VCT Masters Reykjavík Group Stage Day 2: Liquid first to qualify for playoffs

Team Liquid's Adil
Team Liquid's Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom celebrates as his squad becomes the first group stage team to qualify for the playoffs of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland. (Photo: Riot Games via VALORANT Esports)

The action is picking up in Day 2 of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Brazilian squad Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) opened the day by sweeping Fnatic while Europe's Team Liquid outlasted Thai team XERXIA to become the first group stage team to qualify for the playoffs.

Here's a recap of all the action that went down during VCT Masters Reykjavik 2022's Day 2:

Group A:

Ninjas in Pyjamas 2-0 FNATIC

Day 2 of the VCT Masters Reykjavik group stage kicked off with a veteran Fnatic squad taking on NiP's Brazilian VALORANT roster, with both teams eager to prove themselves this year.

For Fnatic, it's unfinished business and a comeback. The last time they were in Iceland for the 2021 VCT Stage 2 Masters, Fnatic were soundly swept by Sentinels in the grand finals.

With no Sentinels this time around, the doors were wide open.

Meanwhile, on the side of NiP, it was revenge on the menu for Brazil.

Despite all the hype over teams coming from the country, all three of their representatives at VALORANT Champions last December (Team Vikings, Vivo Keyd, FURIA) were eliminated before the Knockout Stage.

A good showing from NiP in Reykjavík might spark a return to relevance for Brazil.

NiP opened the match in Ascent headfirst, breaking Fnatic's duelists to take the lead. However, Fnatic recovered with some resistance during the second half, led by Joona "H1ber" Parviainen, on loan from KOI.

Nevertheless, the Ninjas' well-polished teamplay was able to fully secure the upset, leading to a 13-7 victory on the first map.

The Brazilian squad continued their aggressive lead in game two at Split, thanks to Walney "Jonn" Reis and Benjamin "bnj" Rabinovich's confident gunplay and calculated maneuvers.

Pressured, Fnatic pushed and stopped the bleeding for a few rounds.

Despite that, the Brazilian underdogs found their opportunity to close out the series.

A perfect flank from Walney "Jonn" Reis allowed him to perform a victory lap via triple headshot to give NiP the 13-8 win and secure the 2-0 sweep.

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Match MVP: Benjamin "bnj" Rabinovich

Group B:

Team Liquid 2 - 1 XERXIA Esports

Fresh from their respective victories in the opening day of the group stage, Team Liquid and XERXIA faced off in the heated first playoffs qualification match of VCT Masters Reykjavík 2022.

With Split as the first map, XERXIA brought yesterday's momentum by winning the first couple of rounds, only for Team Liquid to claim the next five.

XERXIA responded by securing a tie, only for Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen's operator to lead Liquid to victory.

The Thai team regained their footing in game, with Panyawat "sushiboys" Subsiriroj feeling right at home in Icebox. Liquid staggered, but ultimately matched XERXIA point for point via aggressive retakes.

Still, the Thai squad managed to push Liquid to the limits and claimed the 13-11 win, setting the stage for a deciding game three.

Liquid and XERXIA took to Ascent for the decider, with the former gaining an early advantage in the earlier rounds. But XERXIA didn't back down, catching up not long after to showcase how comfortable both teams were on the map.

Separated by a thin margin, XERXIA and Liquid would continue one-upping each other, going into a whopping four overtimes as both teams stood unrelenting in a nail-biting fight for a playoff spot.

Unfortunately for Southeast Asia, it was Liquid who prevailed in the end, securing game three 17-15 after a marathon 32 rounds.

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Match MVP: Elias "Jamppi" Olkkonen

With Day 2's results, NiP will be facing South Korea's DRX in Group A's first playoff qualification match while losing teams Fnatic and ZETA DIVISION will be battling in the group's first elimination match.

Meanwhile in Group B, Liquid becomes the first group stage team to advance to the playoffs. XERXIA still have another chance to qualify for the next stage, as they will face the winner of the elimination match between KRÜ Esports and OpTic Gaming in Group B's decider match.

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VCT Masters Reykjavík gathers 12 of the best VALORANT teams in the world to compete from 10 to 24 April for a cut of a US$675,000 prize pool. The tournament begins with a double-elimination format, where eight of the tournament's 12 participating teams will start their campaigns.

The eight teams are divided into two groups of four, with all losing teams on Day 1 still having another chance to maintain their respective spots in the tournament and bounce back.

On the other hand, the winning teams will continue fighting their way to earn the top two placements in their group and advance to the playoffs.

The playoffs will see the four qualified teams from the Group Stage join 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.

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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