Written By AashirAhmed - 2022-07-10
The opening day of VCT 2022 - Stage 2 - Masters Copenhagen provided more entertainment than anyone could’ve asked for. If you happened to miss out on any of the action today, the following article will be sufficient to catch you up on the events that transpired.
Proceedings for this matchup commenced on Ascent, which was chosen by NORTHEPTION as their map pick. Given their history on the map, NORTHEPTION was extremely confident about their strategy coming out of the gate. However, the Korean giants had anticipated Ascent being their opponent’s pick and had prepared accordingly to counter their usual moves. After taking a quick couple of rounds, they found the momentum swaying away from them and retaliated with unforeseen aggression to catch the Japanese representatives off-guard taking the 8-4 lead going into the second half.
Winning the pistol round to start the second half proved to be vital in closing the map as they took the upper hand in the series with a final score of 13-8 on Ascent. Both teams then transitioned to Bind, and something snapped within DRX. Despite taking a comfortable win on Ascent, the form that DRX VS’ roster now displayed was beyond comprehension.
One round after another fell to them and NORTHEPTION’s desperate attempts to stop them were rendered futile almost each time. Throughout the entire map, they were able to sneak only a single round courtesy of a clutch 3K. Two players finished with a 3.0 KD, including Kim "Zest" Gi-seok who finished the matchup with 1.30 Rating and 232 ACS.
With an unexpected performance from DRX VS to start the tournament, the anticipation for the Brazil vs LATAM matchup increased. Fracture was the first to host both teams, a predicted outcome for LOUD’s map pick considering their past performances. KRU realized the disadvantage they faced; therefore, left the gate with a strong start to win the first couple of rounds. Losing these rounds warmed up the lethal LOUD offense and a string of rounds started falling under their banner such that the scoreboard read 8-4 by halftime.
KRU’s predicament had worsened, but their ability to thrive under pressure rescued them and their Attack side pushed the score to a tie at 10-10 by round 21. LOUD couldn’t let KRU get too comfortable and Matias "Saadhak" Delipetro stepped up at the right time to lead the team to close out the map with 8 kills in the last three rounds. Switching map picks meant that KRU could now seek revenge in their designated territory.
LOUD, however, knew better than to let themselves be vulnerable. Their defense was able to withstand KRU’s offense for the most part allowing only a two-point lead to the opposition. Fortunately, the lead provided KRU with enough leeway to close out the map without breaking a sweat. Finally, Icebox was chosen as the decider and despite getting off to a poor start, KRU was able to keep the lead to 7-5 by halftime and when they started on Defense, it was game over for LOUD. Once again, winning the pistol round proved to be crucial to the overall result as a quick couple of rounds neutralized the lead fueling Roberto "Mazino" Rivas spectacular run on Defense finishing the half with a 2.05 Rating on 367 ACS.
OpTic Gaming, the champions of VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík, had started the previous event from the Group Stages and did so this time as well and just when the aspects of similarity couldn’t increase, they lost their first matchup of Copenhagen as well. Guild invited OpTic to initiate proceedings on Icebox and they demonstrated their intent to win from the get-go by starting the map with a mind-blowing 7 round streak against the infamous Green Wall. OpTic managed to retaliate with four rounds to end the half. Despite switching sides, Guild kept up their aggressive approach and through a pistol round win, they took three back-to-back rounds elevating the lead to 5 rounds.
OpTic’s position had deteriorated but their composure and drive to comeback allowed them to take almost 7 consecutive rounds at 12-11 putting them a round away from forcing OT. Saif "Sayf" Jibraeel’s 3K diffused these hopes into thin air allowing the new EMEA team to take the lead in the series. Split started with the same timeline as Guild once again embarked on an seven round streak to start the map, which was responded to by OpTic’s four rounds.
The 2nd half, too, followed a similar pattern except that OpTic was leading at Round 23, which meant that Guild was put in the position to force Overtime. Unlike OpTic, they capitalized on this opportunity, and used it as means of getting their first win of the tournament against the defending champions.
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