VALORANT Masters Copenhagen: FunPlus Phoenix best XERXIA in close 2-1 series

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EMEA powerhouse FunPlus Phoenix bested Thailand's XERXIA in their closely-contested opening match in Group B of Masters Copenhagen. Pictured: FunPlus Phoenix Zyppan. (Photo: VALORANT Esports)
EMEA powerhouse FunPlus Phoenix bested Thailand's XERXIA in their closely-contested opening match in Group B of Masters Copenhagen. Pictured: FunPlus Phoenix Zyppan. (Photo: VALORANT Esports)

The action in the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 2 Masters tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark continued with the second day of the Group Stage on Monday (11 July).

In the second opening match of Group B, Thailand's XERXIA narrowly lost a hard-fought three-game marathon against EMEA powerhouse FunPlus Phoenix (FPX).

Here's how the showdown between FPX and XERXIA went down:

FunPlus Phoenix 2-1 XERXIA

Game one: Bind

With Bind as the first map, both teams started the first half with a level playing field, playing to each of their strengths.

FPX quickly invested in plenty of utility to get the opening kills, but XERXIA was still able to counter and claim the initial rounds for themselves, including the pistol round.

In response, FPX took the next few rounds after adjusting their utility.

XERXIA then punished them by taking four consecutive rounds off the back of Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut’s Brimstone and Nutchapon “sScary” Mataray’s Viper, putting the Thai squad in the lead.

FPX would still manage to take the next couple of rounds, but the first half still ended in XERXIA’s favor at 7-5.

As the second half started, FPX went on the attack side and decided to get more aggressive. Eager to close the gap, Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov pulled off a heavenly 4K, turning the tides in the European squad’s favor.

This was quickly followed by a successful bonus round with Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks at the helm, giving FPX both the lead and the economic advantage.

Fortunately, Thanachart “Surf” Rungapajaratkul was able to momentarily stop XERXIA’s bleeding via two incredible Chamber/Op rounds, closing the gap to tie both teams at 9-9.

Then, both teams traded rounds until another tie at 11-11. But, just as stand-in Mathias “SEIDER” Seider was able to secure a 1v1 clutch against sCary, XERXIA was still able to stop FPX’s B execute, forcing the first map to OT.

Here, FPX were able to take early advantage, thanks to three impressive headshots from Andrey “Shao” Kiprsky while on defense. In the next round, Itthirit “foxz” Ngamsa-ard paid for his mid-aggression by letting FPX set up a plant on B.

Then, with the clock ticking down, FPX took down any retake attempts by XERXIA, closing Bind at 14-12 for the win.

Game two: Ascent

Echoing the start of Bind, FPX took the early rounds with ease in Ascent, but XERXIA recovered via some impressive defense to retake the lead with three consecutive rounds.

Still, Ascent’s first half stayed very close, with Surf and Ardis dueling Operators to put on a good show. By the time they reached halftime, XERXIA once again lead with a 7-5.

And just like on Bind, the second half started with FPX claiming the pistol round to close the gap, but with Surf’s Jett taking charge, XERXIA retook control with four excellent attack rounds.

Then, FPX hit back with a thrifty, thanks to Pontus “Zyppan” eek’s Sheriff stopping an A execute, even managing to use XERXIA’s own Cosmic Divide on them.

XERXIA responded by taking the game to match point at 12-8, before heading to B to close the map at 13-9 and setting the stage for round 3.

Game three: Haven

Continuing their streak, XERXIA took the opening pistol round on Haven before FPX stopped them short by taking the anti-eco using just pistols, breaking the former’s bank.

Still, XERXIA managed to keep the map close, stringing together three attack rounds for themselves.

Unfortunately for the Thai team, Zyppan and ardiis would both notch up 15 kills in order to give FPX a 7-5 lead come halftime.

Similar to previous maps, the second half of Haven also stayed close, with both teams eventually reaching a 10-10 tie after trading rounds.

Then, FPX claimed the lead with a thrifty, before an Omen teleport by SEIDER into the back of site B produced a triple.

This led to a 1v2 clutch with ardiis, where FPX finally secured the series with a 13-10 victory.

With Monday's results, FPX will take on South Korea's DRX in the Group B Winner's Match, while XERXIA will face Japan's Northeption in the group's Elimination Match.

Masters Copenhagen will see 12 of the top VALORANT teams from all over the world clashing with each other from 10 to 24 July, all for the chance to reign victorious as the Copenhagen champions and claim a spot in VALORANT Champions 2022 in Istanbul come September.

For everything you need to know about Masters Copenhagen, check here.

Feb has been trying to speedrun Super Mario 64 ever since he started playing video games at 11 years old. He has never succeeded, but has completed other video games in the time since. When not playing, he's usually playing music or building Gunpla.

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