A LOUD ending to Valorant Champions 2022

Declan Mclaughlin
LOUD lifting the Valorant Champions 2022 trophyLance Skundrich/Riot Games

Brazilian side LOUD secured the Valorant Champions 2022 trophy by defeating OpTic Gaming 3-1 in the sixth matchup between the two teams this year.

Gustavo ‘Sacy’ Rossi removed his headset and in-ear buds as his eyes started to fill with tears after his teammate netted the final kill on Haven to bring LOUD a Valorant Champions trophy. The 24-year-old esports veteran embraced teammate Erick ‘aspas’ Santos before running over to his squad’s huddle on the other end of the stage and put his arms around fellow veteran Matias ‘Saadhak’ Delipetro and head coach Matheus ‘bzkA’ Tarasconi.

All three were struggling to keep their faces dry after lifting the first major trophy of their careers.

Saadhak said that the tears came from the amount of effort he and the team had put toward getting to a position to lift the trophy and his overall career journey to this point from competing in Paladins and Valorant.

“I think for me, it was so tiring competing over and over again. We almost made it back in Iceland and that was really good. That demonstrated that we had the ability to compete on an international level, but we were lacking something,” Saadhak said in a post-match press conference.

LOUD’s Valorant Champions victory was a year in the making

LOUD player Sacy crying and hugging his teammates while others cry in the backgroundLance Skundrich/Riot Games
Sacy has made made almost every international event in Valorant esports.

In 2021, Sacy and Saadhak were at Valorant Champions under the Team Vikings banner and saw that there was not that large of a gap between Brazil and the rest of the world in terms of skill in the new Riot Games esport.

“We know how to play the game now,” Sacy said after leaving Valorant Champions 2021 in the Group Stage.

“So we just need the right players with us and we need to have discipline… We just need to keep growing, and we did.”

In 2022, LOUD found the right players in young fraggers Bryan ‘pANcada’ Luna, Felipe ‘Less’ Basso and aspas. The squad almost secured an international trophy early on in the year at Masters Reykjavík, placing second after losing 3-0 to OpTic in what became the start of their international rivalry.

At Masters Copenhagen, the team took a downturn in what Saadhak described as a “bad time,” and left the tournament in the Group Stage. But the squad managed to qualify for Champions off of Valorant Champions Tour circuit points at that event. They came away from that tournament with more LAN experience and lessons in how to mentally prepare for what was to come.

Individual skill was the difference in the Grand Final

LOUD have now tied their record against OpTic after this Grand Final win at 3-3. Over the course of the year, the two green squads battled against each other on a regular basis, to the point that they have become almost overfamiliar with each other.

What pushed LOUD over the North Americans this time was their experience at LANs over the course of the year and individual heroics from certain members, according to OpTic.

“I definitely think they improved, obviously, greatly from the last time we got to play against them. I think they also didn’t have as much experience as we did, so they definitely caught up in that department,” OpTic IGL Pujan ‘FNS’ Mehta said about the differences between facing LOUD now and in Iceland.

FNS and OpTic head coach Chet ‘Chet’ Singh also pointed the team’s misplays while ahead on certain maps as a key reason for LOUD’s victory.

LOUD themselves acknowledged aspas as the reason the team was able to close out Breeze in overtime, with Sacy patting him on the back when asked how they won the third map.

LOUD and collecting all six dogs

aspas with a large dog plushie Valorant ChampionsLance Skundrich/Riot Games
asapas kept the mood light with his many dog plushies at Valorant Champions.

For every match LOUD played, aspas decided to bring a new dog plushie on stage with him. As the team went deeper into the tournament, the teenager had to go out and buy more to keep up with their success.

The new tradition culminated in LOUD’s walkout for the Grand Final as each member helped carry a dog plushie to the stage, with a large brown, black and white dog as the sixth and final plushie out of the set.

In the final press conference of the event, aspas placed the dog in the Valorant Champions trophy.

The light-hearted tradition underscored the emotional and celebratory moment for not only LOUD, but Brazil as well. With the Brazilian team’s win in Valorant, the region became the first in the world to claim major titles in Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six: Siege and the Riot-made title.

“In our country everyone loves these types of games,” bzkA said. “We have so many people to look at to inspire ourselves, success cases in other games.”

With LOUD taking the trophy, the players have cemented Brazil as a top region for FPS games and Valorant. This also puts LOUD in a prime spot to make the Americas partnered league and compete in the 2023 Kickoff tournament São Paulo, Brazil, partnered teams will be announced later this week.

loading...