VALORANT Masters Copenhagen: Paper Rex beat OpTic 2-1 to reach grand finals

Paper Rex are the first team in the grand finals of VALORANT Masters Copenhagen after they defeated OpTic Gaming, 2-1, in the upper bracket finals. Pictured: Paper Rex Benkai. (Photo: VALORANT Esports)
Paper Rex are the first team in the grand finals of VALORANT Masters Copenhagen after they defeated OpTic Gaming, 2-1, in the upper bracket finals. Pictured: Paper Rex Benkai. (Photo: VALORANT Esports)

Singaporean juggernauts Paper Rex are the first team to secure a spot in the grand finals of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 2 Masters tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark after they defeated OpTic Gaming in the upper bracket finals, 2-1, on Friday (22 July).

As the APAC Stage 2 Challengers champions, Paper Rex earned a direct seed to the Masters Copenhagen playoffs. They made good use of this advantage, sweeping Guild Esports and Fnatic to cruise into the upper bracket finals.

Meanwhile, Masters Reykjavik champions OpTic Gaming had to start their campaign in Copenhagen from the group stage. They fell to Guild Esports in their opening match but bounced back to qualify for the playoffs with a victory over KRÜ Esports.

OpTic then swept regional rivals XSET and outlasted South Korea's DRX, 2-1, to face Paper Rex in the upper bracket finals.

Game one: Haven

The match started on OpTic’s map pick, Haven, where Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker wasted no time and went to business by helping his team win the first pistol and eco rounds of the series.

But Paper Rex wasn’t about to just sit idly by, and they responded by dominating in the gun rounds, winning five rounds back-to-back with successful executions and site takeovers.

Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto, in particular, showed off with multiple headshots to score an ace — the first in front of a live international VALORANT crowd.

Losing control of the map, OpTic went for a timeout before getting back on the board by winning one round.

Unfortunately for them, the Singaporean squad was intent on keeping that lead. F0rsakeN himself was very comfortable on the map, even pulling a 5k by round 10 as he fought against yay’s Chamber in one of the series’ closest and best duels.

This, alongside the team’s successful A-side executions, helped Paper Rex close the first half at 9-3.

After a quick break, PRX continued to bring that momentum, quickly winning four back-to-back rounds to close the map at 13-3.

Game two: Bind

As the map that Paper Rex is best known for, fans were admittedly excited for another clean performance from the team.

Unfortunately, this game went in the completely opposite direction, with OpTic going on a seven-round streak to remind everyone that they are the Masters Reykjavik champions.

Paper Rex's hyper-aggressiveness was on display, of course, but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to dent OpTic’s robust defense and yay coming at full force.

Paper Rex took a timeout to stop the bleeding, and was able to recover by winning three rounds in a row.

But just as the Singaporean squad was about to get back into the swing of things, North America’s Green Wall once again stopped them, closing the first half with a 9-3 lead, turning the tables from the first map.

With a giant gap to close, PRX attempted to win the second pistol round. Unfortunately for them, yay swung into action once again by bagging a 3k and winning the 1v1 clutch.

However, PRX managed to convert the eco round, dealing a massive blow to the opponent’s economy.

As a response, OpTic hit back with back-to-back wins in the gun rounds, putting the game at match point.

But PRX’s attack-oriented approach was just as effective here as it was in the previous map, as they managed to win four rounds in a row to close the gap.

Khalish “d4v41” Rusyaidee, in particular, wowed the crowds at round 20, where he lined up the enemies to get a 3k with one fell swoop.

However, just as PRX was rearing for an overtime, OpTic put a stop to their plans by closing the map at 13-9, setting up game three for the decider.

Game three: Fracture

With Paper Rex back on defense, the team easily won the pistol round thanks to a 2k from Benedict “Benkai” Tan. The team converted the first eco round as well.

But it wasn’t long before OpTic showed up, winning three rounds in a row off the back of Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen to put themselves at the lead.

However, PRX showed that their defense was just as good as their offense, as the team’s setup proved to be troublesome for OpTic. In the end, PRX’s strategy and retakes helped them go on another seven-round streak, closing the first half, once more, at 9-3.

Eager to get back into the game, OpTic started the second half by winning the pistol and eco rounds.

Unfortunately for them, Paper Rex wasn’t about to let them take control of the game, as the team went on one final four-round streak to close the map at 13-5 and take the win over the Masters Reykjavik champions.

With their victory, Paper Rex have secured at least a Top 2 finish as well as US$120,000 and 750 VCT circuit points. But their eyes are surely set on the Masters Copenhagen championship and the grand prize of US$200,000 and 1,000 circuit points.

Paper Rex are also the first-ever APAC team to make it to the grand finals of a VALORANT Masters event, which has previously been dominated by Western teams.

Meanwhile, OpTic Gaming drop down to the lower bracket finals, where they will face FunPlus Phoenix for the right to challenge Paper Rex for the Masters Copenhagen title in the grand finals.

Both the lower bracket finals and the grand finals of Masters Copenhagen will be best-of-five series. The lower bracket finals will take place on Saturday (23 July) while the grand finals will be on Sunday (24 July).

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

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