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DRX VS and G2 forced into Lower Brackets - Masters Reykjavik Day 8

Written By    AashirAhmed  -  share on

Day 8 of VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík witnessed the relegation of and to the Lower Bracket, whereas and have now qualified for the Upper Bracket finals, a match away from playing in the Grand Finals of the first LAN event of VCT 2022.

DRX VS vs OpTic Gaming

Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík
Best of 3
April 17, 2022 - 19:00
  • 13
  • 11
  • 13
OpTic GamingAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR

DRX VS’s dominance has been unmatched since the group stages as they defeated both Ninjas in Pyjamas and ZETA DIVISION without dropping a map and then took down the VCT 2022 - APAC Challengers winner, Paper Rex in the first round of the playoffs. In contrast, OpTic Gaming had a poor start to the tournament but have since managed to bounce back and compete at the highest level possible as demonstrated by their win against The Guard in the Upper Bracket quarter finals. As we draw closer to the end of the event, the stakes are increasing exponentially, and the outcome of this matchup made this factor eminent.

Proceedings began on Ascent, and DRX VS wasted no time in trying to establish momentum early on especially since it was OpTic’s map pick hosting the battle. One round after another fell to DRX as they picked OpTic’s defense apart. By halftime DRX’s score read 9, while OpTic had a three beside their logo. Despite using two timeouts in the first half, it seemed that OpTic couldn’t run the strats they had initially drawn up in preparation for the matchup and Myeongkwan "MaKo" Kim deserves a lot of credit for that as he finished the map with a 1.24 Rating and 266 ACS while playing Astra.

OpTic celebrating after win against DRX. Credit: Riot Games
OpTic celebrating after win against DRX. Credit: Riot Games

One of the highlight plays, however, came from Kim  "stax" Gu-taek as he successfully executed a smooth 4K. In the second half, OpTic had the opportunity to replicate DRX’s success and they did so momentarily by embarking on a five-round streak. But it wasn’t enough to restrict the South Korean team from closing out on the first map.

Icebox, being DRX’s pick, presented a potential threat to OpTic’s run in the Playoffs but their experience at international tournaments was enough to disregard this factor and start the map with an almost flawless pistol round, and an easy follow-up round. It would’ve been beneficial for OpTic to maintain this momentum going into the upcoming rounds, but DRX knew better than to let the NA team get comfortable as they were able to tie them at 3-3. DRX decided to push their luck and take the lead after this mind-blowing play from Kim  "Zest" Gi-seok with a 4K to prevent the defuse.

As teams left the gate for the second half, DRX was able to secure the first couple of rounds without any hesitation increasing their lead to 9-5. However, OpTic still clinched onto hopes of a comeback and gave the thousands of fans cheering them on a show by initiating the largest streak of the series by taking six consecutive rounds to take the lead at 11-9. The tables were now turned and DRX were looking worried, but the NA giants weren’t planning on letting their tremendous comeback be rendered futile and held their own to finish the series at 13-11 just before DRX could force Overtime.

Being tied 1-1 meant that the incredibly high stakes of the matchup were now dependent on each team’s performance over the next 24 rounds. Instead of either team taking the charge, the scores remain tied at 6-6 by halftime after fascinating plays from both teams including a 3K from Jimmy "Marved" Nguyen and a combined effort from Kim  "stax" Gu-taek and Yu "BuZz" Byung-chul to help DRX take the lead. A similar pattern emerged in the second half as both teams alternated between establishing brief streaks of two-to-three rounds apiece. With OpTic having the lead 12-11, they needed only a single more round to close out the map, but the Korean team managed to force OT.

After the initial OT, OpTic was so close to winning the map but Kim  "Zest" Gi-seok came in clutch for DRX with a much-needed 3K to force yet another OT. Nonetheless, their efforts couldn’t come to fruition as Jaccob "yay" Whitaker waved them off to the Lower Bracket round finishing the series on a 1.11 Rating and 227 ACS.

G2 Esports vs LOUD

Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík
Best of 3
April 17, 2022 - 23:00
  • 5
  • 11
G2 EsportsAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR

In the second matchup of the Upper Bracket semi-finals, it was the only remaining team from South America facing the top-seeded European team who were coming off a win against ZETA DIVISION in two one-sided maps. The Brazilian LOUD destroyed every opponent they had in VCT 2022 - Brazil - Stage 1 - Main Event and were also able to prove their worth on the international stage after a win against Team Liquid in their debut matchup.

G2 Esports on stage at Masters Reykjavík. Credit: Riot Gaming
G2 Esports on stage at Masters Reykjavík. Credit: Riot Gaming

With OpTic already in the Upper Bracket finals, having G2 Esports qualify would give the audience their first NA vs EU matchup of the event. Unfortunately, LOUD wasn’t planning on giving up this opportunity that easily and decided to give G2 a tough time on both maps. As soon as the battle began on Ascent, LOUD shocked the EU fans by taking six back-to-back rounds making a statement that they were a force to be reckoned with. Amongst the highlights that this map produced was an Ace from Erick "aspas" Santos. Although G2 managed to sneak in three rounds before halftime, a 9-3 lead made their chances at a comeback significantly lower. Given their history with 9-3 comebacks, they decided to try it nonetheless and were able to take successive rounds after the half.

With G2 esports being the only remaining EU team, all fans now rallied behind their banner and their start to the second half had renewed their hopes. But LOUD were way too comfortable on their map pick to be thrown off by a couple of rounds going to the opposition as they closed out the map on a high note with a 13-5 score.

The battle between these teams then transitioned to Breeze, known to be one of the better for G2’s roster. While they did get off to a better start this time around, there wasn’t much of a difference in terms of gameplay at least till halftime as LOUD was still in control of the lead. G2’s hopes at having an Upper Bracket run to the Grand Finals were low as ever, and this realization itself was enough to incite the aggressiveness G2 had been bottling all along.

After dropping a couple more maps to LOUD and being down 11-5, Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas executed a 4K to get them out of the slump and take almost six consecutive rounds to have 12-11 be displayed in their favor. They just needed one round to force OT and get another shot at winning the series. To their dismay, however, LOUD proved they were the better team and emerged victorious.

Day 9 will play host to the following matches:

Lower Bracket Round 2: DRX VS vs ZETA DIVISION at 7:00 PM CET / 10:00 AM PDT

Lower Bracket Round 2: G2 Esports vs Paper Rex at 10:00 PM CET / 1:00 PM PDT

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