Gambit defeated Latin American team KRU on Saturday in an intense 2-1 match that ended in five overtimes. The victory ended the KRU cinderella run through the bracket, with KRU looking very impressive throughout the match, and only barely losing.
As a result of the victory, Gambit earned their slot in the VCT Champions Grand Finals, where they will face fellow EMEA challenger Acend, who defeated Team Liquid on Saturday to earn an unexpected place in the Grand Finals. The final match will take place on Sunday, at 9 AM PST.
Gambit is the defending VCT champion, having won the Berlin Major earlier this year. They entered the tournament as one of the favorites, and have looked the part throughout. Their closest match by far was Saturday's match against KRU, having gone undefeated in the group stage.
KRU came into the tournament considered a dramatic underdog, with very few people expecting them to get out of Group B, considering Sentinels and Team Liquid were both in that group. However, KRU shocked the world by eliminating NA favorite Sentinels to earn their spot in the Quarterfinals, where they bested FNATIC to advance to the semifinals. They very nearly defeated Gambit, but after five overtimes, Nats was able to secure the winning round on Bind.
On the other side of the bracket, Acend swept Team Liquid in their Saturday semifinal match. They have shown moments of brilliance over the past year, including winning multiple events in their home region, but they have not, up until this point, earned much success on the international stage. However, led by their slaver cNed, Acend made quite the statement on Saturday, and is looking strong heading into the Grand Finals.
One way or the other, either Gambit or Acend will be crowned the inaugural 2021 VCT Champion on Sunday.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.