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.
Envy starting lineup
Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker (United States)
Agents played (past 60 days): Jett (26 maps), Reyna (4), Sage (2)
Signature agent: Jett
Stats on Jett (past 60 days):
- 289.9 Average Combat Score
- 1.44 Kill:Death ratio
- 1.01 Kills Per Round
- +65 First Kills-to-First Deaths (137 FK, 72 FD)
Victor “Victor” Wong (United States)
Agents played (past 60 days): Raze (13), Skye (8), Phoenix (6), Reyna (4), Sova (1)
Signature agent: Raze
Stats on Raze (past 60 days):
- 227.1 ACS
- 1.05 K:D
- 0.75 KPR
- -4 First Kills-to-First Deaths (33 FK, 37 FD)
Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen (Canada)
Agents played (past 60 days): Omen (14), Astra (12), Viper (6)
Signature agent: Omen
Stats on Omen (past 60 days):
- 214.0 ACS
- 1.19 K:D
- 0.79 KPR
Austin “crashies” Roberts (United States)
Agents played (past 60 days): Sova (29), Reyna (1), Skye (1), Cypher (1)
Signature agent: Sova
Stats on Sova (past 60 days):
- 216.1 ACS
- 1.20 K:D
- 0.75 KPR
Pujan “FNS” Mehta (Canada)
Agents played (past 60 days): Killjoy (23), Viper (9)
Signature agent: Killjoy
Stats on Killjoy (past 60 days):
- 195.0 ACS
- 1.05 K:D
- 0.69 KPR
Stage 3 Map Pool
Ascent: 6-1, 86% (48% Attack Round Win, 64% Defense Round Win)
Bind: 5-1, 83% (67% ATK, 60% DEF)
Haven: 7-3, 70% (60% ATK, 57% DEF)
Icebox: 2-2, 50% (59% ATK, 53% DEF)
Breeze: 0-3, 0% (56% ATK, 31% DEF)
Split: 0-2, 0% (29% ATK, 25% DEF)
My player to watch: yay
Could it be anyone other than “El Diablo” himself? Envy, aside from Sentinels, have been the most consistent team in North America all year long, but they were stagnant in that position. They were getting to the semifinals and regarded as one of the better teams in the region, but they could never quite surpass that mark.
NV needed an element to take them over that self-imposed blockade, and yay, on his Jett, flew right over that obstacle. His confidence in taking one-on-one duels and carving out a quick advantage for his allies was just the variable needed to get Envy into a position to challenge the world’s best.
In a tournament chock-full of superstar Jett players who have also needed that leading dagger to push their squads to Berlin, we’ll get to see how yay ranks with the best of best. Rematches with Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk and Tyson “TenZ” Ngo are already exciting prospects.
But what about Brazil’s young phenom Olavo “heat” Marcelo?
Turkey’s frightening pair of Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek and Baran “Izzy” Yılmaz?
Southeast Asia’s monster Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto?
To really solidify that El Diablo nickname, yay will have to slay a mob of demons in Germany.
The big question going into Berlin: Can Envy’s massive talent outweigh the lack of time practicing as a team?
The positive of adding yay on such short notice following his exit from Andbox is evident. Yet, there is a downside, and that is it’s going to take time for him to synchronize with the rest of his teammates fully.
Yay’s Jett was dazzling in the qualifiers, and his opening kills were one of the biggest reasons Envy is playing in Masters Berlin. Sometimes, however, the team didn’t feel as polished as previous Envy squads, where their discipline and tactics from longtime in-game leader FNS were paramount to their consistent placings.
It’s not a question of whether yay fits a team role: he does, and the rest of NV doesn’t have to bend backward to learn new positions to appease him.
Crashies is one of the best Sovas in the world. Yay’s signing has freed Victor from needing to be the team’s ace, and in turn, he can excel as a secondary duelist and flex player to create a world-class carry duo. Marved is already one of the better aggressive controller players in the world and is only going to get better with yay in front of him. And FNS, the IGL, now has a roster of riches to plot and use as chess pieces on the board as NV’s anchor and shot caller.
With this starting five NV, can win international titles. It’s more of a question of how long it’ll take for them to come together to reach that potential and if they can get close to it by the time Berlin begins.
In Berlin, Envy should be aiming for: Top four, finish above 100 Thieves
Envy’s final form, so to speak, probably isn’t getting unleashed at Masters Berlin. Their mission should be to touch down in Germany, use their immense talent advantage to slap around a lot of the weaker teams in the competition and then look to take their opening playoff game.
For Envy, they’re competing head-to-head with 100 Thieves to see which team will grab that second ticket to the world championship from North America, and their placings here will decide it. There is a world where everything comes together for Envy at Masters Berlin and they make the final. But being more realistic, Envy currently holds the circuit point advantage over 100T. So, as long as they make it into the semifinals (per usual) and the Thieves don’t make the final, they’re going to Champions with two months of preparation to reach that tantalizing full potential.
All stats for this article provided by vlr.gg