Road to Radiant | Week 22 Recap
Road to Radiant can be a tough journey for even the most polished competitors. Stay Plugged In’s weekly Valorant tournament hosted this past Wednesday amplified this reality. Seven of the eight teams competing had an average rank of Immortal or higher. Check out how Week 22 shaped up in our weekly breakdown.
Excluding the only team not averaging Immortal in rank, no team put up any less than nine round wins in their first match. This means all but one Round 1 match was decided by four rounds or less! Out of the chaos, previous winners “Jitterbugs” and newcomers “Collegiate Comrades” advance to play in one Semifinal match, and “Justice & Famous People” and “Starfall” in the other.
Having just clutched up in their Round 1 match against Red Vented in overtime, Collegiate Comrades were thrown into the next match with hardly a moment to celebrate. Jitterbugs had finished their match ten minutes prior, and were on a mission to take back the title that had eluded them a week prior. They would earn a trip to the Final with a (13-7) victory and send Collegiate Comrades packing.
Across the Semifinal bracket the battle of the #2 and #3 seeds, “Justice & Famous People” and “Starfall” respectively, failed to disappoint. Justice held down Haven with his play on Raze. Combining the Seize ability from their Fade, Xavier, duelist main Justice easily connected on his Paintshells and Showstopper shots and ended with a 20/14/3 K/D/A. Even that would not be enough against Starfall, who took the next four spots in top Kills race. Acez and gunny read the map so well that any strategy summoned by Justice and his squad would come up short. Starfall would win (13-9) and meet Jitterbugs in the Finals.
So Jitterbugs would run away with the finals, earn their title back, and Road to Radiant went back to its typical Jitterbugs dominated way, right?
In fact, Jitterbugs didn’t really have a chance to get started in this Final. Starfall was so locked in on their Split map defense. Jitterbugs were left scratching their heads, finding themselves down (0-5) through the first five rounds for the first time in a Road to Radiant match dating back to this past January. It didn’t get much better for the Bug’s. In round 6 they planted the spike with a 2-on-1 favorable player count, and still got bested by Gunny in a huge clutch to continue the momentum for Starfall. All credit in the world to this Starfall roster who continued to make unreal reads in the rounds to follow, including the two subsequent rounds with a similar outnumbered clutch on the retake! Three-in-a-row round losses in winnable rounds was the dagger in this finals.
Jitterbugs were able to muster up a couple of round wins before the end, but Starfall became the third different team in three weeks to sport the Road to Radiant Defending Champion title!