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ZETA and Paper Rex grab surprise wins to stay at Iceland - Masters Reykjavik Day 7

Written By    PeeKay  -  share on

ZETA DIVISION and Paper Rex put up inspiring performances against favorites Team Liquid and The Guard as they stayed alive in the lower bracket of VCT 2022 - Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík.

Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík
2:1
Best of 3
April 16, 2022 - 19:00
  • 13
    Fracture
    Pick
    7
  • 4
    Haven
    Pick
    13
  • 13
    Split
    7
ZETA DIVISIONAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR
SugarZ3ro1.202421.44523610157.5
ten0.962100.93404314140.9
Dep0.911971.03393812125.9
crow0.901730.88374218118.7
Laz0.631490.743142793.9
Team LiquidTeam LiquidAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR
ScreaM1.312791.26544310176.0
Nivera1.182291.4350354150.7
soulcas0.952160.95414314151.5
L1NK0.751230.6924352281.7
Jamppi0.711580.7231438103.4

ZETA DIVISION’s brutal lower bracket run saw them brush off the challenge of Team Liquid in a narrow 2-1 fashion. The Japanese side’s fairytale continues as they send the Europeans home and continue on to the lower bracket second round.

Fracture was where ZETA DIVISION chose to start this journey and did they start it well, absolutely destroying the Liquid attack with a flawless pistol round. The Europeans almost stole the next round away but Maruoka "crow" Tomoaki was able to clean things up with a clutch Spectre retake. Japanese fans may have been concerned that a couple of tech pauses might break their team’s momentum, but Kouji "Laz" Ushida and co. stayed focused and were even able to convert the bonus with just Shortys and Sheriffs. From this point on, ZETA DIVISION started to run circles around their opponents, completely outsmarting them while Shota "SugarZ3ro" Watanabe popped up with a 300 ACS performance. At 8-0, Liquid found an entry kill on SugarZ3ro and were able to convert a couple of rounds but that was just a consolation, as the half ended in a one-sided 10-2 scoreline.

SugarZ3ro at Masters Reykjavik 2022. Credit: Riot Games
SugarZ3ro at Masters Reykjavik 2022. Credit: Riot Games

Team Liquid claimed a very important pistol and anti-eco round win at the start of the half to give them a good foundation on the defense. Despite losing the bonus, they dominated three of the next four rounds to climb back to a 7-11 score. ZETA DIVISION were starting to sweat a little bit, but Dep and SugarZ3ro heroically defended the planted spike in a thrifty 2v5 to knock the wind out of Team Liquid’s sails. The last round was but a formality for Laz’s side, as they cleaned house on A to end the first map 13-7 in their favor.

It was deja vu for ZETA DIVISION on Haven, as they found themselves on the receiving end of the punishment they handed to Liquid previously. Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen announced his arrival early on with a nice anti-eco round ace as well as a bonus round clutch to show that his team had had a mental reset and were back with a bang. The Japanese side put a couple of rounds on the board in the fifth round following a B site retake, but some errors in the rounds after allowed Liquid to take control of the game yet again. Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom was impeccable on Jett, not only leading the entry charts with 5 first bloods, but also helping the team close things out with 5 triple kills. ZETA DIVISION failed to adapt to the Europeans’ attack, other than the occasional mid aggression by Dep, and paid the price as they lost six in a row to make it 10-2 at halftime.

The second half pistol round went the way of ZETA DIVISION, but the two brothers ScreaM and Nivera on the Sheriff and Headhunter were too much for the Japanese to handle. Liquid were able to shut down full buys from ZETA not once but twice that half and with the former on map point, it was only a matter of time before we moved to Split. Speaking of time, SugarZ3ro ran out of it in round 17 as he failed to get the spike down and handed Liquid a 1-1 score in the series.

Split was set to be the decider for the series, a map that both teams have looked rather shaky on as of late. That certainly seemed to be the case today too, with neither team really taking control in the first half. ZETA started off on the front foot, racing to a 4-0 lead on the back of the pistol round and a really messy bonus round win. Dom "soulcas" Sulcas, who was having a decent game so far, turned on the afterburners to get two entries and crack the B site open for his team. Some really good site takes allowed Liquid to get back in the game now, leveling the scores 5-5. The teams exchanged rounds in the end to have about as close a half ending as possible, 6-6.

