EMEA dominates at Champions 2021: Grand finals thoughts

The brother buff is dead, the LATAM buff is dead, the only thing that is alive at Champions 2021 is EMEA! CIS representatives Gambit Esports, finding clutches and aces like they always do, and Europe’s dear Acend with Turkey’s pride cNed, the grand final at Berlin is stacked! Before tuning in to the final best of five tonight, walk with us through the semifinals and get hyped for this amazing tournament!

Considering it’s the biggest major tournament of a brand new game, VCT 2021: Champions has defied all expectations and it has been an amazing event thus far. With the grand finals including Acend and Gambit, two of the most important teams from EMEA, it is impossible to cast the thoughts about tonight’s match out and focus on something other than VALORANT. We need that final now!

If you have a favourite at Champions 2021’s final series, visit Luckbox’s match page for the grand final, find the odds and bet on them. If you would prefer to keep reading, you can also find the odds at the bottom of this article.

Semifinals: Gambit struggles while Acend thrives

Before the matches where actually played, the semifinals felt like two heavily different series: while Acend vs Team Liquid looked like it was going to be a close one with a lot of ups and downs, Gambit Esports would easily defeat KRÜ Esports and move on with their lives. However, the surprises won’t end at Champions 2021 as we were mistaken on both of them.

Acend vs Team Liquid

Image via Riot Games

At the first match of the day, Acend faced Team Liquid. Before the game, although Acend has been a better team all-year round, Team Liquid was the team on form. They were on a win streak, they had a convincingly better group stage and they should’ve challenged Acend. However, they barely took 11 rounds in total.

On their own pick, Bind, Acend put cNed on Sage duty and let zeek and starxo, the Polish duo carry it. After a 8-4 start in the first half, TL’s Belgian brothers ScreaM and Nivera getting the top two frags and combat scores weren’t enough to stop ACE from ending it 13-6. While we thought TL would be better on their own pick, Split, it was even worse.

starxo’s Sage was the highlight of Split with 20 kills, while cNed stayed on 15. ScreaM answered with his 22 kills Reyna, and while I’m telling you these stats, if you haven’t watched the games, you might think TL would lose in the extra time, right? No, Acend won the first half 11-1, and took two rounds while TL was trying to get back into the game in the second half, which was all they needed.

The memes were ready, as always. cNed fired up his Turkish audience by asking if they still haven’t changed their Twitter profile pictures after the game. Check that famous picture below:

Gambit Esports vs KRÜ Esports

Something different happened at Gambit vs KRÜ. The LATAM representatives came all the way to the semifinals with upsets after upsets, defeating Sentinels and Fnatic. However, Gambit was the real challenge. They are the Masters Berlin champions.

GMB’s pick was Breeze, KRÜ’s was Ascent and the decider was Bind. On Breeze, Gambit showed why they picked the map, believing in themselves and turning the game around. How so? KRÜ Esports started the map with a 8-4 advantage in the first half. Most people might think it is impossible to turn this around without extra time. Not Gambit, they are ready for such occasions.

Chronicle’s 24 kills and 305 average combat score Skye proved to be better than NagZ’s 25 kills and 345 ACS Jett. Gambit won 9 incredibly well-played rounds in a row to finish the first map without giving a chance to KRÜ. However, KRÜ wasn’t here to give up so easily. On Ascent, KRÜ was led by Mazino’s 28 kills and 383 ACS Sova to win the first half 7-5, and end it on the second with a six-round streak, even after losing the first two rounds.

Which led to the amazing Bind, one of the greatest fights at Champions 2021. KRÜ started with a 8-4 advantage on the defender's side. But let me remind you, GMB is used to this kind of pressure. Or, let this ace from Chronicle remind you how cold-blooded they are. At 11-9, this crazy play stopped KRÜ from getting to the match point.

The extra time wouldn’t end so quickly. The teams looked so balanced that Thanos would be jealous. However, in the end, Gambit managed to win two more than KRÜ, ending the series at 18-16. Aside from the series itself, Chronicle’s 68 kills and 262 ACS performance in three maps became one that would be unforgettable.

Image via Riot Games

The grand finals of Champions 2021

Normally, these two series are important to guess what would happen in the finals. However, seeing what happened before, the teams might show a whole new different face of them. It’s exciting, really. After these two incredible series and of course, the marathon since December 1, Acend and Gambit secured the two tickets for the grand final at Berlin. It was an amazing ride, and both these teams look incredibly strong.

To comment about Acend, we must think about how they normally played and how that changed. cNed really did look like the superstar of the team, but against TL, starxo took over that position. That flexibility will be very valuable for the team in the BO5 grand final. Gambit is a team that loves the clutches and hard-to-execute aces.

Gambit Esports will put everything they have on the table. They’ve won a BO5 coming from the lower bracket against SMB before. They have defeated Team Envy 3-0 on a best of five before. GMB is ready for such an occasion. In my opinion, this is a very close race. That is also reflected in the betting odds for such an occasion.

If you enjoy VALORANT and you want to find the odds for the grand final of Champions 2021, check out the link below. You can bet on your favourite team and watch the game at Luckbox.

Acend (1.87) vs Gambit Esports (1.80) - December 12, 18.00 CET