Following Team Liquid’s 2-0 victory over Cloud9 Blue in the VCT Champions quarterfinals, the EU team’s headshot machine Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom stated that his region’s great performance at the first official VALORANT world championship was unavoidable.
“I think it was just a matter of time, to be honest,” he said of Europe’s dominance in Champions. “Obviously, NA won the first Masters, but I knew they weren’t the greatest tactically.” I’m talking more about Sentinels [here]—I especially like C9 and Envy. They can compete with any EMEA squad, but we came out on top this time. I’m quite proud of our region; everyone performed an excellent job.”
— VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA (@valesports_eu) December 8, 2021
At Champions, ScreaM and Europe have a lot to be proud of. All four EMEA teams—Liquid, Gambit, Fnatic, and Acend—were placed in separate groups and finished as top seeds in their respective groups. Acend and Liquid have both advanced to the semifinals, where they will square off in a rematch of last month’s Red Bull Home Ground finals, which Liquid won 3-1.
However, not everyone had a nice day at Champions; North America fell far short of expectations. Sentinels won Masters Reykjavik and Envy advanced to the grand finals of Masters Berlin, however both teams were eliminated in the final match of their respective group stages here at Champions, losing to KRU Esports and X10 CRIT, accordingly. Cloud9 Blue advanced to the playoffs after a close victory over Korea’s Vision Strikers, but were defeated by ScreaM and Liquid today, despite a valiant effort from C9’s Nathan “leaf” Orf.
— VALORANT Champions Tour NA (@valesports_na) December 8, 2021
ScreaM was astonished with Leaf’s performance on Bind and Ascend, admitting that they had to call a few timeouts to “cool things down a bit” after some of his amazing rounds. Despite ScreaM’s staunch view that Europe is the superior tactical region, he does not believe that NA’s dismal performance at Champions reflects the region’s skill level.
“I think EMEA is better than NA, but I think they all had a really horrible tournament.” I’m not counting Envy since they had the COVID [problem with] Victor, so I don’t think they played at all. C9 played incredibly well, they were a pretty good team, and they showed it again today. And, yes, I believe the Sentinels underperformed, as evidenced by their loss to KRU, but any team is dangerous. Nobody may be taken lightly here. Unlucky.”
ScreaM has played on a lot of dangerous teams during his lengthy CS:GO career, most notably on several premier French squads for the likes of G2 and Envy. While he earned the nickname “headshot machine,” he never stuck in one place for too long and never won the Valve-sponsored Major.
With almost a decade of experience under his belt and now playing with his brother Nivera on a team with “amazing” chemistry, becoming the first official VALORANT champion couldn’t have come at a better time.
“When you’re in your late thirties, as I am, I’m quite proud if this happens.” Winning this Champions would mean everything to me, especially now that I’m alongside my brother and have some extra drive. I had a great career in CS, but it obviously did not go as planned, but I always strive to stay mentally strong, and I’m extremely thrilled to be playing with this team right now. The chemistry we share, as well as the respect I receive from everyone, is wonderful. “I’m quite fortunate.”
Liquid and Acend will square off in the VCT Champions semifinals on Saturday, December 11 at 11 a.m. CT.