IHSEA Valorant 22/23 LAN Playoffs Wrap-Up
By Carson ‘googatooga’ Kass, Student at Downers Grove South
Quarterfinal 1: Naperville Central (5) vs Whitney Young (13)
Whitney Young Dolphins conquered the Naperville Central Redhawks with relative ease. The Dolphins set the tone early, starting the game with a 4-2 lead. The Redhawks fought back a bit, but the first half was all fins, finding a 9-3 score at the half led by a strong team effort. This lead was fronted by a strong effort from Whitney Young’s kwnk, z1a, and R3dFrost. At the half, not a single Redhawk stood over a 1 K/D. The second half of map one went on pretty similar to the first, and the Dolphins swam to a swift 13-4 map one win.
Game two was a slightly different story. A quick 5-0 lead disappeared for the Dolphins, as the first half of map 2 closed out 8-6. Beyond it, the Redhawks never got too much closer and it was a cruise to a 13-7 win for Whitney Young. A crushing defeat for the higher seeded Redhawks, capping what was a wonderful first year in the IHSEA. The Dolphins, earning the name “The Pod Squad'', took both games with relative ease and a real team effort.
Quarterfinal 2: Yorkville (3) vs Wheaton North (6)
Yorkville dominated this match. Map one was played on Icebox. The A site felt like a death trap for the Wheaton North Falcons, constantly under fire from the Yorkville Foxes on offense. At the half the Foxes stood 11-1 and made quick work, finishing 13-3. Yorkville was led by Supra on Jett and Skyline on Chamber.
The second map on Pearl had a slower start, but a similar outcome. We saw a fan favorite strategy from Wheaton North as they attempted a comeback down 12-5. It was crowned ‘The Crouching Tigers’ and consisted of all five members of the Falcon team crouching on the offensive with Odins. They brought the game to 12-7, but were beaten out by the Foxes in the end. This match showed off Supra’s Jett prowess, and a case that Yorkville would stand a chance to go higher then the bronze they earned the previous year.
Semifinals: Jones (1) vs Whitney Young (13)
This was a great match, and its final score does not represent that. The first map was a fight. The Dolphins struggled early versus the goliath in Jones. Down 4-9 just after the half, with a very characteristic teamly effort, they got a round they needed sending it to overtime. Jones was led by Lefty and Stumpy, both teams similar in KDA. In overtime, Jones took a page out of Whitney Young’s book, strongly coordinated retakes on display. The game ended up in double overtime and the Eagles came out on top over the Fins.
Haven was the redemption Jones needed after losing a map to Walter Payton earlier in the season. They churned out a well earned win over the Fins 13-9, but this 2-0 win would expose some holes in the Jones strategy and team comp. Jones was led strongly by Stunna and we saw a team effort as usual by Whitney Young, with a bit of a standout performance from DBP250.
Finals: Jones (1) vs Lane Tech (2)
To finish our LAN in Dekalb, we had a big one. Goliath versus Goliath; one of the most anticipated games of the year. A close pistol round set the tone for the first map in Haven. A quick two rounds from Jones was followed by a four round shelling from Lane Tech. Lane were able to exploit the Jones defense, catching them in rotation and creating many advantages. Lane Tech’s Reboo led the charge, and Throoodle’s great smokes helped isolate the Jones defenders. As the second half began, Blueberry took charge of Lane Tech’s offense. They managed to extinguish a late round Jones comeback, winning map one 13-11.
Map two was not the same story. Bind put Jones in a bind. A 3-1 effort from Jones was quelled in a round that cost three ultimates. Lane Tech’s Reboo took charge of this game. Championship level domination was the best way to describe it. 8-4 at the half and things were looking up for Joneswith a dominant last round win. Unfortunately for Jones, that would be the last convincing round they would win. Lane Tech responded by finishing the match 13-5 in the second half, knocking the Eagles down once again into silver, and bringing home Lane Tech’s first Valorant championship in their school history.
Gold: Lane Tech
Silver: Jones College Prep
You can find the full seasons’ bracket and VODs below!
Season VODs: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmvvwTgCyJMifN6039EoEF8-InYvuxIog