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OpTic and ZETA advance to playoffs, end of the road for XERXIA and NiP at Masters Reykjavik

Written By    ArmandVanHelden  -  share on

The VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík storm continues with the fourth-day competition. With the end of today’s matches, OpTic Gaming and ZETA DIVISION joined DRX VS and Team Liquid in the playoffs stage. It is now the end of the road for XERXIA and Ninjas in Pyjamas as they got eliminated after the decider matches.

XERXIA vs OpTic Gaming

XERXIA had the chance to select the opening map of the series and they picked Fracture to possibly start the last series of the tournament for them. The first half ended in a tie, both teams winning six rounds before switching sides. This wasn’t good news for the Thai organization as they were expected to win more on the attacking side. However, OpTic’s defensive efforts were enough to keep them on the advantageous side. Jaccob "yay" Whitaker’s 13-kill Chamber performance was the most important aspect of their superior form.

OpTic Gaming players before their match against XERXIA. Credit: Riot Games
OpTic Gaming players before their match against XERXIA. Credit: Riot Games

The North American representatives started the second half in style, winning four rounds in a row to get closer to the finish line. XERXIA’s efforts didn’t go beyond winning three rounds during the second half. OpTic Gaming closed out the first map with a score of 13-9. Victor "Victor" Wong stepped up for his team in the second half, finishing the game with 23 kills and a 1.53 K/D. The American player had a great Neon performance but we also need to add yay’s great effort on Jett, securing 6 first bloods in total to help his team on both sides. On the other side of the competition, XERXIA’s Panyawat "sushiboys" Subsiriroj secured 20 kills on Cypher but it wasn’t enough for the Thai team. Their duelist, Thanachart "Surf" Rungarphajaratsakul finished the first map with a 0.75 K/D and 15 kills and he failed to support his teammates with the firepower that was needed.

OpTic Gaming chose Haven as the second map of the series. Interestingly, none of the teams chose the maps that they picked in their first match, which was the second game of Group B. As you may remember, XERXIA pulled out a huge upset and swept OpTic on Icebox and Ascent but this time none of these maps were played. The North American team started the series on the attacking side and they executed their plans and strategies almost perfectly. We have definitely seen an improved and much better teamplay from them compared to the first game. OpTic Gaming picked up nine rounds in the first half and only lost three. Jaccob "yay" Whitaker conquered the map with Chamber, securing 17 kills and dying only three times. The American player held a 1.85 rating and a massive 5.67 K/D in the first half. He received help from his teammates for sure, especially from Jimmy "Marved" Nguyen but his individual performance was just on another level. One more thing to add for the side of OpTic, Victor’s 7 first bloods in the first half. He was the main reason for OpTic's incredible attacking strategies. Unlike his first-half performance, yay could only pick up one kill in the second half but his teammates were there to help him out. OpTic Gaming won the map after grabbing four rounds on the defending side, ending the series with a 13-6 Haven win. Farewell to XERXIA as they are out of the tournament now. Unfortunately, the Thai team failed to keep their great work up throughout the tournament and they got eliminated.

Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík
Best of 3
April 13, 2022 - 19:00
  • 9
  • 6
OpTic GamingAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR

Ninjas in Pyjamas vs ZETA Division

The second series of the day started with the ZETA Division’s Split pick. We all expected them to be more proactive on the attacking side but Ninjas in Pyjamas’ incredible defending abilities proved us wrong. The Brazilian representatives grabbed seven rounds on the defending side by doing a great job with their agents. Everyone on the team played important roles but Alexandre "xand" Zizi’s impressive Raze performance clearly got all the spotlights shining on him. The Brazilian player grabbed 14 kills in the first half and 7 of them were first bloods, denying ZETA’s attacking strategies. On top of the Raze, Cauan "cauanzin" Pereira’s Sage was also very important for NiP. He grabbed 13 kills with a solid 302 ACS. ZETA’s firepower wasn’t enough to beat NiP’s defense. Except Shota "SugarZ3ro" Watanabe’ Astra, none of the players had a positive K/D on the side of ZETA Division. NiP’s supremacy continued in the second half and even got bigger. The Brazilian second-seed grabbed six rounds and gave away only one to win the first map in 19 rounds. ZETA’s important pieces, Kouji "Laz" Ushida and Yuma "Dep" Hisamoto, failed to impress the fans with their disappointing start to the series. Ninjas in Pyjamas grabbed an important lead in the series, winning on their opponent’s map of choice.

Secondly, Ninjas in Pyjamas selected Icebox to win the series in two maps. Their Icebox performance against DRX VS was not optimal before as they won four rounds in a hard loss. On the other hand, ZETA’s test against the South Korean team was also not that great. The Japanese team won two rounds against them but luckily, they showed their true Icebox performance against Fnatic, winning the game with a score of 13-11. Ninjas in Pyjamas started the map on the attacking side but they failed to use their utilities effectively for most of the first half. Besides, Dep’s great Jett skills came in handy for ZETA as the duelist grabbed 15 kills in the first half, holding a 1.44 rating and a 2.5 K/D. ZETA Division won eight rounds to have the momentum before the second half. The second half was very close but the Japanese side showed their dominance by winning five rounds in return to NiP’s six. They reached the 13-round point and forced another map in the series to keep their trophy hopes alive. Shota "SugarZ3ro" Watanabe had the best rating on his team again and this time Dep was there to help him. NiP players failed to complete the sweep despite getting close to it with ten rounds in their pockets.

ZETA Division players huddling on stage. Credit: Riot Games
ZETA Division players huddling on stage. Credit: Riot Games

Lastly, the next map was Fracture. ZETA Division showed their capabilities against Fnatic before, winning the game with a score of 13-7 in the group game. However, we haven’t seen NiP’s Fracture during VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík so it was an interesting matchup to see. The Brazilian side started on attackers to execute their gameplans that we haven’t seen so far. They picked up seven rounds in the first half and lost five thanks to Gabriel  "bezn1" Luiz da Costa’s 16-kill Cypher performance. ZETA’s Kouji "Laz" Ushida had a stand-out Chamber performance in the first 12 rounds, grabbing 16 kills with 7 first bloods and holding a 1.65 rating. The second half started with both sides winning back-to-back rounds to break the tie. Both teams played their hearts out during the later stages to reach the playoffs but one of them had to return home. Ninjas in Pyjamas shifted gears in clutch moments to reach the 12-round point and ZETA’s Laz was trying to keep his team in the tournament on his own with Chamber in his hands. Tenta "ten" Asai joined him in the later rounds to force overtime. The Japanese player continued his dominance during the overtime and helped his team to close out the series after 26 rounds, 14-12. ZETA reached the playoffs and NiP got eliminated from the tournament, failing to join LOUD, the other Brazilian team in the tournament.

Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík
Best of 3
April 13, 2022 - 21:45
  • 13
  • 10
  • 12
Ninjas in PyjamasAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR

Playoff Matchups

The playoffs will start tomorrow and the top-seeded teams, G2 Esports, LOUD, Paper Rex, and The Guard will make their debut in VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík. The playoffs will be streamed live on the official VALORANT Twitch channel.

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