NSG First Strike Closed Qualifier — Team Envy prevails
With the group stage over, the Nerd Street Gamers First Strike Closed Qualifier headed to the playoffs. The exciting group stage battles set a precedent for the playoff picture. The top two teams from each group moved on and to say there were some surprises is an understatement. Each team gave it their all, but only four can move on to the Valorant First Strike Main Event in December. The remaining teams will have to try again during the upcoming UMG qualifying event.
Based on the group stage finishes, the playoff bracket presented Cloud9 Blue vs. Renegades, Complexity vs. Team Envy, Sentinels vs. T1, and Team SoloMid vs. 100 Thieves.
Renegades certainly needed this victory. Embarrassingly eliminated from their own event without a single win, momentum was definitely not on their side. Cloud9 Blue dominated Group A, but ended up dropping both maps to Renegades. Split came down to the wire in an epic overtime that saw the map finish 17:15 in favor of Renegades. Ascent was a competitive contest as well, but not nearly as much as Split with a 13:9 final round count to push Renegades to Round 2.
Complexity did not deliver with the same tenacity they did by going undefeated in Group B of this First Strike Closed Qualifier. Team Envy took the reigns and drove Complexity right into the ground. The first map was Bind and saw a rather typical round count of 13:7. Haven was a bashing, however. NV sent COL packing with a devastating 13:1 victory on the triple site map.
The Sentinels vs. T1 contest was the only Round 1 match up that saw a third map. T1 was the second team from Group B to advance while Sentinels got the top seed in Group C. Bind started things off, headed to a short overtime, and ended with T1 taking it 15:3. After that, it was all Sentinels. They snagged their first map victory on Haven 13:9. The final map, Split, was an even more decisive victory for Sentinels at 13:6.
TSM is widely considered one of the top North American teams. Many thought they were going to take it all during the Nerd Street Gamers First Strike Closed Qualifier. 100 Thieves had other ideas. Ascent was a pretty solid 13:7 victory for the squad captained by Hiko. On Haven, TSM could have easily forced a deciding third map, but 100 Thieves said no thank you. The insanely close competition ended in overtime as 100 Thieves defeated TSM 15:13.
The top four teams have been decided. Renegades, Team Envy, Sentinels, and 100 Thieves will come out of the Nerd Street Gamers First Strike Closed Qualifier with plenty of reason to celebrate. They all have a ticket to the official First Strike tournament come December. That didn’t stop the fun at this competition, though. The four teams would still have to battle it out to see who wins it all.
The comeback story for Renegades came to a close at the hands of Team Envy. Ascent ended with Renegades taking it 13:11. That proved to be a little too close for comfort in the eyes of NV. The next two maps were utter domination. Split saw a final round count of 13:4. NV shut down RNG even further on Bind. NV took that map 13:3 to advance to the Grand Final.
No one saw this coming. With TSM ousted, this event was Sentinels’ for the taking. Each map was solidly contested by both teams, but 100 Thieves fed their hungry selves. This 100T team finally showed the world what they are capable of. Hiko and co. have defeated the two top teams in all of North America and would face Team Envy in the Grand Final. The map count saw Bind go 13:7 for 100T, Split end 13:8 for SEN, and finally Haven advancing 100T 13:10.
As quickly as the Grand Final began, it was just as quickly won by Team Envy. The shocking run of 100 Thieves from days prior was not enough to propel them to victory. Team Envy is shortened to NV and that NV stood for “No Victory” for 100 Thieves at the Nerd Street Gamer First Strike Closed Qualifier. Bind was handled in dominating fashion by the Team Envy squad 13:2. Split truly felt like it would go in 100 Thieves’ favor, but that favor became unfavorable as Team Envy fought hard for a 13:9 win. Then finally on the third map, Ascent, Team Envy sealed the deal at 13:5.
Congratulations to all of the qualifiers moving on to the First Strike tournament. Special congratulations to Team Envy for coming out on top in a stacked North American playoff bracket.
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