We’ve seen North America and Europe’s Valorant scenes grow by leaps and bounds, since the release of the game in June. But it was perhaps during the A.W EXTREME MASTERS Asia Invitational that we came to realize the best Valorant team in the world might actually be Vision Strikers from South Korea, who maintained a perfect tournament record with their biggest win yet.
The A.W EXTREME MASTERS Asia Invitational featured the best Valorant talent from Japan, Southeast Asia, and South Korea. The tournament showcased eight invited teams, and four qualifier teams from Japan, which included two-time Ignition Series champions Absolute Jupiter.
At the start of the playoffs, Vision Strikers wasted no time, defeating Absolute Jupiter 2-0; while their grand final opponents, T1 Korea got the better of Cloud9 Korea in a hard-fought semifinal match, which ended with a 2-1 final score.
In the beginning of the grand final match, T1 Korea surprised Vision Strikers and took a commanding 2-0 map lead, by winning the first two games. During Game 1 on Haven, T1’s Choi “10X” Jin-woo put together an MVP performance for the history books, with a 20/9/3 KDA score.
In the following game on Bind, T1 stand-in players Ye “Anaks” Sang-jun and Harry, together with Kim “ROK3T” Joo-young, dominated Game 2; all three players finished with the top 3 average combat scores (ACS) of all 10 players.
With Vision Strikers on the verge of being swept by T1, however, Kim “Zest” Gi-seok spearheaded his team’s comeback attempt, putting together the best individual performance of the series with Sage on Split. Zest finished with a 26/10/4 record and a 393 ACS.
Vision Strikers would eventually force a final game after a stellar performance from Goo “Rb” Sang-Min, who finished with a 25/15/3 KDA stat line that helped his team win 13-10 on Ascent.
Sadly, during the first half of the final game on Haven, T1’s Anaks was forced out of the game due to technical issues. This meant that T1 had to play five rounds without their Jett main.
T1 managed to keep the final game competitive. But after two ridiculous Sheriff shots from Lee “k1Ng” Seung-won that shut down T1’s C-site push, Vision Strikers took back control of the game and won all the remaining rounds to ultimately win the tournament.
For their first-place finish, Vision Strikers took home a grand prize of US$25,000. Meanwhile, T1 earned $12,500 for their runner-up finish. Finally, Absolute Jupiter’s third-place match win over Cloud9 Korea earned them $7,500.