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G2 Esports face ZETA DIVISION, LOUD go up against Team Liquid in first day of playoffs - Masters Reykjavik Day 5 Preview

Written By    PeeKay  -  share on

After four days of intriguing group stage action, the playoffs are set to begin at VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík. The EMEA and Brazil top seeds G2 Esports and LOUD will clash with ZETA DIVISION and Team Liquid respectively for a spot at the Upper Bracket semi final.

Match 1: G2 Esports vs ZETA DIVISION at 7:00 PM CET / 10:00 AM PDT

G2 Esports were on the receiving end of many jokes after their disappointing exit from VCT 2022 - Europe - Stage 1 - Closed Qualifier 1, following a loss to Alliance. The team seemed to be in turmoil, with Oscar Cañellas "m1xwell" Colocho benched suddenly for Cista "keloqz" Wassim and the squad lacking an in-game leader. But they bounced back in miraculous fashion at VCT 2022 - Europe - Stage 1 - Open Qualifier 2 and then kept going all the way to the grand finals of VCT 2022 - EMEA - Stage 1 - Challengers - Main Event, led by their star man Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas. It was nothing short of a Cinderella story, and they now reap the rewards of their hard work with a direct playoff spot at Iceland. Facing them, also somewhat surprisingly, is the Kouji "Laz" Ushida-led ZETA DIVISION. The Japanese lineup had a dreadful start to Masters Reykjavik, with a demoralizing 2-0 loss to DRX VS. But a solid win against a weakened Fnatic gave them hope, and they managed to wrap up a playoff spot with a nail biting 2-1 overtime victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas.

Laz at Masters Reykjavik 2022. Credit: Riot Games
Laz at Masters Reykjavik 2022. Credit: Riot Games

The head to head of two ridiculously talented in-game leaders in nukkye and Laz is one to look forward to, with the former known for his explosive Raze and Jett plays, while the latter seems to be unstoppable on Chamber. Shota "SugarZ3ro" Watanabe has also found form over the last three months, with a 1.21 rating and 223 ACS on the old-school duo of Astra and Viper.

G2 Esports really seem to like Icebox, playing it in all five of their previous matches and losing it only once. They also have high win rates on Ascent and Bind, so there is a chance those may get floated in the veto. ZETA DIVISION have also played Icebox in all their matches at Iceland, and other than their opening day loss on it to DRX VS, they have been great on it. The Japanese squad is also good on Fracture, which might be another map that could come up in the mix.

Match 2: LOUD vs Team Liquid at 10:00 PM CET / 1:00 PM PDT

There is no doubt that LOUD have been almost impeccable in the Brazilian region, dominating every team at VCT 2022 - Brazil - Stage 1 - Main Event. Since the superteam was signed, they have only dropped one map in seven matches, and will certainly be looking to continue that good form against Team Liquid. The Europeans, while not having the same regional success, have looked good in the group stages, with a solid 2-0 win against KRÜ Esports and a narrow 2-1 against XERXIA. Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen and co. going undefeated does seem to have given a boost to the squad, with players looking confident and hitting their shots.

Nivera and Jamppi at Masters Reykjavik 2022. Credit: Riot Games
Nivera and Jamppi at Masters Reykjavik 2022. Credit: Riot Games

Speaking of hitting shots, the duo of Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom and Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen has been among the top rated players at the tournament, with a 1.28 and 1.26 rating respectively. Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom may not be the flashiest on sentinels, but has been integral in the team’s double operator setups and has had some high impact plays of his own. On the other side of things, Erick "aspas" Santos has been godlike for LOUD, with a 1.45 rating and 287 ACS in the last three months. Gustavo  "Sacy" Rossi must also be highlighted, moving from a duelist role last year with Team Vikings to an initiator role now, but has still maintained his fragging alongside his excellent supporting utility.

LOUD have a very wide map pool, mainly focusing on Bind and Ascent and destroying teams like Ninjas in Pyjamas and Vivo Keyd on them. The Brazilians don’t shy away from Breeze and Fracture either, and it will be extremely interesting to see their picks in the veto. Team Liquid look much improved on Split and Ascent, so expect one of those to be played, while a map like Breeze could also make its way into the matchup.

The event will be streamed live at the official VALORANT Twitch channel and you can get more information on the Masters Reykjavik event page.

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