100 Thieves defeated Cloud9 in the Red Bull Home Ground grand final 3-0 after both teams defeated EMEA competition to make it there. The team said after the victory, the all North American grand final doesn’t mean much with the absence of top EMEA teams at the event.
The Red Bull Home Ground tournament ended with 100 Thieves taking the trophy over Cloud9 in a 3-0 sweep. The tournament, played in Manchester, England, featured five EMEA teams and three teams from the Americas and featured an all-North American team final.
While some might take that narrative as indicative of a bright future for the region heading into the 2023 Valorant Champions Tour season, 100 Thieves said that might not be the case when asked about the all-North American final.
“It’s hard to say because we didn’t get to play like Fnatic, Team Liquid with their full roster, that is, and NAVI. I think those are the guys that we really want to play again, especially Fnatic after Valorant Champions and I have a lot of respect for the NAVI guys. So I think the NA vs. NA thing is probably just going to be some Reddit narrative for a while,” 100 Thieves head coach Michael ‘Mikes’ Hockom said in a post-match interview.
Of the EMEA teams in attendance, Team Liquid and FOKUS had to compete with stand-in players due to visa issues. KRÜ Esports, a Latin American team in the Americas partnered league, also placed in the top four at the event despite controversy surrounding their advancement out of the group stage.
Red Bull Home Ground ended with 100T as the clear winners
100T IGL Brenden ‘stellar’ McGrath echoed his coach’s sentiment about other top EMEA teams needing to be at Red Bull Home Ground for the community to conclude the event.
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“Obviously a lot of people consider [Team Liquid, Fnatic and NAVI] as kind of the best European teams at the moment, and I would say a lot of people at the moment consider C9 and 100T as like the best NA teams currently, probably because we’re some of the only people playing the matches, so that’s probably why you saw an NA vs. NA finals,” stellar said.
100T didn’t discredit the level of EMEA squads at the event, pointing to a strong Team Vitality squad that took them to overtime in their semifinal matchup.
“I thought the EU teams that were here between Vitality, Team Heretics, and Liquid still put up a really great game overall,” Mikes said.
The top North American and EMEA teams will match up for the first time in-season, and the top Pacific league teams at the LOCK//IN tournament in February to kick off the VCT season in Brazil.