It’s been an amazing year for Valorant esports, with teams starting to take shape, the meta filling out, and international LANs back in full swing.
Ahead, we’ll recap our six favorite moments from this year in Valorant.
Disagree? Did we miss one? Let us know in the comments!
Nivera’s first round Ace
Team Liquid’s newest member, Nivera, landed with a bang on the professional Valorant scene.
Brother of fellow Liquid member, ScreaM, Nivera had a lot of question marks heading into EMEA LCQ.
He put all of the doubters on notice in his first-ever professional round, scoring an Ace.
Liquid went on to win LCQ and make it to the semi-finals in Champions.
Soulcas’ knife fail
From an awesome Team Liquid move to an absolute fail.
Team Liquid were facing Version1 in Masters 2, when Soulcas had a god flank on V1’s Vanity (later signed by Cloud9).
Instead of taking the easy kill, Soulcas wanted to go for the knife on the main stage. Unfortunately, he got a little too close and blocked Vanity’s ability to move.
What happened next was pure hilarity.
Kru’s Champions run
KRU had been in the mix for all of the international Valorant events but hadn’t faired too well.
They only won a single game in Masters 2 and lost in the first round of the playoffs at Masters 3.
At champions, however, the team showed that they’re here to play. KRU upset Sentinels in the group stage to advance to the playoffs before upsetting Fnatic in the playoffs.
Unfortunately, the Cinderella story ended in the semi-finals, where KRU lost a slugfest to Gambit: 13-8 on Breeze, 7-13 on Ascent, and 16-18 on Bind.
Sentinels’ Masters 2 dominance
At the first international LAN event in Valorant history, teams from across the globe competed to show which team and region were the best.
When it was all said and done, one team rose above the rest: Sentinels from NA.
Sentinels ran the table beating Fnatic, Vikings, NUTURN, and Fnatic (again) without losing a single map.
Looking back, it seems like this could’ve been a bit of a mirage, but the message was clear coming out of Masters 2: Sentinels were the best team in the world.
G2 rent a plane
Following Sentintels’ Masters 2 dominance, everyone considered them the best team in the world.
Heading into the Masters 3 group stage and a matchup with G2, the latter team rented a plane to fly around Berlin with a banner that read, “F*CK SENTINELS.”
The two teams split their round-robin matchups and both qualified for playoffs.
Unfortunately, both would be taken out early and haven’t played one another since.
Acend winning Champions
What’s a list of the best moments of the year without highlighting the winner of the end-of-year Champions event.
Acend was quietly one of the favorites to win, but teams like Sentinels, Liquid, Envy, and Gambit were all flashier picks.
Through the group stage and the playoffs, Acend only lost three maps - two of which were to Gambit in the grand finals.
To add to their impressive resume, Acend took a 2-0 win over both Envy and Liquid on their way to the championship.
Now, Acend and Gambit look to be the two best teams in the world. NA has been wiped from memory.
Jianhua Chen/Riot Games