Acend claims the title of the inaugural Valorant Champions by toppling Gambit in an exhilarating best-of-five series. Over a million online viewers witnessed the culmination of the year-long Valorant Champions Tour 2021 held in Berlin.
The Grand Final stage of Valorant Champions 2021 pitted two European sides against each other, both unbeaten in the tournament. While Gambit had several close encounters leading up to the finals, Acend made it to the tournament finale by winning eight out of the nine maps they played.
The gripping best-of-five series commenced on Breeze, with outcomes on Ascent, Fracture, Icebox, and Split deciding the winner of the coveted Champions trophy. In the post-match press conference, the 5-man roster of Acend and their coach answered questions from Sportskeeda.
Acend in-game leader (IGL) BONECOLD comments on the impact of their mental coach in Valorant Champions 2021 tournament win
Acend is a recently established eSports organization that formed a Valorant roster from the remnants of Raise Your Edge Gaming. Soon after formation, they emerged as the winners of the VCT 2021: Europe Stage 1 Masters. After acquiring Zeek from G2 in June 2021, Acend were prepared to compete in the upper echelons of professional Valorant.
During the post-match press conference, Adarsh J Kumar of Sportskeeda Esports asked Acend about the impact their mental coach, Thomas, had on their championship victory. BONECOLD, the team's in-game leader (IGL), gave his thoughts:
'We've had weekly or monthly sessions with Thomas. Each one of those classes have brought us together as a team. He's had 1:1 sessions with all the players. Thanks to him, we've matured a lot outside the game. - BONECOLD, Acend
In addition to the regular coaching staff, which includes the manager, coach, and analyst, Acend hired a mental coach to assist the team in coping with the pressure of professional esports. As a predominantly young squad, Acend lacked the fortitude and experience to head into Valorant Champions. However, the addition of a mental coach has proven fruitful for the organization. BONECOLD added on,
"He taught us how to handle all the pressure, coming into the biggest stage Valorant has ever seen. He's always helping us from the shadows, he doesn't get much recognition. However, we wouldn't be the team we are right now if it wasn't for him." - BONECOLD, Acend
Acend are reputed for their adaptability and are often seen joking to the media about not using strategies. Members of the team further added:
"One of the things about our team is that we're always ready for the next round irrespective of the scoreline.' - BONECOLD, Acend
"He was definitely our key to victory. He helped us a lot. I don't think we would've even made it past the quarter-finals if it wasn't for him." - zeek, Acend
The 5-man roster that lifted the inaugural Valorant Champions trophy comprises Santeri "BONECOLD" Sassi, Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt, Mehmet "cNed" Yağız İpek, Patryk "starxo" Kopczynski, and Vlad "Kiles" Shvets. Mark "Krimson" Senior (manager), Laurynas "Nbs" Kisielius (coach), and Milan "Milan" de Meij (analyst) are part of the coaching staff.