Editors note: This story has been updated to show that Bren Esports will not attend the tournament.
Following months of qualifier after qualifier (after an even bigger qualifier), we’ve reached the end of summer and its final destination: VALORANT Masters Berlin.
There will be 15 of the best teams in the world from seven regions (after Bren Esports’ visa issues) that embark to Germany to capture the trophy and automatic qualification to the upcoming world championship. As a bonus, the winning team will also secure an extra spot at Champions, for their respective region.
As we count down to curtain opening in Berlin, I will guide you through each of the 15 teams vying for masters victory about their roster, map pool and the burning questions surrounding them.
100 Thieves starting lineup
Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk (United States)
Agents played (past 60 days): Jett (16 maps), Reyna (14), Phoenix (3), Raze (1)
Signature agent: Reyna
Stats on Reyna (past 60 days):
- 294.3 Average Combat Score
- 1.35 Kill:Death ratio
- 1.01 Kills Per Round
- +2 First Kills-to-First Deaths (54 FK, 52 FD)
Ethan “Ethan” Arnold (United States)
Agents played (past 60 days): Skye (19), Omen (8), Sage (6)
Signature agent: Skye
Stats on Skye (past 60 days):
- 205.2 ACS
- 1.03 K:D
- 0.73 KPR
Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella (United States)
Agents played (past 60 days): Omen (22), Viper (8), Astra (4)
Signature agent: Omen
Stats on Omen (past 60 days):
- 198.4 ACS
- 1.19 K:D
- 0.75 KPR
Spencer “Hiko” Martin (United States)
Agents played (past 60 days): Sova (24), Viper (9), Breach (1)
Signature agent: Sova
Stats on Sova (past 60 days):
- 191.0 ACS
- 1.05 K:D
- 0.65 KPR
Joshua “steel” Nissan (Canada)
Agents played (past 60 days): Killjoy (11), KAY/O (9), Cypher (9), Skye (3), Jett (1)
Signature agent: KAY/O
Stats on KAY/O (past 60 days):
- 194.9 ACS
- 0.91 K:D
- 0.65 KPR
The Stage 3 Map Pool
Breeze: 5-1, 83% (54% Attack Round Win, 62% Defense Round Win)
Ascent: 4-1, 80% (53% ATK, 59% DEF)
Icebox: 5-3, 63% (58% ATK, 54% DEF)
Haven: 6-5, 55% (54% ATK, 50% DEF)
Split: 1-2, 33% (29% ATK, 48% DEF)
Bind: 0-1, 0% (33% ATK, 58% DEF)
My player to watch: Ethan
When it was announced that Ethan, a top North American Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player, was making the switch over to VALORANT, it felt almost underreported.
Sure, he joined a team full of stars, and him taking the starting spot of up-and-coming duelist Quan “dicey” Tran seemed to be the more significant talking point, but it’s almost as if people forgot how good he was at CS when he switched.
While his early months transferring had their hiccups and growing pains, Ethan has come into his own since the Berlin qualifiers began. 100 Thieves needed a secondary carry next to their ace Asuna, and Ethan has taken over that role with his devastating Skye. A team that was once reliant on Asuna to open up space or crumble has transformed into a group where Ethan can be the necessary, secondary spear that can make things happen for the Thieves.
Ethan might not be the player everyone is discussing heading into Berlin, but if his current trajectory continues, he might be the one everyone is talking about by the end.
The big question going into Berlin: Will 100 Thieves’ LAN experience lead them to glory?
Since 100 Thieves formed and Hiko announced he would sign with the team, his fans and the community-at-large have been waiting to see the Counter-Strike veteran step on the stage one more time. From there, we’ve witnessed several CS pros come over to the 100 Thieves lineup, now flaunting a combined decade-plus of LAN experience. Even Asuna, their teenage fragging ace, while nowhere near the levels of a Hiko or nitr0, has had LAN experience at events like Fragadelphia.
100 Thieves are a team that prides itself on coming alive and playing their best when offline and on the big stage, and they’ll have their shot to prove it at Masters Berlin. It was only two years ago when Ethan won Counter-Strike’s IEM One: New York with Evil Geniuses and nitr0 captured the IEM Grand Slam on Team Liquid in Cologne, Germany.
Nitr0 already has a golden memory of winning a large-scale tournament in Germany. We’ll see him if he can do it again, this time 350 miles north in Berlin.
In Berlin, 100 Thieves should be aiming for: Top four, finish above Envy
Every team in Berlin will want to lift the trophy. However, for many, this is also a prime opportunity to lock down a spot at the world championship in late November. 100 Thieves can grab their ticket if they make a deep run and finish higher than one of their NA rivals, Envy.
The LAN experience of 100 Thieves should benefit them against a slew of teams who will be playing in such high-pressure conditions for the first time at Masters Berlin. Although a trophy would be nice and make them the odds-on favorites alongside Sentinels heading into Champions, the main goal should be securing a top-placing finish and ensuring Envy doesn’t one-up them in the process.
It has been a long wait for 100 Thieves to make it to LAN, and now we’ll see if they can pull off their greatest heist yet at Masters Berlin.
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