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Los Angeles, California - It was a beautiful day in Santa Monica as hundreds of VALORANT fans across the various Americas regions came to the LCS studio to celebrate the opening day of the VCT 2023: Americas League. Hundreds of fans slowly trickled into the LCS studio. Each and every fan walked into the stadium with awe as they quickly found themselves engrossed into the studios lights awaiting for the start of Sentinels vs. 100 Thieves. Behind the stage awaiting to see all those fans was 100 Thieves’ franchise cornerstone, Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk.

As one of the top VALORANT players, Asuna has been able to enjoy the aspects of playing in an international environment. From playing in large venues like the Verti Music Hall in Berlin, Germany to Istanbul, Turkey, the 100 Thieves’ franchise star has experienced nearly every VALORANT players esports’ dreams. However, none of those experiences were comparable to what he had felt when he first walked out onto the stage in front of a home crowd.

“I enjoy new environments and new cultures, but nothing feels like playing in front of the home crowd,” Asuna said. “It’s nice to be exactly home and have that comfort of the crowd support.”

He remembered hearing all of the cheers for 100 Thieves that surrounded the entire studio. With every kill came a roar of cheers and support while the intense moments were met with an intentional period of silence before the cheers came back even louder than the last. These specific moments were things that Asuna had never experienced before playing in other venues. That was a feeling Asuna could not shake of all throughout their three-game thriller against Sentinels.

100 Thieves fans VCT 2023: Americas League

Fans cheer on the LA Thieves

“I was so psyched to see all of those fans cheering for us,” Asuna said. “I had seen how supportive the Brazilian community was for their players, but it was such an amazing feeling to experience that for ourselves this time.”

The entire series between 100 Thieves and Sentinels was what every fan in that studio hoped for and what every coach dreaded. While the community perception was skeptical of Sentinels, Asuna always knew that this series was a lot closer than many people would expect.

“We knew Sentinels was a good team. We practiced them a lot before LOCK//IN. From the footage and experience we had playing against them in January and February made us understand that they are pretty good so the expectation was that they would be better for sure.”

In the end, Sentinels were crowned victorious by the end of the opening series 2-1. When asked about what he felt went wrong towards the end of map three, it was difficult for Asuna to pinpoint exactly what happened. There wasn’t a sense of sadness in his voice, just pure confusion from all of that chaos.

“It was a lot of chaos throughout that series because every game was so close, like 14-12, 13-11, and 14-12 so we will have to review it more throughout the week with an empty head,” Asuna said.

Starting your VCT 2023: Americas League campaign on a loss is not what any pro player wants. Yet, despite the tough loss, there was a continued silver lining that existed all throughout his reflections following the series, the fans.

As Sentinels players stood up and cheered about their impressive victory over 100 Thieves, the crowd voiced their support for the five 100 Thieves’ players as they faced the crowd and thanked them with a bow.

As a result, Asuna made sure to fill his closing statements with a verbal thank youand apology to the fans that made it an enjoyable series for himself despite the result.

“Thank you for all the fans that support us,” Asuna said in his closing remarks. “We appreciate everyone who showed up and everyone who watched the game. Sorry that it wasn't the result that you guys wanted, but we'll try to improve from that because it’s been awesome.”

This loss puts 100 Thieves at 0-1 to start the their VCT 2023: Americas League campaign. Still the VCT 2023: Americas League regular season is young as 100 Thieves will have many opportunities to bounce back from this week’s heartbreaking loss to Sentinels.

How to watch VCT 2023: Americas League?

You can keep up with the VCT 2023: Americas League by watching all the matches live through the VCT Americas YouTube and Twitch channels.

Interview conducted by Nick Geracie