The internet reacts to Team Secret's rise and demise against Gambit
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Team Secret were considered the underdogs against VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 3: Masters Berlin winners Gambit. The Filipino team qualified for Masters Berlin as well, but were unable to attend due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions. At Champions, they will finally had the chance to prove themselves against the best, and immediately faced the top favorites in their very first game.

However, Gambit faced a harsh reality when Team Secret started running away with rounds on the first map, Icebox. And, while Gambit are historically good on Icebox with a 78 percent win rate, Team Secret, also have a good rate on the icy map with 77 percent.

So, when Team Secret went up 6-1 and eventually entered halftime at 8-4 against one of the event’s favorites, the internet was already in full upset mode.

Team Secret kick off the hype

“The underdog mentality. WE’RE HUNGRY,” Team Secret said.

“IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING,” Vision Strikers said.

“Team Secret is playing on the strength of hate,” Gabriel “v1xen” Martins said through a machine translation.

Team Secret takes Map 1

After taking Icebox 13-6, even the titans of VALORANT were impressed at Team Secret’s showing against Gambit.

“TEAM SECRET HUH,” Sentinels player Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan said.

“Don’t underestimate Team Secret,” Sentinels player Tyson “TenZ” Ngo said.

Team Liquid player Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom also looked impressed. “Wow what a first map by Secret,” he said.

Geo “Geo” Collins, caster for various VCT events, shared some of her insights as well:

“Things I’d have liked to have seen in Icebox:

  • GMB use more A site smoke screens for post-plants
  • GMB invest more into denying mid to TS’s defence
  • GMB pressuring mid more on their own defence to force flankwatch + harder rotates for TS
  • TS rifle rounds to be less SCARY”

Geo also followed-up on this tweet, commenting that it was “time for Breeze to be the HARDCORE COMEBACK.” And a hardcore comeback it was. Gambit did not hold back and promptly proceeded to 13-0 Team Secret.

Team Secret remain lighthearted

Having won Icebox, Team Secret tweeted a call-out to the doubters who said they’d be 13-0’d. That tweet ended up aging like milk, but Team Secret kept their chins up with some humor.

“Taking Icebox from Gambit just to get 13-0’d right after,” Team Secret said.

Spencer “Hiko” Martin takes some heat

100 Thieves player Hiko received some heat from Team Secret fans after tweeting about the 13-0 loss against Gambit.

“Ouch, 13-0,” he said. He followed up with a tweet explaining that he is a fan of Team Secret and that it’s cool to see a Filipino team at Champions, but the damage had already been done. The replies to his initial tweet were… a little salty.

Finding Solidarity in hard times

G2 Esports player Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas and Rise player Kevin “poised” Ngo took solace in the fact that they shared the 0-13 fate. G2 had been taken down 13-0 by Gambit at Masters Berlin, while Rise were destroyed by Cloud9 on Split during the North American Last Chance Qualifier.

Team Secret go down

The rounds were initially much closer on the third map, Bind. But, towards halftime, Gambit started overwhelming Team Secret once again.

“Pictures taken before disaster,” Team Secret said with a screenshot of a highlight moment by Gambit player Igor “Redgar” Vlasov. He took down Team Secret’s Riley “witz” Go and Kevin “Dispenser” Te in a 1v2 in a fraction of a second.

After a 7-5 halftime in favor of Gambit, Team Secret got one more round in before Gambit took six in a row and knocked Team Secret to the lower bracket.

“We defied expectations,” Team Secret tweeted at the conclusion of the match. “We proved that SEA teams can be a contender on the world stage. We’ll be back on Sunday for our Elimination Match. Thank you for supporting us.”

Michael Kloos is a Dutch esports journalist and enthusiast with a particular like of Rocket League and VALORANT. He is also an avid fantasy/sci-fi reader and writer. He spends most of his time trying not to be in the real world.