The Valorant portion of Carry 2 College began with two goals in mind; maximize efforts and display unique skill sets to college teams looking for new roster additions. Talent could be found in bulk over the course of the two day event. Division 1 featured the best 8 teams of the rosters competing. Let’s begin the C2C weekend breakdown with a couple of notable stories from the Group stage that took place on Saturday, starting with Division 2. Groups - Division 2
A Team of Free Agents Sweep Their Group
Entering a tournament as a free agent can be risky. There is no guarantee for a spot and when you get one, you have limited time to learn teammate habits and establish chemistry. “Team Evolution”, made up of juice_, Kin3tic, masvalorant, Miku, and wasdTalyor, received their teammate assignments within 48 hours of the event beginning. Although roles and similar rank is considered when teams are created, success can still be a difficult hill to climb.
Team Evolution clearly adopted the meaning behind the name they were given and got better as the Group stage progressed. A nail biting 19-17 overtime win to kick off the first round was huge for their confidence and also allowed the newly formed squad to get some reps in. They followed it up with another close one, defeating PAX East Showcase finalists Skull Emoji x7 (14-12), and finished a perfect 3-0 on the day with their win over another free agent team, Cyberpunks (13-8). Kin3tic led the way for Team Evolution, with a solid 1.67 KDA ratio including a 33 kill performance in Round 1.
Groups - Division 1 Red Sharks Didn’t Start Red-Hot Coming in as a number 1 seed overall in the largest online event of the season for Stay Plugged In is a pretty tough mark to hit. Red Sharks came into the event with four Radiants on their roster, including orly and jos3tu with pro experience in the Latin American circuit of VCT. Their talent is unreal, but they would need to come together with teammates that they don’t typically enter tournaments with. They would dominate their first match 13-2, but dropped their second and third matches by the same 8-13 count and dropped to a number 5 seed entering day two.
Jitterbugs Don’t Mind the Lower Than Usual Starting Seed
The Jitterbugs have been virtually unbeatable in the Stay Plugged In weekly Valorant tournaments, Road to Radiant (More information on the next weekly tournament can be found here). Rolling in as an 8th Seed at first glance seems unusual for how well they typically perform. There was just too much talent to consider them any higher upon seeding the bracket. Yet not a single complaint from the regulars. They dove head first into groups and let their actions speak for them. 13-4 over a familiar Road to Radiant Team, Zoomer Aim, followed by 13-11 and 13-7 wins over Lurk Academy and Astronauts respectively. Omni Performance of Division 1 and Evolution of Division 2 were the only other teams who ended up sweeping their groups without a FF win.
Bracket - Division 2
The Battle of the Two Free Agent Teams
The stage was set for a dueling battle between Evolution and Cyberpunks in the Division 2 bracket. The two free agent teams kicked off the battle in the Upper Final, and being the first time the two teams saw each other, there was no true advantage given in map 1 of the tilt. Evolution kept a lead for a majority of the first map, though Cyberpunk went round for round with the undefeated group stage titans. Cyberpunk fought for the eight rounds that they were able to secure, but Evolution were incrementally stronger on site takes from both the attackers side and from retakes on the defensive side. Kin3tic continued as the fragging phenomena in the Evolution Upper Final win. At a 24/12/7 KDA in the match he earned another map MVP spot, with only his teammate masvalorant reaching the 20 kill mark.
Cyberpunks would gain a bit of confidence back in the Lower Final with their win over the red-hot “Iron” squad (13-8) and the rematch against Evolution would be theirs. Unfortunately for them, it didn’t seem like they showed up. A limited number of instances of solo talent were seen from the Cyberpunks roster in the Grand Final, but they just seemed a bit uncoordinated. Round after round went by with Evolution on top, and at the end of the 13-1 map, Evolution became the first free agent team in Carry 2 College history to win their division bracket. Congratulations to Team Evolution for their 2022 Carry 2 College Division 2 title for Valorant!
Bracket - Division 1
All First Rounds in Uppers and Lowers were Upsets A group performance will not always set your fate for Championship Sunday, and the Division 1 bracket was a prime example of this. Finishing as the number 1 seed in their respective groups sent Omni Performance and Jitterbugs to the Upper Final out of the gate. As the higher original seed of the two, Omni Performance was favored in the match, and yet Jitterbugs continues to win big games as we’ve continuously seen in the Stay Plugged In network. As chaotic as the final aggressive attack on the C-site of Haven was, Jitterbugs got the job done in overtime to advance to the Grand Final through the top side of the bracket. We saw a shakeup in the lower bracket between the teams finishing second and third in their groups and there are a couple of reasons why this was predictable. First, every game was close. Every match involving teams who qualified for Championship Sunday was incredibly close and two of those matches hit overtime. Secondly, Red Sharks and Lurk Academy came in originally predicted to win their groups and based on the Group stage, found themselves as the underdogs in the round. Both teams would go on to win their first matches, Red Sharks over Astronauts (13-8) and Lurk Academy over Smile Factory (13-6). Red Sharks Lower Bracket Push Falls Just Short
As mentioned above, the Red Sharks’ two losses in the Group stage were extremely uncharacteristic of the Latin American stars. When it came to the bracket, their competitive instinct kicked in. Following their first round win, they entered a heated Lower Semifinal match against Lurk Academy. Despite Beefy of Lurk Academy dropping a 30-bomb (31 Kills), the match would come down to a battle of intel. Orly would recover from a relatively silent performance in the Lower Quarterfinals with a solid showing as Chamber. Combine that with the consistent and effective Sova utility usage from Shadoww and we can safely state that team play was the ultimate difference in the Red Sharks victory (13-10). Unfortunately for the Red Sharks, they fell to Omni Performance in the Lower Final (13-10). Omni Performance vs. Jitterbugs Grand Final - The Rematch
Advancing through the top side of the bracket meant Jitterbugs needed just one map out of two to add another tournament (granted a much bigger tournament) win to their Stay Plugged In resumé. It was clear early, however, that Omni Performance didn’t plan on making it easy. Despite Jitterbugs running out to a 7-4 lead just before the half of map 1 (Bind). The mood would change shortly after as Omni Performance would win five straight rounds to jump to a 9-7 lead. The Jitterbugs would win only one more round, as the Omni squad and their unbreachable defense strategy on Bind allowed them to complete their massive 9-1 run to win map 1 and force the Bracket reset.
The final map to decide the Summer C2C Division 1 Champion for Valorant would also be on Bind, and again, we saw an early Jitterbugs lead. It is already pretty impressive to take down the Jitterbugs. Talk about low odds on seeing another comeback. The deficit at the half for Omni Performance was just three rounds on map 2, and you could sense that all teammates were reminding each other that it was the same score heading into the half on map 1. Plus, they were moving to defense again and the entire first half screamed déjà vu. Another streak from Omni Performance would confirm the theory, as they jump out to the 9-7 count again. Jitterbugs worked it back to 9-8 and got the spike down in round 18 when attempting to equalize. The Omni Performance defense was too strong on trades on the retake for Jitterbugs to handle, and that pivotal round would be the last push that they were able to make. Omni Performance are your 2022 Summer Carry 2 College Division 1 Champions for Valorant!