while the rematch was much closer than their previous meeting— forcing overtime in the second map, Gambit still came out on top.

Quarterfinals: Taking their only map loss in the playoffs

Gambit lost the second map at the hands of Vision Strikers— their only one in their whole run, but Gambit’s teamplay and aggressive playstyle was still a cut above the opposition. Gambit’s positioning and offbeat aggressiveness proved too strong. In the end, Gambit fended off VS’ comeback attempts to book a date versus G2.

Semifinals: The battle for EMEA supremacy

G2’s hot streak was dosed by Gambit in a 2-0 semifinal. The two EMEA powerhouses traded blows on the first map, but Gambit rallied to a second half push to secure the first map. But the headline of the matchup was that G2 was humbled by a record-setting 13-0 flawless map performance from Gambit.

Grand Finals: From Tournament to World Domination

After claiming EMEA supremacy, Gambit was then hungry for world dominance on the grand final stage versus North America’s Team Envy. This best-of-five matchup had Gambit’s closest matches, but somehow they were able to narrowly escape each map with a slim lead. 

Gambit’s signature aggressiveness caught Envy by surprise in the crucial rounds of the second half. Envy tried their hardest to keep up, showing signs of a comeback, but Gambit’s well-coordinated smokes, pushes, and executions were too much. Gambit went on to claim the championship 3-0.

Their mindset and what’s next for the team

Redgar, the captain of Gambit, admitted that they didn’t expect such a deep run into Masters Berlin. In the team introduction, they disclosed that their main goal was to win Berlin so they were practicing ten to twelve hours a day. 

The team also said that they were playing mostly to prove their team to themselves, the fans, and the world. The lack of egos is probably one of the reasons why the team manages to play so well together. “Everybody is just playing their game,” said Redgar, implying that the lack of pressure could have boosted their confidence heading into their matches.

After the tournament, the team seems to be focused on returning home and getting some rest. The team has secured their spot in the Champions 2021 tournament, which is currently scheduled for the end of the year if the situation permits. This gives them a chance to observe their competition at the Last Chance qualifiers and about three months to prepare.

 

(Header image via VALORANTEsports)