Crazy Raccoon's seeks their first Masters map win in Berlin
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Following months of qualifier after qualifier (after an even bigger qualifier), we’ve reached the end of summer and its final destination: VALORANT Masters Berlin.

There will be 15 of the best teams in the world from seven regions (after Bren Esports’ visa issues) that embark to Germany to capture the trophy and automatic qualification to the upcoming world championship. As a bonus, the winning team will also secure an extra spot at Champions, for their respective region.

As we count down to curtain opening in Berlin, I will guide you through each of the 15 teams vying for masters victory about their roster, map pool and the burning questions surrounding them.

Crazy Raccoon starting lineup

Crazy Raccoon Masters
Crazy Raccoon’s preview roster at Masters Reykjavík. | Provided by Riot Games

Hideki “Fisker” Sasaki (Japan)

Agents played (past 60 days): Jett (15), Reyna (4), Raze (1), Sova (1), Sage (1)

Signature agent: Jett

Stats on Jett (past 60 days):

  • 246.7 Average Combat Score
  • 1.13 Kill:Death
  • 0.85 Kills Per Round
  • +27 First Kills-to-First Deaths (73 FK, 46 FD)

Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom (South Korea)

Agents played (past 60 days): Skye (13), Killjoy (2), Phoenix (1)

Signature agent: Skye

Stats on Skye (past 60 days):

  • 236.2 ACS
  • 1.34 K:D
  • 0.84 KPR
  • -3 First Kills-to-First Deaths (25 FK, 28 FD)

Park “Bazzi” Jun-ki (South Korea)

Agents played (past 60 days): Sova (11), Breach (5), Jett (2)

Signature agent: Sova

Stats on Sova (past 60 days):

  • 229.2 ACS
  • 1.59 K:D
  • 0.78 KPR

Teppei “ade” Kuno (Japan)

Agents played (past 60 days): Omen (8), Viper (6), Astra (1)

Signature agent: Viper

Stats on Viper (past 60 days):

  • 181.2 ACS
  • 0.99 K:D
  • 0.52 KPR

An “Medusa” Min-cheol (South Korea)

Agents played (past 60 days): Sova (5), Skye (4), Phoenix (1)

Signature agent: Sova

Stats on Sova (past 60 days):

  • 222.0 ACS
  • 1.44 K:D
  • 0.88 KPR

Yusuke “neth” Matsuda (Japan)

Agents played (past 60 days): Sage (8), Astra (4), Omen (3), Killjoy (1), Raze (1)

Signature agent: Sage

Stats on Sage (past 60 days):

  • 184.1 ACS
  • 1.10 K:D
  • 0.68 KPR

Daiki “Minty” Kato (Japan)

Agents played (past 60 days): Killjoy (4), Jett (4), Sage (3), Cypher (1)

Signature agent: Sage

Stats on Sage (past 60 days):

  • 184.1 ACS
  • 1.10 K:D
  • 0.68 KPR

Stage 3 Map Pool

Ascent loading screen. | Provided by Riot Games

Icebox: 3-0, 100% (54% Attack Round Win, 81% Defense Round Win)

Breeze: 3-0, 100% (69% ATK, 50% DEF)

Bind: 1-0, 100% (80% ATK, 75% DEF)

Ascent: 6-2, 75% (54% ATK, 67% DEF)

Split: 3-1, 75% (53% ATK, 69% DEF)

Haven: 2-1, 66% (65% ATK, 74% DEF)

My player to watch: Munchkin

Crazy Raccoon Masters
Crazy Raccoon’s Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom. | Provided by Riot Games

There wasn’t much to cheer for if you were a Japanese VALORANT fan at the previous Masters event. Crazy Raccoon showed up, grabbed a cup of coffee and, before they could even finish it, they were back on the plane heading home. But one of the few bright spots for CR at that event was Munchkin, the Overwatch-turned-VALORANT pro who kept his team competitive in Iceland matches.

Munchkin can’t do it alone if CR has any hope of doing any better in Berlin, and the team around him has upgraded since their quick trip to Reyvkiviak in May. Fisker has come over to provide the lineup with a reliable Jett that Munchkin can play alongside in tandem. CR’s seven-man roster also allows the team to have team composition flexibility unlike few others playing at Masters.

The Raccoons will need Munchkin to put up big numbers once again to withstand a group containing both Gambit Esports and 100 Thieves, but hopefully, this go around, his reinforcements won’t force him to look like a one-man army.

The big question going into Berlin is: Can Crazy Raccoon’s seven-man lineup bring them that elusive map win?

After losing to ZETA DIVISION in the domestic championship and getting thrown into a problematic Berlin group, the goalposts have moved from advancing to the playoffs to a more reasonable achievement. At the end of their first Masters run, neth teared up in his post-tournament interview, tormented that the team couldn’t produce a single map win.

While beating either Gambit or 100T seems too grand of a task for such a short turnaround, a meeting with Brazil’s No. 2 seed Havan Liberty isn’t an impossible mountain to climb. Havan should be favored if the two sides meet, but CR might have better firepower between the pair. A map win or an actual match victory would be something the team could build upon moving forward as the Japanese VALORANT scene improves.

In Berlin, Crazy Raccoon should be aiming for: a map win

Crazy Raccoon Masters
Crazy Raccoon’s Matsuda “neth” Yusuke. Provided by Riot Games

Nothing less will do. Neth couldn’t stomach how their initial international experience ended, and though the odds of advancing are improbable, a map win is a landmark they must accomplish in Germany. No one wants to be the team that went to back-to-back LANs and exited both without seeing the victory screen once.

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Tyler Erzberger is entering a decade of covering esports. When not traveling around the world telling stories about people shouting over video games, he’s probably arguing with an anime avatar on Twitter about North American esports.