North America reigned supreme on Day 2 of the VCT Stage 2 Masters, after Version1 defeated Team Liquid, and Sentinels outclassed Fnatic in the Upper Bracket of the competition.

For nearly a year, pro players and fans have debated about which region is better — and we finally have an answer. Both North American squads look to be the two best teams in the competition after stellar performances.

Here’s how Version1 and Sentinels pulled it off.

North American players come up big in clutch moments

Credit: Riot Games (Sentinels’ dapr, ShahZaM, and SicK)

Version1 and Sentinels continue to prove Loic “effys” Sauvageau’s point on how North American players have the most experience in clutch situations.

While Europe struck first blood in winning Game 1, Version1 only got better as the harrowing match progressed. They showed amazing team coordination and individual skills that helped them outlast Team Liquid 2-1.

Version1’s 18-year-old prodigy, Erik “penny” Penny even made a case for himself as the best Jett player of the tournament.

Version1 and Sentinels both came up big in clutch moments, which awarded their teams crucial round wins and much-needed momentum as their matches progressed.

Version1’s Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro and Sentinels’ Tyson “TenZ” Ngo showed that they aren’t afraid of the big stage.

North America had pocket strats ready against Europe

Version1 and Team Liquid’s thrilling encounter was the best match in the tournament thus far. However, according to Team Liquid’s Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom, they weren’t entirely prepared for Version1’s surprising agent composition.

On Day 1 of the competition, Version1 used two duelists (Jett and Phoenix) when they defeated Crazy Raccoons.

Team Liquid was expecting the same agent composition. However, Version1 switched Zellsis from Phoenix to Killjoy, which threw off their opponents. They didn’t expect North America to have only one duelist.

Sentinels’ TenZ also weighed in on Europe’s no-duelist strategy. “I think the overly tactical gameplay EU is trying to produce, such as zero duelist comps, isn’t as effective as you think.”

“It might sound good on paper, but it isn’t that good, because individuals can pop off on duelists like Phoenix and Jett. The impact duelists have is really important, plus getting entry kills with their utility.”

Mental fortitude was a huge factor in North America’s favor

Credit: Riot Games (Version1’s Zellsis and vanity)

One of the biggest moments of Day 2 was when Version1’s team captain, Anthony “vanity” Malaspina demoralized Team Liquid’s Dom “soulcas” Sulcas early into Game 3 on Haven.

Soulcas had gotten greedy and wanted more kills after a successful lurk play. However, he got too close to vanity, who hit a sick 180-degree flick that completely deflated Team Liquid.

In the post-game press conference. Vanity explained, “After I killed Soulcas in that round, I knew he was out of the game mentally. He was sitting behind me and I backed up into him, then flicked and one-bulleted him.”

“After that, he was tilted, and it showed. Considering the [no-duelist agent] comp they ran, they only won two rounds on defense, which included the pistol round win.”

Phantom guarantees more kills over the Vandal

Another key factor in North America’s success that no one is talking about involves Valorant’s rifle meta.

Both Version1 and Sentinels relied heavily on the Phantom, while Team Liquid and Fnatic stuck with the Vandal during Day 2. While both weapons are effective in getting kills, the North American players were winning more gun duels with the Phantom.

Sentinels are set to go up against Brazil’s Team Vikings on May 27 at 4:30 a.m. GMT+8.

Meanwhile, Version1 will battle against Korean representatives NUTURN Gaming on May 28 at 11:00 p.m. GMT+8.

Watch the matches live on Valorant’s Twitch and YouTube channels.

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