Team Valor have secured a spot in the Main Stage of the TEC Gauntlet, beating Inazuma in a tightly contested three-map series with a 2-1 scoreline (13-8 Haven, 11-13 Bind, 13-10 Ascent).
Inazuma opted to bring back the Omen pick on Haven, as have many other teams after the latest update. Valor on the other hand, stayed true to the meta with a very conventional composition. Valor opted for quick B rush but found Inazuma’s defence to be too much for them as the latter bagged the pistol and the ensuing anti-eco. However, Inazuma were unable to stop Valor’s attacks once the full buy rolled in, with the Defenders earning just 5 kills in 4 rounds as Valor established a 4-2 lead. The two teams traded rounds, which meant Valor went into the second half with a minor 7-5 lead. Valor pincered the Attackers from all angles, enabling them to retake the B site and defuse the spike with time left. Valor won the bonus round as well, shutting down Inazuma’s slow C split attempt. A triple kill from Pixelzz in the subsequent round saw Valor take up an 11-5 lead. Con3 clutched a 1v1 against Pixelzz at C in the following round to kickstart Inazuma’s comeback, with the Attackers winning two more rounds in succession to cut the lead into half. However, Valor soon reached map point and the Defenders shut down Inazuma’s C take on a force buy to close out Haven 13-8, with Sharan ‘Buster’ Dave copping a crucial triple kill.
As Bind arrived, Inazuma went for a post-plant heavy composition, fielding Sova, Brimstone and the Viper pick alongside the two duelists in Jett and Raze. Valor opted for an identical lineup but it was Inazuma who struck first, throwing Valor off with Viper’s Toxic Screen at A and opting to rush B. Once the full-buy rolled in, Valor started showing signs of dominance, winning four rounds in succession once again. Inazuma found temporary respite in the form of a successful A push on the back of the Toxic screen and winning the post-plant. Valor though, resumed their streak, winning three on trot, establishing a 7-3 lead. A triple kill clutch from f1redup at B produced Inazuma’s fourth but Valor won the last round of the half to go into the second with an 8-4 lead. Ishpreet ‘HuntR’ Chadha almost clutched the pistol for Valor with a quad-kill but couldn’t get the spike down on time. A quick A rush from Valor saw them pick up a thrifty and race to a 10-5 lead one more time. This time around though, Inazuma were up to the task and made a comeback to level up the scores at 11-11. Thereafter, two flashes of individual brilliance carried Inazuma to the map win on Bind. A flashy quadkill from f1redup saw Inazuma take the lead and move to map point. Omkar09 produced a quadkill on the following one to secure a 13-11 scoreline.
Inazuma decided to run the Viper and Omen composition on Ascent, sacrificing a Sentinel whereas Valor opted for a conventional lineup. Inazuma kept up the tradition established in the series thus far, winning the pistol and the ensuing round whereas Valor picked up pace as the full-buy rolled in. However, Valor’s streak did not stop at four this time around, with Inazuma running into Valor’s setups and dead ends. The Game starred with a triple kill on the 7th round as Valor shut down Inazuma’s A hit. Inazuma found no solution, with Valor recording five Flawless victories in the first-half ending it with a massive 10-2 lead. Omkar09 clutched the 1v1 at A to defuse the spike and nab the pistol for Inazuma. Valor won their first buy round of the second half with a rush towards the B site. Inazuma though, made a comeback, tightening their defence and not allowing Valor to even plant the spike on two occasions as the score read 11-10 in Valor’s favour. Valor opted to take A control through the A short area and a push towards the gardens yielded them the round, with The Game coming up clutch with a triple. On map and series point, Valor got the plant down on A with the help of a zoning Cosmic Divide and a triple kill from HuntR secured a 13-10 win on Ascent.
The Game was the absolute star with distinction for the series, bagging the WD Black MVP of the series award, with 71 kills to his name over the three maps, with an Average Combat Score of 300.