VCT Masters Reykjavík Day 6: DRX remain undefeated, OpTic reverse sweep The Guard

DRX's Yu
DRX's Yu "BuZz" Byung-chul and OpTic Gaming's Austin "crashies" Roberts showed out as their teams emerged victorious in the second day of the playoffs at the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland. (Photo: Riot Games via VALORANT Esports) (Riot Games via VALORANT Esports)

The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 Masters in Reykjavik, Iceland, has moved into the second day of the double-elimination playoffs stage, and the stakes have never been higher.

South Korea's DRX continued their undefeated run in the tournament, besting Singapore's Paper Rex (PRX) in a 2-1 slugfest.

Meanwhile, North America's OpTic Gaming managed to get payback on regional rivals The Guard, defeating them 2-1 in a frantic three-map battle.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of all the action that went down during Day 6 of the VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik.

Upper Bracket Round 1:

DRX 2 - 1 Paper Rex

Day 6 of the VCT Stage 1 Masters started hot, with two heavy-hitters competing for a spot in the upper bracket semifinals.

DRX need no introduction at this point. The South Korean team drew first blood during the tournament’s opening matches and have done nothing but score back-to-back games since.

Meanwhile, this would be PRX’s first match in the tournament, coming off a win against Thailand’s XERXIA during the APAC Stage 1 Challengers to secure a playoff spot directly.

DRX and PRX took to Haven to start the match, with the latter taking the first two rounds thanks to superior pistol play and surprise maneuvers.

DRX then retaliated with a flawless round, although Paper Rex’s Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart pushed back to earn his team a couple more rounds. Despite mindfreak's big plays, however, DRX finished the half up 8-4.

The South Korean squad then maintained the lead, but Paper Rex’s Khalish “d4v41” Rusyaidee managed to turn the tides with his gunplay and timing.

The score tied at 9-9 and once again at 10-10, thanks to a smooth Triple Kill from PRX’s Benedict “Benkai” Tan.

Despite some heavy pushback, mindfreak then clutched a win to put PRX in the lead, although DRX tried to gain solid footing. However, PRX closed the map with a Quad Kill (4k) from Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie’s Reyna.

In game two at Bind, PRX’s Jason “fOrsakeN” Susanto surprised everyone by picking Yoru, an agent that’s never been used in an international tournament. This choice proved fruitful, as fOrsaken set his team off to a strong start.

However, it wasn’t smooth-sailing as Kim “stax” Gu-Taek’s 1v4 clutch helped DRX regain footing. With stax at the helm, DRX then went on a killing spree, going into half-time up at 9-3.

DRX maintained this momentum in the second half, although PRX scored a round. Unfortunately, it was already too late, as DRX took nine straight rounds from them to win 13-8.

The two teams went to Ascent for the decider, where DRX started with five round wins.

Still, PRX’s team play managed to bag them a few rounds in return, but constant 4ks from DRX members kept them from advancing.

One great example was DRX” Yu “BuZz” Byung-chil, who scored a Quad Kill despite having very low life.

By half-time, DRX was up 9-3. PRX then used aggression to start the second half, hoping to recover lost momentum.

Unfortunately for the Singaporean squad, DRX were already two steps forward, closing the game at 13-8 for the win.

Match MVP: Kim "MaKo" Myeong-kwan

The Guard 1 - 2 OpTic Gaming

The second match of the day saw an all-American showdown between The Guard and OpTic Gaming.

During the grand finals of the previous NA VALORANT Challengers Stage 1, then-rookie team The Guard outlasted OpTic Gaming in a 3-2 series to secure a spot in this tournament’s playoffs.

Meanwhile, OpTic Gaming had to cut their teeth from Day 1, enduring an early loss and recovering to rise in the series and go head-to-head with their regional rivals once again.

Starting the series off in Icebox, OpTic charged headfirst through The Guard, with Victor “Victor” Wong at the helm with his Ghost.

Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker followed it up with a quick ace right after and went on cruise control to keep it going until round 4.

Luckily, The Guard won their first round thanks to a 1v2 win by Jonah “JonahP” Pulice, followed by another round shortly.

Unfortunately for the team, their streak didn't last as Victor and yay were at their best form, putting OpTic up at a sizable 9-3 by half-time.

However, The Guard managed to recover during the second half thanks to JonahP’s Omen pick.

The squad also recovered by winning post-plants until round 16, when an outnumbered The Guard decided to step back for the time being.

That's when a double kill from Austin “crashies” Roberts won OpTic the first map of the series at 13-7.

For the second map, Haven, The Guard got an early pistol round win against Victor and yay, giving them the lead after OpTic secured the bonus round.

Despite this, strong back-to-back rounds from yay and Victor helped OpTic recover, tying the scores at 4-4.

Tensions rose after the timeout, with Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo downing Victor for a thrifty round and OpTic retaliating with a thrifty of their own. Still, The Guard ended up leading their regional rivals at 7-5.

OpTic tried to recover, even getting a thrifty round at 6-10. However, they were effectively stopped at their tracks by a 4k from Michael “neT” Bernet, who put The Guard at 13-7 to win the second map.

OpTic and The Guard took to Fracture for the final showdown, where the latter quickly secured the first three rounds to build an early lead, thanks to Sayaplayer’s Marshal.

Round 6 saw every player trading bullets until it fell to a 1v1. With a quick weapon swap, Pujan “FNS” Mehta then won the round for OpTic.

Despite OpTic’s early lead, half-time saw The Guard with an 8-4 advantage. This momentum carried on over into the second half when The Guard won back-to-back rounds to go up at 10-4.

Thankfully for OpTic, a clutch win from Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen kept them in the game at 8-10.

Fueled by this momentum, both teams traded blows to tie the round at 11-11, only for OpTic to take match point by defusing the spike plant and winning the map at 13-11.

Match MVP: Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker

With today's results, OpTic Gaming advance to the upper bracket semifinals to face DRX on 18 April. The other upper bracket semifinals match on the same day will feature G2 Esports and LOUD.

Meanwhile, The Guard fall to the lower bracket and will face Paper Rex in an elimination match on 17 April. ZETA DIVISION and Team Liquid will also be playing their elimination match on the same day.

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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