Today is a huge day for South Asian Valorant: we'll know who our first APAC representative will be today between Enigma Gaming and Orangutan. We will also have to say goodbye to one of the two behemoths of Indian Valorant: Velocity Gaming and Global Esports. Day 4 of the SCS has the highest stakes for all of these teams and is arguably the most exciting day of the tournament so far.
SCS Day 4 Match 1: Orangutan Gaming vs Enigma Gaming
This is a match that is important because it decides SA's first representative in the APAC qualifiers for a chance to make it to VCT Masters Copenhagen. Both OG and EG have torn their way through the upper bracket to make it to this final, the winner of which gets to qualify.
OG chose Icebox as the first map and started on attack here but Enigma's defense was looking pretty steady as they closed out the first half at a standoff of 6-6. The second half also had lots of back and forth with Vibhor and Ghost both clutching up 1v3s on round 16 and 17 respectively. The map ended up going into overtime but OG was able to take it home 14-12.
The second map which Enigma opted for was Ascent, one where they're fairly comfortable and have a good track record on. OG though, starting on defense, did a fantastic job. Persia and Tesseract managed to lock down several areas on the map in conjunction and helped OG achieve a 7-5 half. However, Enigma managed to hold strong on defense and eventually win the map out 13-11. Antidote was the bulwark which OG broke against, and enabled EG to make plays to get them to a third map.
Finally, the decider being Haven, had OG starting on defense. They seemed to struggle quite a bit as Enigma crashed through them with their Fade and Skye util. The half ended 8-4, and while OG tried to bring it back, they couldn't manage to gain any momentum and ultimately ended up losing 7 to 13. This pushes them to the lower bracket and they'll be playing against the winners of 'Val Classico.'
SCS Day 4 Match 2: Velocity Gaming vs Global Esports
This was one of the most eagerly anticipated matchups of this tournament. Both Velocity and Global have been the two teams representing South Asia in APAC before and they were fan favorites to qualify. However, only one of these two teams has a chance to make it to the APAC event while the other will be eliminated from the tournament. There is a lot on the line here for both these teams here. GE got the first map pick of their choice, Bind, while VLT went in for Breeze. The decider map was Haven.
On Bind, GE looked incredibly strong on attack as they managed to win three rounds in succession post the first two. VLT seemed like they could break their momentum as they won their third round but after that, GE took 6 straight rounds in a row to close out the half at 9-3. Lightningfast even managed to get an ace in the tenth round and GE were looking unstoppable. In the second half though, VLT stepped up their game and won 4 straight rounds in succession. Things looked tense as the rounds kept going back and forth after that with VLT poised to take the map to overtime at 11-12. However, GE managed to win the final round they needed to take Bind 13-11.
The second map was Velocity's pick and they were definitely feeling the pressure there as they were one map loss away from being eliminated. In contrast, GE seemed almost relaxed, even going in for a slightly unconventional pick of Reyna on Breeze. They seemed extremely confident and with GE starting off on defense, they started racking up rounds again in quick succession similar to their momentum on Bind. They managed to constantly gain advantage against VLT both in terms of alive players and map control, and ended the first half again with a scoreline of 9-3. Velocity started to try and mount a comeback next round by taking the pistol but they lost the bonus after that and just couldn't find any kind of success as GE took the next three rounds to end the game at a dominating 13-4, successfully eliminating their long-time rivals.
Exclusive: Why VLT Lost, according to their team captain/IGL Amaterasu
I had a chance to speak to Anuj 'Amaterasu' Sharma (and his amazing wife Radhika) after their elimination from SCS. He attributed this to a variety of factors, mostly that they had too little time to prepare for this tournament after the variety of roster changes. With Vibhor leaving and MW1 being on the playing team full-time, they had to quickly swap a lot of the player roles and didn't really have enough time to practice. They still put up a good performance, qualifying for the offline event, beating teams like Revenant and Full Power Gaming 2-0. This is a man who's been in the pro scene for the past 15 years, constantly grinding and working his way into the history books. While being heartbroken about this loss, he nevertheless remains confident in his and VLT's abilities in the future. They have some months before the official Valorant Competitive SA circuit begins again and they should be able to improve their team's cohesion.
Tomorrow will be the decider match for the final spot in the APAC tournament, where GE and OG will face off, with the loser being eliminated.