Skip to main content

A single stumble stopped LOUD from achieving a perfect run through VALORANT Champions Tour: Americas 2023. The reigning VCT champion came into their penultimate match of the domestic round-robin undefeated and already qualifying for the playoffs. As a result, 

NRG took a 2-0 win to give LOUD their first loss of the split. The loss was not taken lightly by LOUD, and they showed as such by shellacking Leviatán in their final regular split match of VCT Americas 2023 and securing the 1st seed heading into playoffs.

LOUD has incredibly high standards for themselves, and for good reason. After winning it all last year, the Brazilian side made it all the way to the finals of VCT: LOCK//IN São Paulo earlier this year, but fell short against Fnatic and were forced to settle for 2nd. Naturally, LOUD did not take the 0-2 from NRG lightly, but their focus on themselves remained unchanged. However, head coach Daniel "fRoD" Montaner thinks the team may have gotten a bit too comfortable heading into the match given that they were already qualified for VCT Americas playoffs.

“We didn't change our preparation or mentality going into the game, but for some reason, we kind of had this relaxed air about us, and at the end of the day that's not how we're supposed to act,” said fRoD. “If you want to be the best team — champions — you should be coming in with a different type of intensity to win every game. That was a big focus in our practice this week: Rebound our mentality and spend no time focusing on our opponent.”

This is an approach LOUD developed at the beginning of the year and has continued to cultivate throughout their successful VCT Americas season, which saw them finish in 1st place with an 8-1 record. “100% of our focus was on ourselves, our game, and what we plan to do, and I think that's a lesson that we learned in the semifinals and grand finals of the LOCK//IN,” fRoD explained. “Sometimes, when you play world-class teams, they come in with so many new things — they're making roster changes, they're moving players around, they're trying to anti-strat us — we've learned over time it's best to just focus on our game and not so much on our opponent.”

LOUD’S next match is against fellow Brazilian team FURIA Esports on Wednesday, May 24 at 1:00pm PT, but fRoD assured Esports Illustrated that the specific opponent, nor the bounceback against LEV after losing to NRG, would change a thing in his team’s clinical approach to competition.

“We try to have a short-term memory with any success. What I've said before is our next opponent is our toughest opponent.”