VCT Masters Reykjavík Day 9: ZETA DIVISION, Paper Rex secure Top 4

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ZETA DIVISION's Tenta "TENNN" Asai and Paper Rex's Jason "f0rsakeN" Susanto put on some excellent performances in Day 9 of the VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland to help their teams secure a Top 4 finish. (Photo: Riot Games via VALORANT Esports)

Only four teams remain standing after Day 9 of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 Masters tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland.

LOUD and OpTic Gaming will face off in the upper bracket finals, while Japan's ZETA DIVISION and Singapore's Paper Rex (PRX) made it through Day 9 to meet in the lower bracket semifinals.

ZETA started the day by getting revenge over South Korea’s DRX in a 2-1 thriller, before PRX pulled off a massive upset over Europe’s G2 Esports in a 2-0 sweep.

In case you missed it, here’s a recap of all the action that went down during Day 9 of the VCT Masters Reykjavík.

Lower Bracket Round 2:

ZETA Division 2 - 1 DRX

Day 9 started with a grudge match between ZETA and DRX. In Day 1 of the Masters Reykjavík group stage, DRX made short work of ZETA to start a week-long undefeated run in the tournament that was only stopped by OpTic Gaming.

Meanwhile, a string of losses and surprising comebacks have ensured that ZETA stayed in the tournament long enough to battle the South Korean team again.

After barely making the playoffs in Day 4, ZETA were swept in Round 1 of the upper bracket by G2 before bouncing back in an upset victory over Team Liquid.

The rematch opened on Icebox, with DRX winning the pistol round. However, ZETA managed to take back multiple rounds against DRX soon after to get off to a strong start.

Come halftime, the Japanese team were up 8-4, leaving DRX trailing by the second half for the first time in the series.

In response, DRX bit back in the second half, taking the lead back at 10-8. After a quick timeout, ZETA answered with a few rounds of their own, although a frantic 1v1 that pit ZETA's Koji “Laz” Ushida and DRX’s Kim “Zest” Gi-seok saw the latter take another round.

Nevertheless, ZETA kept it close with an 11-11 tie, followed by a flawless 2k in the post-plant courtesy of Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe to gain a 12-11 lead.

DRX tried to regain the map by going aggressive in round 24, but ZETA said no and closed the map at 13-11.

Game two saw both teams going at each other's necks on Ascent, where a furious DRX quickly showed their expertise on the map.

Trading rounds over the A bombsite, ZETA retaliated, but their lack of experience on the map led to a 7-5 halftime in favor of DRX.

ZETA managed to bite back during the second half via three straight round wins, but DRX’s map experience was a factor they found hard to fight against.

As DRX led by 12-9, ZETA’s last man standing, SugarZ3ro, pulled a clutch Gravity Well on DRX Byung-chul “BuZz” Yu to stop the defuse, winning them the round.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to faze DRX and BuZz, as they quickly took the following round with a multi-kill to maintain their 100% win rate on Ascent and set the stage for match 3.

Finally, ZETA and DRX duked it out on Split for the decider, where the former started strong. Seemingly learning from their past mistakes, ZETA quickly won the pistol and following rounds, even shutting down their bonus with only one member down.

Down 0-5, DRX took a timeout to recover but didn’t fare any better after going into halftime trailing by a staggering 2-10.

The second half saw ZETA continue their momentum by winning the second pistol round, thanks to a 3k from Laz that resulted in DRX making a force buy. That force buy proved to be necessary, as the South Koreans were able to win a round and a subsequent flawless.

Unfortunately for DRX, ZETA won the next round to reach match point, and a Viper ult created the perfect trap to see the Japanese team coasting into a 13-4 win to close out the series and take their revenge on DRX.

Match MVP: Tenta "TENNN" Asai

G2 Esports 0 - 2 Paper Rex

The second match of Day 9 pit PRX against G2 Esports.

Coming off of their APAC victory, PRX have shown that they’re no easy pickings, getting dropped into the lower bracket by Liquid only to recover with a 2-0 sweep against North American squad The Guard.

Meanwhile, G2’s strong start was spoiled by Brazil's LOUD, which had the Europeans looking to redeem themselves and prove that they deserve their automatic qualification in the playoffs.

With PRX choosing Split as the first map, the two teams took off, although G2 drew first blood by winning the pistol round. On top of a bonus win, the Europeans managed to bag an early 3-0 lead.

PRX then hit back, with Jason “fOrsakeN” Susanto pulling off a 3k Jett ult to win the team their first round. Still, G2’s momentum kept up, giving them a commanding 7-1 lead.

However, PRX team wasn’t rattled and won their second round with a 1v2 against Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho. By halftime, PRX was down 3-9 as G2 looked dominant.

Luckily for PRX, the team were able to salvage the second half by winning round after round, including a multi-kill from fOrsakeN that helped them reach 9-10 before tying it up at 10-10.

Then, with aggressive gunplay from Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie and an unorthodox playstyle from the team, PRX put themselves into match point.

G2 tried to push back, but PRX ultimately closed Split at 13-10, losing only one round during the second half.

The fight continued in game two at Bind, where PRX secured the pistol round on the back of fOrsakeN’s Yoru. G2 hit back by securing the bonus round, although a few kills and a spike plant still put PRX in a good position.

Luckily for PRX, a great grenade placement from Jinggg kept them in the lead at 3-1.

After letting their opponents grow their lead to 5-1, G2 finally managed to stop the bleeding following a quick timeout.

However, the respite proved to be temporary for G2 as PRX stayed on top at 8-4 by halftime.

G2 secured the pistol round for the second half and continued their momentum with a flawless right after.

With their deficit now at only two rounds, G2 tried to make a comeback before a 4k from fOrsakeN put PRX up at 11-6.

Not long after, PRX finished the map at 13-7, eliminating G2 from the tournament and keeping their tournament hopes alive.

With today’s results, PRX and ZETA Division have advanced into the Top 4 of Masters Reykjavík and will be facing each other in the lower bracket semifinals on 23 April.

Meanwhile, DRX and G2 are out for the count, finishing at 5th-6th place and going home with US$40,000 and 250 circuit points as consolation.

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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