The grand final of the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Valorant Showdown saw the two best teams in North America face off in a best-of-5 series as Team SoloMid took on hosts T1.
However, while many expected a close final, Team SoloMid would dominate the final thanks to the heroics of Matthew “Wardell” Yu, who was on fire all day.
Coming off of a win in the winner’s final, TSM got a headstart in the best-of-five series, taking an automatic win on the scoreboard.
Starting as the attackers, James “hazed” Cobb baited T1 with a B-site wall and smoke play while the rest of TSM committed to an A-site rush. With Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik’s smokescreen and Wardell’s impeccable corridor run-and-gun, TSM easily secured a flawless first round.
Despite a few stray rounds going to T1, TSM capped off the first game with an impressive eight-round lead. With only one round left to go, Taylor “drone” Johnson pulled off an incredible Phantom triple-kill with a Run It Back follow-up while Stephen “reltuC” Cutler finishing the round with a kill on Austin “crashies” Roberts.
With the momentum on their side, TSM kept up their dominating gameplay, now starting on the defending side. Now equipped with an operator, Wardell cleaned up the last round of the half with a triple-kill defusal, solidifying an 8-4 lead over T1.
Even though TSM were just a round away from winning the series, T1 stalled their victory with a few clutch rounds. To take out TSM’s main playmaker Wardell, Keven “AZK” Lariviere launched his drone and gained vision of the Sova player while Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham caught him with wall-banging operator shot. Gaining the 2v4 advantage by reviving crashies, T1 overwhelmed the B-site to defuse the spike, with Skadoodle picking up another operator kill over his opponents.
TSM bounced back in the next round with an early kill on Skadoodle. With an eventual A-site plant, Wardell and reltuC rotated around into A-site to catch any off-position opponents. Now situated in A-site Hell, Wardell picked up another double kill to finish the series.
Wardell was by far the best player on both sides, finishing with 18/4/2 on Haven and 30/11/8 on Ascent.
With the Ignition Series win, TSM takes home US25,000. As runner-ups, T1 acquires US$15,000 while Immortals and FaZe Clan take their share of US$5,000 for third and fourth place respectively.
The next Valorant Ignition Series tournament will be in Latin America with the two-part GGTech Valorant Invitational, with the two finals being broadcast on July 2-3.