In a tiebreaker match between Version1 and Team Liquid, Dom “soulcas” Sulcas, a player on Team Liquid, attempted a cheeky flank behind his opponents. Eventually, he maneuvered into prime kill position, his crosshair hovering over the head of Anthony “vanity” Malaspina’s character.
But what was supposed to be a slam dunk kill — maybe leading to more down the line — suddenly slipped through Sulcas’s fingers. Without warning, Malaspina spun around and immediately erased his opponent.
“The only reason I killed ‘soulcas’ is because I have ADHD,” Malaspina said when reached Tuesday evening. “I always need to be doing something. I pressed my movement keys, and then I backed up into something, and then I just flicked and shot. ... I can’t sit still.”
The casters commentating on the broadcast were shocked, muttering “oh no” and “delete the game.” When the round ended, Malaspina looked across the stage at Sulcas and waved. Version1 went on to beat Team Liquid, 2-1.
“After ‘soulcas’ whiffed there, he was out of it,” Malaspina said. “When we shook hands, ‘soulcas’ was like, ‘Dude, that 180, how did you do that?’”
Team Liquid put an enormous amount of pressure on itself. In a news conference before the event began, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom, Team Liquid’s top performer, joked he didn’t even know who his team would be playing and bragged that North America’s play style was easy to read.
“They put all the pressure on themselves going in the match, saying they’re the best team here, saying they should be tournament favorites,” Malaspina said. “I think that’s bad to do, especially when you don’t have players who have competed at a super-high level consistently. I think that causes people to do things that they normally wouldn’t do because of nerves.”
Just don’t read too much into the matchup’s results, Malaspina cautioned.
“People are dumb. You can’t judge a region on one best-of-three,” he said. “It happens. It’s ‘Valorant.’”