The final half of the series was set up to be really competitive, but ZETA simply looked hungrier and tactically better on the map, and it turned out to be the crow show. The Japanese Skye put up 19 kills and a 1.33 rating for his team, getting countless impact kills to drag ZETA over the finish line. Liquid, without a Viper in their composition, kept getting overwhelmed in middle and ZETA scaled off that pressure to pinch site defenders perfectly. They picked up seven out of eight rounds with dominance en route to a 13-7 map win and a 2-1 result that left many fans stunned.

ZETA DIVISION celebrate after their win over Team Liquid. Credit: Riot Games
ZETA DIVISION celebrate after their win over Team Liquid. Credit: Riot Games

Stage 1 - Masters Reykjavík
2:0
Best of 3
April 16, 2022 - 22:00
  • 13
    Haven
    Pick
    10
  • 13
    Split
    Pick
    8
Paper RexAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR
Jinggg1.593311.5352349207.3
f0rsakeN1.322711.5443286168.1
Benkai0.971881.20302512124.0
mindfreak0.931681.12282516107.5
d4v410.841440.6319302597.4
The GuardThe GuardAgentsRatingACSK/DKDAADR
JonahP1.212541.2042353154.2
valyn0.991970.97313212133.0
Sayaplayer0.812040.7527368134.1
trent0.731590.6924356105.6
neT0.531350.531834999.0

Paper Rex made their 2-0 win over North America’s top seed look easy in the second lower bracket matchup for the day. It is an unfortunate result for The Guard, who lost both their matches at Iceland and now are eliminated from the tournament.

The Guard have looked very solid on Haven, with an 80% win rate including against the likes of OpTic Gaming and Cloud9, so that's where the match began. Paper Rex made quick work of the pistol and anti-eco rounds, with Wang "Jinggg" Jing Jie’s signature Reyna pick running over his opponents. Poor positioning in the post-plant allowed Trent "trent" Cairns and Ha "Sayaplayer" Jung-woo to convert a 2v4 and get their team on the board, but it was all Paper Rex after that as they went on to win four in a row. While the North Americans salvaged a few rounds towards the end of the half, Benedict "Benkai" Tan and co. were in control with an 8-4 half.

Paper Rex flew dangerously close to map point early on, after they won the pistol and then shut down the following forcebuy to demolish The Guard’s economy. The latter did finally get a full buy in the sixteenth round and used it to make their way back, bringing it to 8-11 with clean A and C site hits. That woke the Singaporeans up and they mixed things up, making an aggressive play down A long that caught their opposition off guard completely, and f0rsakeN closed things out two rounds later with an operator triple kill to seal the map 13-10.

Jinggg dropped 24 kills with Reyna on Haven against The Guard. Credit: Riot Games
Jinggg dropped 24 kills with Reyna on Haven against The Guard. Credit: Riot Games

Paper Rex grabbed their third pistol round of the match so far on their pick of Split, a map they have looked good on regionally, but were yet to play on the international stage. With rifles in hand and their utility belts full, The Guard responded with great counter-utility and aggression in middle to get themselves on the scoresheet. They followed that up with two more, taking back the lead 3-2. Play got a lot scrappier from there, with either side relying on big moments from their players to win rounds. Benkai clutched a 1v2 to prevent the defuse, then valyn got a 3k to close out the round, and finally net won a retake clutch with just a Spectre in his hands: all players on the server were playing lights out VALORANT and all was level at 6-6 during halftime.

The Guard won their first pistol of the series on the attack side, but f0rsakeN came alive in the next round with the solo Marshall as he kept the North Americans honest with a 3k. Their economy in shambles, valyn and co. fell down a slippery slope as the Singaporean lineup took full control of their own map pick. The double duelist composition with Jinggg and f0rsakeN was claiming opening kills throughout The Guard’s default, combining for a total of 11 first bloods and 49 kills on the map. The suffocating playstyle from Paper Rex saw them win five in a row to move to a 11-7 lead, at which point influential coach Matthew "mCe" Elmore called a timeout that led to a round win for The Guard. But it was too little too late for the young American roster, who kept finding themselves in 3v5 situations early in rounds, and the final nail in the coffin was hammered by Benkai who completed the B site retake to finish the map 13-8 and the series 2-0.

Day 8 will play host to the following matches:

Upper Bracket Semi Final: G2 Esports vs LOUD at 7:00 PM CET / 10:00 AM PDT

Upper Bracket Semi Final: DRX VS vs OpTic Gaming at 10:00 PM CET / 1:00 PM PDT

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