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The matchup between LOUD and MIBR on the second day of VALORANT Champions Tour Americas 2023 was billed as the potential next big Brazilian rivalry, and in front of a sold out crowd at Riot Games Arena in Santa Monica, CA, both sides delivered on making sure the bout lived up to expectations. Ultimately, it was LOUD who took the series 2-1, but MIBR did not make it easy for the 2022 VCT champions. LOUD kicked off the match in convincing fashion by winning Split 13-5, but MIBR battle back to win Lotus by a narrow 13-11 before LOUD flipped that score on the deciding Haven to take the series.

MIBR boasts plenty of talent and has a reputation for being absolute monsters in scrims, but that did not translate to the stage VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo, which saw the squad eliminated in the first round of competition. However, LOUD IGL Matias "Saadhak" Delipetro knew that when both teams took the stage for Sunday’s match that MIBR could not be taken lightly.

We knew coming into this match that they were actually going to be a really hard team to play against," Saadhak told Esports Illustrated after the match. "We know what their team can be fully capable of, so we came into the match with full respect for them."

Saadhaak at VCT Americas 2023

Saadhaak at VCT Americas 2023

LOUD’s convincing win on Split to open the match was due in large part to their execution around VALORANT’s latest agent, Gekko, which was piloted by Saadhak. “I think playing Gekko makes me a really versatile player,” said the LOUD IGL. “I can play him in a defensive way or in an aggressive way because the character allows that. We practiced a lot with him in the past couple of weeks and we're trying to understand him a little bit more. As shown on Lotus, we still have a lot of work to do, but I think we are on the right path.”

The win over MIBR was LOUD’s first competitive match since the LOCK//IN finals, which saw the reigning VCT champs blow a 11-3 lead in front of their home crowd against Fnatic and ultimately settle for 2nd place. However, since the team that had recently integrated Cauan “cauanzin” Pereira and Arthur “tuyz” Vieira following the off-season departures of Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi and Bryan “pANcada” Luna (both players joined Sentinels), Saadhak was proud of his team’s performance.

"For me, getting into the finals was great for us because we changed basically everything. We changed all of our compositions from what we did on last year's LOUD, we changed out two people, and we changed the way we play, so making it to the finals was a huge success for us,” said Saadhaak. “Of course, we were a little bit sad because we almost won, but that happens. We know we can be champions. That's a good feeling.”

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.

Be sure to check out our VCT 2023: Americas League cheat sheet, as well as our piece detailing all 10 VCT NA Partnered teams.