Here’s what went down during the Red Bull Campus Clutch group stage
© Gianfranco Tripodo/Red Bull Content Pool
A quadruple tiebreaker, upsets and glory – and this was just the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final group stage. We bring you all the mayhem from Madrid.
The Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final kicked off with a bang on Saturday. Teams from all over the world gathered in Madrid, Spain, to fight for a spot in the semi-finals on Sunday. With twelve teams in the group stage and only four spots in the semis, the competition was extremely tough. Teams needed to beat three others in their single round-robin group to have a chance of reaching the second day.
Who topped their groups after a marathon of five games of Valorant in quick succession? Here’s all you need to know about what went down on the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final stage!
The first day of the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final was filled with upsets, extremely close games and some surprise performances from the participating teams. With multiple games ending up in overtime – and one even reaching quadruple overtime in group B – yep, you read that right – we were on the edges of our seats the entire day.
After the first two rounds, one thing was already clear: all the teams were very close in terms of skill. BTR, the Canadian representatives, showed that they came to fight with two victories over Oceania’s Mama’s Boys and Belarus’ PLATOON. Two rounds into the group, BTR was the only team that had a 2-0 scoreline – which shows how close the group was in terms of skill. Qualifying for the semi-finals wouldn’t be an easy task for any team in Group A and they had to fight until the very last rounds to secure their spot for Sunday.
BTR managed to push through for the group win, ending the group 4-1 and only dropping a match against the Portuguese representatives, Project S, who finished the group 3-2. PLATOON also managed to end the group 3-2, but due to the head-to-head tournament rules Project S was the team to secure second place because of their 13-10 victory over PLATOON in the first round.
Group A was extremely close, with no team having a clean 5-0 and every team picking up at least a single map. In the end, both BTR and Project S moved on to the semi-finals on Sunday, where they will face off against the winners of Group B.
Group B was exciting from the start. All eyes were on Anubis Gaming, the African and West Asian representatives. The university team already had a history of playing together before the start of the tournament. They’ve done well in their region, but will they build on that success on the international stage? This was their chance to prove it. Other big contenders in the group were the USA representatives, Bay Area Vandals, and VAC Kimchi, the South Korean representatives.
After VAC Kimchi beat the Bay Area Vandals 15-13, taking down their first big rivals, they had to face Cataclysm, representing Peru, in round two. This turned out to be the closest match in the tournament so far. The score was 13-12 and VAC Kimchi decided to execute a late C push on Haven. With a completely open site, they planted the spike and pulled back to wait for the push. Cataclysm pushed into the site from their spawn and immediately started trading; a clutch double kill for FLACO brought the match back to 13-13.
Both teams kept trading rounds and were extremely evenly matched. Eventually Cataclysm seemed to start pulling ahead with a clutch round victory bringing them to 17-16. On defense, Xuto showed some masterful use of the Operator, taking out two VAC Kimchi players before they could start their push. With just three members alive, VAC Kimchi went for a desperation push towards C. They managed to trade well with Cataclysm, but lost out in the end. Cataclysm took the two round victory after quadruple overtime!
When Group B reached its conclusion in round five, there were still three teams fighting for the second spot. Anubis Gaming went 4-1 to claim their first place and punched their tickets to their first global event semi-finals. VAC Kimchi, the team that played a quadruple tiebreaker against Cataclysm and a single tiebreaker against the Bay Area Vandals, had to beat Anubis Gaming for a chance in the semi-finals.
On Split, VAC Kimchi started with a good lead after a pistol round win. Anubis started pushing back after their first buy and drew the match closer to a 7-5 first-half finish in VAC Kimchi’s favour. The South Korean team didn’t give up and pushed for a second pistol round victory. Anubis pushed through with an anti eco but lost the round after VAC Kimchi brought their own pistols out. Force buying was the name of this game, with both teams on incredibly low amounts of money, scrappy fights and SMGs were bought repeatedly. Anubis Gaming kept VAC Kimchi at an arm's length as rounds were traded back and forth.
Eventually, the score went to 11-11 and Anubis decided to go for a late A push. But the move played right into the hands of MAMACITA who controlled his spray perfectly to pick up a 4K, putting VAC Kimchi on match point. After a mid push and a B plant, it becomes scrappy again. Both teams traded players, and in the end, it went down to a 1v1. Rolex faked the defuse which makes Anubis’ fr0st, low on health, go for a peek. Rolex nailed him with the headshot instead and booked a place in the semi-finals on Sunday for the South Korean representatives.
After an incredible day of play, the semi-finalists that made it through to day two are BTR, Project S, Anubis Gaming and VAC Kimchi. The semi-finals will be played in a best of three format and the finals will be best of five. Given that the matches went the distance, we’re hoping to see some great series out of our four semi-finalists – make sure to tune in on YouTube or Twitch to catch it all live.