The last weekend of VALORANT Champions 2022 is starting with LOUD playing the upper bracket final against OpTic Gaming. Although they have proved that Brazil is no joke when it comes to VALORANT, most of us didn’t see such a great performance coming.
After losing the grand final at Masters Reykjavík earlier this year, LOUD is once again two series away from the most important trophy in VALORANT esports. How did they get here, and what can they do in the final weekend of Champions Istanbul? Let’s try to find out together.
LOUD’s VALORANT story starts
A mobile games influencer, PlayHard, founded LOUD in 2019 and the team quickly became one of the CBLOL partners in League of Legends. In 2022, they decided to get into VALORANT esports with a strong roster: Sacy, pANcada, Less and aspas, and the Argentine saadhak as the in-game leader.
Since they entered VALORANT in February 2022, LOUD dominated the Brazilian scene. Their first victory was in Brazil Stage 1 Challengers, where they defeated Ninjas in Pyjamas 3-0 in the grand final to represent Brazil in Iceland. Until then, Brazil had minor victories in VALORANT international tournaments, but LOUD took it one step further.
Defeating strong EMEA teams, Team Liquid and G2 Esports, LOUD made it to the upper bracket final of the Masters, and their first series against OpTic was played. LOUD won the series 2-1, but a new rivalry would start after that. Coming from the lower bracket, OpTic would defeat LOUD in the grand final, and Brazil had to go home with a second place result.
LOUD once again dominated the Brazil Challengers, defeating NIP in the finals 3-0 for a second time. In Copenhagen, LOUD would start in group stage, where a disastrous result ended their journey. After a 2-1 loss against KRÜ Esports, LOUD lost the elimination match against OpTic Gaming in the group, finishing fourth. This poor result only strengthened the rivalry between OpTic and LOUD, two teams from different regions.
LOUD at Champions 2022
After such a poor ending, the expectations from LOUD was low in Istanbul, but not zero. The team managed to end up in the same group as OpTic Gaming once again, and started with a win over ZETA DIVISION, the team that was expected to challenge LOUD for the playoffs spot.
Group winners’ match against OpTic started in favour of LOUD: 13-7 victory on Breeze after stopping an OpTic come back. However, they weren’t ready for Fracture where OpTic secured the tie, and on the newest map, OpTic put on a show with a 13-3 victory while yay rampaged. LOUD defeated ZETA to move on to the playoffs, but they once again were defeated by OpTic.
The story following that is the story of an underdog. LATAM representatives Leviatán was a clear favourite against LOUD, but LOUD managed to turn it around after a 12-6 deficit and win it in overtime. Following that, they won Haven with ease. Their next opponent was Korean excellence DRX, and another comeback from 11-7 (9-3 in the first half) decided the winner again, a 2-0 win.
LOUD will face OpTic for the sixth time this year, out of which they have lost five series. Even if they manage to stop this dominating streak from OpTic, LOUD may have to go through them in the grand final once again. The question is: can LOUD see past this rivalry and pull comfortable upsets like they did against Leviatán and DRX or not?
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The incredible roster of LOUD
With his agent pool consisting of Chamber, Viper, Killjoy and Cypher at Champions, Less is the main carry and the superstar of LOUD. His performance decides LOUD’s chance in most matches, he is able to stay in the game no matter what thanks to his strong mentality. While he is so far behind of similar players like yay, kiNgg, Derke, Alfajer, Cryocells and ardiis in terms of average combat score, he makes up for it with his strong K:D, 1.34.
Inside the top 18 of K:D lists and the first player that isn’t the primary carry of his team, Sacy is an integral part of LOUD. He played Sova and Fade at Champions, initiators, and he is responsible for getting Less into positions where he can thrive. Argentine saadhak serves as the in-game leader, but he is able to contribute a lot with a positive K:D and 197.9 ACS.
You can consider aspas as the secondary carry of the team, he is the one to step up when Less can’t. With Raze, Jett and sometimes Chamber, although his K:D is not as well as Less’, he delivers in terms of combat score and damage per round. Finally, pANcada plays controller agents like Omen, and he is responsible for finding the clutch moments: his Omen K:D is 14.1 with 206.7 ACS.
Obviously, you can’t turn a blind eye to the coach bzKa’s effect. His incredible work after transitioning from a player to a coach definitely helped LOUD get this good. However, his visible effect on the team during public events like press conferences or at LAN events where you can see the coach communicate with the team, you clearly get why LOUD is so good.