VCT Masters Reykjavík 2022 Day 5: G2, LOUD advance to semis

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G2 Esports' Oscar
G2 Esports' Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas Colocho and LOUD's Erick "aspas" Santos led their teams to victories in the first day of the playoffs at the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland. (Photo: Riot Games via VALORANT Esports)

After four action-packed days of group stage matches, the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland has begun its double-elimination playoffs stage.

The regional top seeds started the playoffs on Day 5 strong, with Europe's G2 Esports making their tournament debut with a 2-0 sweep over Japan's ZETA DIVISION.

Brazilian superteam LOUD then outlasted European contenders Team Liquid in a 2-1 slugfest.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of all the action that went down in the opening day of the VCT Masters Reykjavik playoffs.

Upper Bracket Round 1:

G2 Esports 2 – 0 ZETA DIVISION

The playoffs opened with G2 facing off against ZETA, though the European team's journey to the Masters had some twists along the way.

Last March, G2 outplayed Liquid 2-0 to become the EMEA Stage 1 Challengers runners-up and qualify for the Masters Reykjavík. EMEA Stage 1 Challengers champions FunPlus Phoenix were unable to go to Iceland due to travel restrictions caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with G2 taking over their spot and automatically qualifying for the playoffs.

Meanwhile, ZETA overcame a shaky start in Day 1 of the group stage and scored back-to-back victories against Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) to secure their spot in the playoffs.

Game one started with G2 playing defense on Split, although ZETA’s Tenta "TENNN" Asai and Koji "Laz" Ushida got first blood and the first round.

While G2 found their footing in rounds 3 and 4, ZETA's Yuma "Dep" Hashimoto pulling a clean 4k to shut down G2 showcased the Japanese team's determination.

This was further exemplified by Shota "SugarZ3ro" Watanabe's Astra, who carried the team to a 5-5 tie by round 10. Unfortunately, it was still G2 who gained the upper hand with a 7-5 score by halftime.

G2 continued to overwhelm in the second half by clutching rounds, but ZETA traded back and forth to stop their momentum.

Despite that, the European squad continued dominating, with Auni “AvovA” Chahade pulling a clutch for another round.

Finally, Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas' fantastic rifle gunplay shone, winning G2 the first map at 13-7.

The second game at Bind saw G2 starting strong via a Triple Kill from Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas, but ZETA's reliance on staying close helped them catch up by round 4.

The team continued to find and exploit weaknesses, with TENNN scoring an ace and following it with a flawless round to go up 7-5 by halftime.

G2’s Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas and Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas led the group forward in retaliation, but the Japanese squad tied the round again at 9-9 by round 18.

The match came to a thrilling end by round 23, with G2's Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho delivering a collateral blow to a trapped ZETA.

G2 secured the series sweep with a 13-7 victory, letting them advance into the semifinals and sending ZETA down to the lower bracket.

Match MVP: Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas Colocho

LOUD 2 – 1 Team Liquid

The second match of the day saw a clash between LOUD and Team Liquid. LOUD have proven themselves as a formidable team, becoming the champions of the VCT Brazil Stage 1 Challengers by defeating NiP.

However, Liquid were just as much of a threat. During the group stage, the team’s firepower was a tour de force, beating KRÜ Esports and XERXIA to become the first team to qualify for the playoffs.

Liquid started game two on Icebox playing defense, managing to score the first two rounds before getting stopped by LOUD’s Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi Quad Kill.

LOUD moved ahead two rounds later after a short 2-2 tie at round 5, which took a toll on their opponents' economy. And while Liquid's Adil “ScreaM'' Benrlitom's Sheriff managed to get some kills, the team still went into halftime down 5-7.

By round 15, the teams reached another 7-7 tie, only for LOUD to leave Liquid in the dust with a 4-round gap at one point. Luckily, Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen and Travis "L1NK" Mendoza helped Liquid reach double digits and keep the map close.

Unfortunately for Liquid, a critical defuse forced Jamppi into a 1v1 with Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro, who killed him to clutch the round and win the map 13-10 for LOUD.

For game two, the two teams proceeded to Haven, where Nabil “Nivera” Benrlito's marshal was put to good use for Liquid.

LOUD tried to retaliate, but Liquid's clutch rounds gave them the upper hand. The squad then used multiple flanks to catch LOUD by surprise, giving the Europeans a dominant 10-2 lead by halftime.

An excellent wallbang from Jamppi closed game two as a 13-3 Liquid victory, securing a final showdown at Ascent.

Liquid earned an early lead in the decider thanks to L1NK getting a Quad Kill in the first round. It was not smooth sailing from there, however, as LOUD recovered with four wins in a row, starting a frenzy of back-to-back explosive rounds with Liquid.

By halftime, the teams were tied at 6-6, and tensions had never been higher. Both unrelenting, Liquid and LOUD continued to push back against each other, tying the scores again at 7-7 and 8-8, respectively, in the first two rounds of the second half.

LOUD still managed to get the second half's first two-point lead, putting the scores at 11-7. However, Jamppi prolonged the fight on his Guardian for another round at 12-10. Despite Liquid's best efforts, the Brazilians ultimately prevailed with a 13-10 victory.

Match MVP: Erick "aspas" Santos

With Thursday's results, LOUD will be battling G2 Esports in the upper bracket semifinals on 18 April. Meanwhile, Team Liquid’s loss drops them into the lower bracket, where they will be facing ZETA Division in an elimination match on 17 April.

The second day of the playoffs on 16 April will start with Singapore's Paper Rex taking on South Korea's DRX, followed by an all-American showdown between The Guard and OpTic Gaming.

VCT Masters Reykjavík is now in its playoff stage. Four qualified teams from the group stage joined the four high-seeded teams in a double-elimination bracket, with all teams starting in the upper bracket.

All matches in the playoffs will be a best-of-3, except for the lower bracket finals and the grand finals, which will be best-of-5 series.

The champions of VCT Masters Reykjavík will claim the lion's share of US$200,000 out of the US$675,000 prize pool as well as 750 circuit points.

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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