Which of Team Liquid or SMG will earn the right to face G2 Gozen in the 2023 Game Changers lower bracket final.
It's Team Liquid Brazil vs Team SMG GC to kick off an action-packed day at the 2023 Game Changers Championship. Both sides find themselves within touching distance of a Top 3 finish and moving one step closer to reaching the final here in Sao Paulo.
Team Liquid Brazil (TL)
Team SMG GC (SMG)
Haven (9 - 13)
Bind (13 - 7)
Ascent (13 - 10)
(2 - 1)
Team Liquid and SMG battle it out for the right to face G2 Gozen in the lower bracket final
Despite losing in their opening match of the tournament, Team Liquid Brazil have gone on a rampage through the lower bracket. Seeing off Evil Geniuses GC and BBL Queens to get to this point. Though they have already secured a Top 4 finish at this tournament, the Brazilians look poised to make it all the way, especially with the whole team performing at such a high level. Especially Joojina, who has been lighting up the Sao Paulo stage with an endless supply of highlight reel moments.
If she can continue to make the same sort of impact against SMG today, then the Brazilians are certain to reach the lower bracket final. But, that will be easier said than done against the APAC side.
Team SMG have already left their mark on this tournament with their now famous victory over Evil Geniuses in their first match. They suffered a slight setback in a tough loss against G2 Gozen but were able to bounce back in an effective fashion to take down KRU to claim their spot in the Top 4.
SMG now find themselves up against a very different kind of challenge as they will not only be battling against Team Liquid, but also the home crowd. If they are going to have any success against their opponents today they will have to find a way to stifle Liquid's mid-round calling; which has proven to be the difference maker in their previous matches. Which could come down to whether or not SMG can provide their main duelist enerii with the chance to do some real damage in early game situations.
Team Liquid Brazil VALORANT Roster:
- Natalia "daiki" Vilela (IGL)
- Vitoria "bizerra" Viera
- Paula "bstrdd" Naguil
- Leticia "Joojina" Paiva
- Isabeli "isaa" Esser
Team SMG GC VALORANT Roster:
- Abigail "Kohaibi" Kong (IGL)
- Odella "enerii" Abraham
- Alexy "Alexy" Francisco
- Kelly "shirazi" Jaudian
- Camille "Kamiyu" Enriquez
SMG come out swinging on Haven
The battle begins on Team SMG's map pick Haven. The APAC side go with a double-initiator setup consisting of Breach and Sova alongside and Astra. Whereas Team Liquid Brazil decide to stick with their double-controller combo from their last match.
Team Liquid take the opening pistol round thanks to the efforts of Issa and Joojina. The narrowly avoid losing their anti-eco round, which leads to them conceding an anti-bonus to SMG. The game turns into a battle of wits with SMG getting aggressive in the early game and Liquid trying to counter it with their mid-rounding. But as the half continues to progress it is advantage to SMG, with Kohaibi and enerii leading the charge on the kill front. And through their efforts the APAC side are able to take a narrow 7 - 5 lead into halftime.
SMG take the second pistol round as well their anti-eco, with enerii continuing her killing spree from the first half. They convert on their bonus round to break the double-digit mark as they leave Team Liquid in a dire situation. But with her team in need of a hero, Liquid's IGL Daiki comes up with a huge 4k to propel them back into the game. SMG manage to get themselves onto map point despite Liquid's sudden resurgence on their defense. And though it looked like the Brazilians might be able to stop the bleeding, shirazi pulls off a crucial 1 v 2 clutch to put an end to this chapter on Haven. With Team SMG taking the map 13 - 9 and giving themselves a 1 - 0 lead in the series.
Daiki and Joojina strike back for Team Liquid on Bind
Following on from their strong start on Haven, Team SMG head over Liquid's pick of Bind for map 2 of this series. And we are treated to a mirror matchup as both sides go with a double-controller setup alongside Chamber.
SMG get aggressive to take the opening pistol round and continue where they left off on Haven. They also secure their anti-eco, but find themselves facing the wrath of Daiki and Joojina, as Liquid race their way into the lead at 4 - 2. Enerii responds with some flashy moves of her own as she continues to rack up kills and keep SMG alive on their defense. But Joojina comes up with the goods once more for her side and ensure that Liquid take a 7 - 5 lead going into halftime.
Team Liquid take the second pistol round and secure their anti-eco as they increase their lead to 9 - 5. Issa comes up with a big clutch and deny shirazi and ace to galvanize the home crowd and get TL to double-digits. The Brazilians get themselves onto map point with plenty of wiggle room. And though SMG try to cobble up a heroic comeback, in the end it just wasn't meant to be. Resulting in Team Liquid taking Bind 13 - 7 to tie the match at 1 - 1.
Map 3: Ascent
With the match all tied up again, we head into Ascent for the third and final map of the series. The winner moves on to the lower bracket final, and the loser heads home. Both teams opt for the default double-initiator composition.
SMG come up with the opening pistol round only for Liquid to bounce back with an early thrifty to keep the game level. Daiki continues to be a menace for the SMG players to handle, with Issa and BSTRDD coming alive on their attack half on Ascent. The lead only continues to grow for Team Liquid which causes SMG to burn both of their timeouts in the first half. Though SMG are able to win a couple more rounds, following on from an incredible 4k from Issa, they are only able to half the deficit. Leaving Liquid to bring a well-earned 8 - 4 lead into the second half.
A last gasp clutch from Enerii is enough to secure the second pistol for SMG. But Team Liquid pull off another thrifty round as the Brazilians are able to maintain their four round advantage. They hit the 10 point mark off of a 3k from Bizerra, but Enerii comes up big for her team to provide SMG the means to mount a comeback. Liquid reach match point at 12 - 7, but SMG continue to hang on in this series by a thread. Enerii wills her team to the double digit mark with overtime seemingly in sight. But those hopes were soon dashed as Team Liquid Brazil collapsed in around them with one last defensive site retake. Enabling them to close out Ascent 13 - 10, the series 2 - 1 and book their place in the lower bracket final against G2 Gozen.
How to watch Team Liquid vs G2 Gozen VCT Game Changers Championship 2023:
VALORANT returns to Brazil, this time for the 2023 VCT Game Changers Championship. Eight of the world's best VALORANT teams are set to battle it out in their quest to claim the Game Changers crown for the 2023 season.