'Near Airport': The internet reacts to Cloud9 Blue and NA's departure from Champions
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On the first day of the VALORANT Champions quarterfinals on Wednesday, Cloud9 Blue, the final NA region team, lost to Team Liquid. This sparked global online commentary about disappointment in the North American teams’ Champs performance. From players, coaches, and official VALORANT Twitter accounts, everyone chimed in to talk about NA.

NA’s hopes all hinged on the matchup between Team Liquid and Cloud9 Blue, as the latter were the only NA team in the knockout rounds. After both Sentinels and Team Envy were knocked out in the group stages, it all hinged on Cloud9 to represent NA for the title. Alas, the European powerhouse Team Liquid showed off why they topped their group, winning a close 2-0 series. For both Bind and Ascent, the margin of victory was three or less, ending at 13-10 and 13-11 respectively. The second team eliminated from the quarterfinals also happened to eliminate another region from the competition.

Of course, this only adds to the rivalry between the NA and EMEA regions in esports. Despite Sentinels winning Masters 2, Gambit Esports won Masters 3. VALORANT Champions was the opportunity for Cloud9 Blue to bring NA back to the top. However, four European teams remain in the running while all NA teams have either fallen in groups or in the quarterfinals. Team Liquid will face EMEA team Acend in the semifinals. Alas, the internet reacted in the way it normally does, with memes and jokes, adding airport-related insult to airport-related injury.

Seth “Achillios” King, caster and analyst

“RIP NA’s last hope. Years later, this video yet again finds relevance,” said Seth “Achillios” King.

Rowan Crothers, Paralympic gold medalist and former VALORANT pro

Not a lot of talk from Rowan Crothers, just a simple “Near Airport.”

Sentinels official Twitter account

After their departure from Champions in groups, they posted a video to memorialize Tyson “TenZ” Ngo’s tweet that NA VALORANT is dead.

Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek, duelist for Acend

“NA, ‘Nearest Airport’, is known as the fastest region to arrive at the airport. Since they gave up on the Valorant Champions Berlin, they are investing in speedruns. In particular, they are current world record holders in Airport any % and Airport no wins,” said cNed.


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