The first match of the official 2023 VCT season kicked off immediately in São Paulo, Brazil, the place one of the best VALORANT gamers on the earth have converged for the beginning of the franchised league.
The match’s first matchup was between two heavyweights, North America’s NRG and EMEA’s KOI. Both groups characteristic gamers who’ve gained earlier Masters levels of the outdated VCT format.
Though each rosters have their stars, all eyes have been on NRG since three former gamers of OpTic made their means onto the franchised North American roster. In-game chief FNS is joined by former teammates Victor and crashies, with s0m and former EMEA participant ardiis to spherical out the five-man squad.
NRG had a shaky begin to their first large match of 2023, however ultimately, they pulled out the win 2-0 over KOI.
NRG opted to start out out on Icebox, removed from a shock map choose given the historical past of the previous OpTic workforce. They opted to lock in a composition that featured no duelist and no Chamber, a results of a shifting meta that has seen the French agent all however disappear from the agent roster.
Despite this compositional alternative, NRG have been nonetheless extremely aggressive even when beginning out on protection. They selected to take shut fights, pushing up on B website to fulfill KOI. But sadly for the North American workforce, this didn’t fairly work out as they may have envisioned.
KOI opted for a composition that featured Jett in a fragging function, a prediction that has been floating round in another camps previous to LOCK//IN. Their Jett participant, Wolfen, was making his worldwide LAN debut immediately and total carried out properly on a roster surrounded by former champions. Yet two of those former stars, sheydos and starxo, hadn’t seen worldwide LAN play since 2021.
After 4 rounds straight of KOI bulldozing their means by means of a confused-looking NRG, the North American workforce lastly acquired themselves on the board, although it wasn’t the cleanest strategy.
S0m continued to face his floor and was the pivot level for NRG to start out making their comeback. Even on determined save rounds, s0m used a Marshal and his Viper utility to take advantage of out of every likelihood his workforce acquired.
Round 10 was the turning level for the map.
NRG one way or the other managed to execute a flawless retake, which left even the casters stunned for the reason that spherical was removed from clear and calculated.
From there, as soon as NRG acquired settled on their assault, they have been in a position to end out Icebox with a detailed scoreline of 13-11.
The two groups pulled out mirrored compositions on Haven, and it was time for NRG to point out off the experience of ardiis.
There is appreciable stress on ardiis’ shoulders coming into LOCK//IN as a result of he’s being broadly considered the substitute for former Chamber grasp yay. Despite a sluggish begin on Icebox, ardiis got here alive on Jett after some warm-up time and appeared as crisp as ever.
NRG took Haven 13-9, respiration a bit simpler after a tense Icebox.
The LOCK//IN single-elimination bracket implies that KOI at the moment are out of the match. We will see them once more later within the VCT season.
NRG will face off towards the winner of DetonatioN FM vs. Giants, who play later immediately.