LOUD have secured their spot in the top four of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 LOCK//IN Brazil tournament, eliminating NRG 2-1. After two overtime maps, with map three going to quintuple overtime, the match proved to be the closest one yet in VCT 2023.
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) February 19, 2023
The closest series yet at the LOCK//IN tournament is between NRG and LOUD
Despite the first map of Split being a romp for LOUD over NRG, the rest of the series brought the close, top-tier VALORANT gameplay we expected. Both Pearl and Fracture went to overtime, with the third map going the distance. It took a lot of effort from both teams to get to that position. NRG had to shake a 13-3 loss off their minds quickly, and they did so with a 15-13 win on Pearl.
Then, when they built a 10-5 lead on Fracture, it seemed like NRG had completed their comeback. However, LOUD in-game leader Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro knew they could fight back with that same strength they showed in Champions from 2022.
“For us, it’s not over till it’s over,” saadhak said. “We’re going to keep trying until the map is done, and it showed in that comeback.”
LOUD fought back to take it to overtime and went through five different overtime rounds before finally winning it all. If there was one thing that showed in this series, it was that both teams filled players around their respective cores extremely well heading into 2023.
“Both teams did a good job of filling in spaces that were left from the previous year,” NRG’s in-game leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta said. “It showed in this series, it was a close game that could’ve gone either way.”
LOUD continuing success from 2023
With this clash of titans so early on in the tournament, it was a tough match for both teams. LOUD, coming out on top, was a great thing to see from their coach’s perspective. Not only was it a win, but it was a great sign early on in the VCT 2023 season.
“We had to get ourselves accustomed to the roles we have and the changes we’ve made,” LOUD head coach Daniel “fRoD” Montaner said, “especially since I’ve gotten a more significant role in the team, and we’ve worked really hard. We wanted to get a lot of experience and get the results to play out as they will. I’m really happy with our progression, and the future is really bright.”
LOUD will face the winner of DRX and Talon Esports much later in this tournament. This is due to sixteen more teams in the other half of the bracket.