AUTHOR: CHRIS "BEARLIGHT" LEE / @BEARLIGHTCASTS
Entering Week 36 of the Road to Radiant weekly Valorant tournament, Stay Plugged In recruits participated in preparation of the upcoming Carry2College this weekend. With so much opportunity existing in the tournament this weekend, and with the recent announcement of the Riot Games backed collegiate Valorant league "CVAL" on the horizon, there are many reasons as to why so many Valorant collegiate hopefuls began the week with repetitions in Road to Radiant. A new team finished on top this week, one that a lot of Valorant players might recognize. Find the details and stories of the night in this week's breakdown.
RESULTS & BREAKDOWN
YTAC VARSITY MAKES TOP 4
We've mentioned the YTAC program a few times in these weekly breakdowns, and our predictions of the team advancing to the top 4 sprang to life in Week 36. Coached by Galen "RiskkGames" Kias, the YTAC Varsity team struggled with confidence in their beginning weeks, but have since rallied around Galen and captain YAINTED to challenge some top-level teams. Their 13-3 win this week over Team VA granted YTAC top 4 status for the first time, a historic mark for the squad. Standouts included WYIFU and GODLYK hovering around the 20 kill mark in just 16 rounds played, and captain YAINTED leading by example with a 18/5/6 KDA. Their bracket run would end next match, but definite strides were made by the YTAC Varsity team this time around.
EVIL KINGS HOT START FELL SHORT
Evil Kings showed up to play on the other side of the bracket, initiating their first appearance as a team in Road to Radiant with a 13-4 win. 16-year-old IGL REDDOT, who won the Stay Plugged In JCC Campus Series LAN with a different team in early October, led his official team to that hot start which would eventually send EK to the Semifinals. It would be EmpyrealGaming (EG) meeting them there in what would be the match of the night. Evil King's intel initiator by the name of LOSING (Fade) participated in 35 of the team's frags with 26 kills and 9 assists. WINTRADING (KAY/O) also picked up 14 assists for EK, and the two displayed quite a few next-level initiator duo combo plays on Ascent. All that said, EmpyrealGaming would pull through with a much more balanced effort. Efficient aggressive play by EG captain BAP (Chamber) at a 23/17/3 KDA would be just too much to overcome for Evil Kings, and EG would advance to the finals.
FINALS: EG vs JITTERBUGS
You can use spray or attempt to swat them away, but you will never be able to get rid of the Jitterbugs. They made their ninth Finals appearance in the last ten weeks of Road to Radiant but faced a new challenger in EG this time, sure to be one of their toughest tests yet. Simply by looking at SMRTY's KD ratio sitting just below the 1.000 mark, you can gather that this match was quite challenging for the multi-time champions. Credit EG for sticking to what works. They went triple initiator again, with ZUEVOS (Sova) filling in the third initiator role even more effectively this time. The junior from Ohio had 16 kills and 8 assists. HUNTER (KAY/O), the freshmen from California also had 16 kills with 7 assists. Their third initiator and our MVP of the week, PRAY (Fade), popped off with a 17/8/10 KDA and both literally and metaphorically silenced one of the best Valorant teams in the Stay Plugged In circuit. The junior from Nevada finished the night with a chart-topping 2.409 KDA ratio and led EG to their first ever Road to Radiant victory.
Congratulations to EmpyrealGaming for their title this week! For more information on our weekly events including details, registration, and more, make sure to visit the events page of the Stay Plugged In website. See you next week!
Carry2College continues to be the biggest online esports recruiting event every season. This Fall, C2C will be featuring 25+ Valorant teams in the two-day tournament, alongside the red-hot new titles of Overwatch 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. During the event, attending colleges will be participating in the first-of-it's kind online collegiate fair through Stay Plugged In's server in Discord. The event begins this Saturday, November 12th with the Group Stage at 2:00 pm ET. You can tune in and watch the event on the Stay Plugged In main Twitch channel.