VALORANT Masters Copenhagen: Paper Rex sweep Fnatic to secure Top 3

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APAC champions Paper Rex have secured at least a Top 3 finish and meeting with OpTic Gaming in the upper bracket finals of Masters Copenhagen after they swept EMEA's Fnatic in the semifinals. Pictured: Paper Rex Benkai. (Photo: VALORANT Esports)
APAC champions Paper Rex have secured at least a Top 3 finish and meeting with OpTic Gaming in the upper bracket finals of Masters Copenhagen after they swept EMEA's Fnatic in the semifinals. Pictured: Paper Rex Benkai. (Photo: VALORANT Esports)

As the action continued in day eight of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 2 Masters tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark on Sunday (17 July), we finally got to know the two teams that will be battling in the upper bracket finals.

One of those two teams are APAC champions Paper Rex (PRX), who soundly swept EMEA powerhouse Fnatic 2-0 in the upper bracket semifinals.

In case you missed it, here’s how Paper Rex secured a Top 3 placement at Masters Copenhagen:

Paper Rex 2 – 0 Fnatic

Game one: Ascent

Starting the match off on Fnatic’s map pick, Ascent, the two teams showcased two very different playstyles.

Fnatic quickly secured the pistol and eco rounds to put an early dent in PRX’s economy.

Right from the start, Fnatic stuck to a very defensive playstyle, sitting on the bombsites while Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev took care of getting picks with his chamber.

On the other hand, PRX played very aggressively and managed to win the bonus round to finally get on the scoreboard.

That win gave the PRX the momentum they needed, as things started to go their way come the gun rounds.

Thanks to great mid-round calls and some fantastic executions from Wang “Jinggg” Jing Jie, PRX advanced and converted the next three rounds into their favor.

But just as PRX started dominating, Fnatic hit back with a thrifty round to gain momentum, which allowed them to take the lead at 5-4.

With both teams playing to their strengths, the score was tied at 6-6 by halftime.

PRX stuck to their aggressive style by the second half, quickly resulting in a 5-3 advantage.

Despite this, Fnatic managed to quickly recover off the back of Jake “Boaster” Howlett clutching the round.

But just as the EMEA squad was poised to catch PRX on eco off-guard, Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart snuck a 2K to turn things in their favor.

It wasn’t enough, however, as Boaster still ended up winning the resulting 1v1 against Jinggg.

Now with their backs against the wall, PRX had to act fast, and that was exactly what they did by winning four straight rounds to put them at map point.

Still, Fnatic weren't going down without a fight, managing to close that round at 12-11.

Then, just in the nick of time, Jinggg pulled through to get two players in the smoke, giving PRX the advantage they needed to close the game at 13-11 and win their opponent’s map pick.

Game two: Bind

In game two, PRX were the ones to start on the defensive side, quickly securing the pistol and eco rounds.

Now on the offensive, Fnatic responded with two rounds of their own.

Then, just as both teams started trading rounds, Fnatic pulled off sone great executions to secure three straight rounds and the lead at 5-3.

Fortunately, mindfreak’s ability to quickly adapt bode well for PRX, as the APAC champions were able to hit back with Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto at the helm.

From there, PRX went on a strong streak, winning the next three rounds to take the lead at 7-5 by half-time.

PRX kept their momentum going by also winning the game's second pistol round as well as the succeeding eco round.

Fnatic retaliated by converting the bonus round, but PRX had other plans by winning the next two rounds thanks to MVP performances from Jinggg and f0rsakeN.

But, just like in the previous map, Fnatic weren't going down without a fight.

In a moment of brilliance, Fnatic executed some fantastic individual plays, resulting in a four-round win streak that stopped PRX’s early celebrations and closed the gap to just one round at 11-10.

But, just as Fnatic were able to make a comeback, PRX said no, and closed out the map at 13-10 to secure the 2-0 series victory.

PRX's victory over Fnatic was made even more impressive by the fact that the team had to play despite multiple players testing positive for COVID-19.

The PRX players who tested positive played from isolated rooms while their teammates who returned negative results played on the stage.

With Sunday’s results, PRX advanced to the upper bracket finals and secured at least a Top 3 finish at Masters Copenhagen — the highest placement for an APAC team in a Masters event thus far.

The APAC champions will be facing Masters Reykjavik champions OpTic Gaming, who defeated South Korea's DRX 2-1 in the other upper bracket semifinals match.

The winner of the upper bracket finals showdown between PRX and OpTic on Friday (22 July) will become the first team to advance to the grand finals of Masters Copenhagen while the loser will drop to the lower bracket finals.

Meanwhile, Fnatic drop down to the lower bracket and will be facing LATAM's Leviatán in the second round of playoff elimination matches.

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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