The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Regional Masters - SEA concluded with a super drawn out Bo5 series where X10 Esports emerged as champions. While X10 Esports were considered tournament favourites, the journey of lifting the crown was no easy task. Here’s our attempt at summarizing what went down among the best of Southeast Asia. 

Quarter Finals (Bo3s)

X10 Esports just looked absolutely clinical in their match against Team nxl> , despite the team nearly dropping their 2nd map after a crazy comeback victory. KPC were considered a relatively unknown team but managed to punish ArkAngel for attempting any form of experimentation on a stage as big as this. The showdown between BOOM Esports and Bren Esports though was poetic to say the least, as BOOM Esports managed to secure the win via the same round scores they lost with on Map 2. The last QF match would most certainly be one of the longest Bo3 series to date in SEA, with the first map especially requiring a couple of overtimes to finally settle the score. Team SMG managed to show that they were the hungrier ones at the end of that bout. 

Semifinals (Bo3s)

While KPC were considered a relatively unknown variable, X10 Esports stuck to their A-Game and played clinical VALORANT. X10 Esports showcased a dominant performance on Map 1, Split. On arguably a very defender sided map, X10 Esports were just snagging round after round off their opponents when attacking. When it came time to switch sides, KPC did their best to mount an offense against X10 Esports, but it just wasn’t enough. When it came to Map 2, Bind, KPC did their best to hold on, all things considered. While it was commendable to try something out of the box with their triple Duelist comp, X10 Esports managed to adjust themselves accordingly to advance to the Grand Final. 

When it came to BOOM Esports and Team SMG, fans were in for a treat. Both teams advanced through hard-earned 2-1 victories, and the eventual outcome was also the same here albeit in Team SMG’s favour. When it went to the third map, Haven, anything could have happened at the very end. In a high-pressure and intense 11 to 12 round score situation, it all poetically came down to a 1 v 1 scenario. ZesBeeW came out super clutch with his Jett to close out the series. Not to mention that there were just some super crazy individual stand-out plays from Team SMG too. 

It felt like BOOM Esports were just on the shorter end of the stick, as both teams did play well and it could have really gone any way. The last round can be aptly described via Team SMG’s JdFaker post-match interview where he mentioned, “Once I died, I reported what (info) I had to and I closed my eyes.” He described that it was a great game for both sides and that his team were very fortunate to have edged it out this time around. 

Grand Final (Bo5)

X10 Esports vs Team SMG (3 - 2)

Funnily enough, both teams were winning on maps that were chosen by their opponents

In Icebox, Team SMG had a rough start but managed an astounding recovery against X10 Esports. They managed to mount what was considered an unexpected win, on a map that X10 Esports play extremely well on. That being said, it was still a close map between both sides, with ZesBeeW arguably shining quite a fair bit more than others this time around. 

X10 Esports came back with a strong reply on Bind. They managed to dominantly close out the series 13 - 6, showcasing their ability to reset and not be fazed by the previous map outcome.

On Split, Team SMG managed to win the map in a very surprising fashion. While most maps are already considered defender sided by default, Split arguably feels even more so than the norm. This was evident when Team SMG started out on defense and managed to finish the first half with an 11 - 2 score. Despite this daunting score after switching sides, X10 Esports menacingly picked up steam, taking round after round before Team SMG managed to rake in 2 precious round victories. The map ended 8 - 13 in Team SMG’s victory. What made things even more surprising was that Team SMG won on an eco round where everything just fell into place, from skills to utility usage to completely outdo X10 Esports’ defense. 

Ascent was another nail-biter map as X10 Esports took the map via a convincing 13 - 10 result. While Team SMG started strong, ending the half 3 - 9, X10 Esports just refused to give up. They didn’t make it easy for Team SMG and managed to claw back to victory, round by round with exceptionally clean plays towards the end.

On the final map, Haven, X10 Esports had a great start as defenders. After switching sides, they were already up 9 - 3, with just 4 more rounds to go. Team SMG did their best to rack up their defense side wins. Unfortunately, X10 Esports managed to read their opponents well and constantly played around Team SMG’s potent Operator user, ZesBeeW. Not to mention, X10 Esports players had just enough standout clutch plays to inch it out against Team SMG in the very end. In the post-match interview, X10 Esports player, Crws also commended Team SMG as it could be seen that they did a lot of homework on them prior to this series. He added that it was a very hard comeback for the team. 

Final thoughts

It was a great tournament for any VALORANT fan at home watching. Not to mention that Team SMG was a last-minute inclusion to this tournament. Despite the circumstances, they were so close to achieving their own Cinderella story of clawing through every single encounter to emerge victorious against X10 Esports.

Team SMG were a last minute addition to the tournament and managed to reach the Grand Finals. Truly inspirational.

Alas, the pieces did not fall into place this time around, but they should keep their heads high as they have most certainly proved that they are truly one of the best in SEA as well. Kudos to X10 Esports for their amazing run as well. Not crumbling under any pressure as tournament favourites, they managed to deliver time and time again and deservedly emerged as champs in the end.

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