The fourth day of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland saw the conclusion of the group stage, with two teams moving on to the playoffs while two others were sent packing home.
North America's OpTic Gaming and Japan's ZETA DIVISION secured the last two spots in the playoffs after they emerged victorious over Thailand's XERXIA Esports and Brazil's Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) respectively, in the group stage's concluding decider matches.
In case you missed it, here's a recap of all the action and highlights that went down during VCT Masters Reyjkavic 2022's Day 4.
OpTic Gaming 2 - 0 XERXIA Esports
OpTic started Day 4 with a much-awaited rematch between XERXIA. Just three days prior, the North American team got swept by the Thai squad, but OpTic's win over KRÜ Esports in Day 3 was indicative of their time in Reykjavík being far from over.
Day's decider finally determined who was the better team, at least as fair as the Masters were concerned.
OpTic started on Fracture playing defense, gaining the upper hand in the first few rounds. XERXIA would balance the scores at 6-6 by halftime, starting a frantic back and forth in the second half.
However, OpTic's different set-ups and Jacob “yay” Whiteaker’s quick maneuvers led to a 13-9 win for the North American crew.
OpTic carried the momentum into game two on Haven as they started on offense, but XERXIA adapted to tie the scores again early on.
Unfortunately for the Southeast Asia squad, OpTic widened the gap and finished the first half up 9-3, ultimately suffocating XERXIA with a 13-6 win as payback for their loss on Day 1.
Match MVP: Victor "Victor" Wong
Ninjas in Pyjamas 1 - 2 ZETA Division
For the final match of the day, NiP and ZETA battled each other for the first time in the Group A decider.
After pulling off an upset over Fnatic in Day 2, NiP were stopped in their tracks with a 0-2 defeat against DRX.
Meanwhile, ZETA went from being the lowest-performing team on Day 1 to having their best game yet by sending Fnatic home in a 2-0 sweep.
Playing defense, NiP started the series strong on Split, winning five rounds in a row before ZETA can even find their footing. Despite some resistance, NiP’s streak continued en route to a 13-6 round win, with Benjamin “bnj” Rabinovich’s Omen at the helm.
ZETA recovered in game two on Icebox, with Yuuma “Dep” Hisamoto making good use of the Operator to keep NiP at bay during the first half, with a 14 kill count.
NiP responded by pushing hard into the double digits, but ZETA eventually won out 13-10, setting the stage for a final standoff in game three.
NiP and ZETA took to Fracture for the decider, where the former quickly worked their way up to a 7-5 lead by halftime. ZETA were unrelenting in their defense, however, despite NiP's aggression.
By round 25, both teams were at each other's throats and tied at 12-12.
Finally, ZETA scored back-to-back clutch round wins to conclude the match at 14-12 during overtime, securing the last spot in the playoffs and cutting NiP's journey short.
Match MVP: Koji "Laz" Ushida
With Day 4's results, ZETA and OpTic advance to fill in the last two slots in the playoffs, while NiP and XERXIA are out for the count at 9th-10th place.
As a consolation, the eliminated teams will take home US$15,000 and 150 circuit points.
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) April 14, 2022
VCT Masters Reykjavík now heads to its playoff stage. 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.
The playoffs will kick off on 15 April with ZETA DIVISION taking on Europe's top seed G2 Esports followed by Team Liquid going up against Brazil's LOUD.
The first round of the playoffs will continue on 16 April, starting with DRX facing Singapore's Paper Rex before an all-American showdown between OpTic Gaming and The Guard.
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.