Popping out of nowhere, Acend gained the inaugural Valorant Champions Tour in 2021. 2022’s VCT didn’t kick off with the explosive begin many doubtless anticipated for the EMEA squad, however star participant Mehmet Yağız ‘cNed’ İpek nonetheless has his eyes very a lot set on the prize.
Because the curtain fell on the inaugural Valorant Champions Tour, EMEA underdogs Acend walked away as sudden victors. Dealing with off in opposition to a star-studded forged of world squads all decided to grab the crown, the relative newcomers pulled the rug out from beneath a few of esports’ most iconic orgs, proving that desires really can come true.
Coming into 2022, nonetheless, the group had a goal on their backs. With EXCEL’s Patryk ‘paTiTek’ Fabrowski claiming “I don’t really feel like they [Acend] are [superior] proper now,” Stage 1 of the event proved that Gods can, certainly, bleed. The group crashed out of the event earlier than the playoffs, with Aleksander ‘Zeek’ Zygmunt lacking the final group match due to psychological well being issues.
Stage 2 has been much more profitable, with a playoff spot already locked and a few dominant wins beneath their belt. cNed, the star of the present, stays hyper-focused on Masters, and is trying past to Champions 2022, firmly believing his merry band of misfits can stroll away with the trophy for the second 12 months in a row.
Acend cNed: “We will turn into VCT Champions once more”
As famous in Crimson Bull’s new Unfold documentary, cNed started taking part in video games when he was seven years outdated, shortly recognizing he had a “a particular expertise.”
“I genuinely knew I had a particular expertise and someday I’d be taking part in on the highest stage; so I labored actually onerous to lastly get there and obtain it,” he instructed Dexerto. “Whereas taking part in CS and Zula I by no means thought I may go professional, however when Valorant got here out the primary three to 4 months had been sufficient for me to grasp I may play this recreation on the highest stage and turn into a professional at it.”
With many seeing him because the spine of the Acend roster, their Stage 1 defeat culminated in a reshuffle that noticed then-IGL Santeri ‘BONECOLD’ Sassi and Vladyslav ‘Kiles’ Shvets benched. Recalling that, throughout Stage 1, they “had been underprepared and there have been some points inside the group,” he believes their Stage 2 success is because of their new and improved squad, that includes Vakaris ‘vakk’ Bebravičius and Ondřej ‘MONSTEERR’ Petrů.
“I feel we’re stronger individually in comparison with our outdated roster,” he feedback. “The outdated roster had higher chemistry, and I imagine we are going to obtain superb issues if we obtain the identical chemistry with our new roster.”
Noting that, coming into Stage 2 Acend “nonetheless have the identical mentality and nothing has modified,” the Turkish ace is satisfied that “we will turn into champions once more this 12 months.”
What would make victory even sweeter is the truth that Masters is hosted in Istanbul, the biggest metropolis of his dwelling nation.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” he confesses. “That is the primary time one of many prime tournaments for a recreation can be held in Turkey, and I feel Turkish viewers and gamers are very hyped about this.
“I hope I’ll be there on that stage,” he concludes, presenting his rivals with an open problem. With three spots prepared and ready at VCT Masters Copenhagen, cNed believes that certainly one of them rightfully belongs to Acend. Will they triumph in opposition to the meat grinder that’s Fnatic, who stay undefeated within the VCT competitors? We’ll have to attend and see. But when there’s one assure, it’s that cNed can be firing on all cylinders.