DRX reaches the playoffs of the Valorant Champions 2023
On the second day of the Valorant Champions 2023the two winners on the first day, DRX and Natus Vincerewent head to head. These two behemoths are no strangers to top-level competition, and they put on a show worthy of the name for their fans. At the end of a frantic battle, the Koreans have secured the first slot in the play-offs. We take a look back at this intense and electric match.
This was not the first time that the Koreans had come up against these opponents. The last time they met was in the previous edition of the Valorant Champions, during which ANGE1, Zyppan, Shoa and Suygestu played for FunPlus Phoenix. DRX had eliminated them from the tournament after a well-played match in the lower bracket. No doubt the former FPX players were keen to get their revenge.
A first card that sets the tone
In view of DRX's unconvincing results on Bind - 3 defeats in 5 matches during the VCT Pacific - Natus Vincere decided to take them on on this map to start with. And it's with unorthodox compositions cNed was placed on Sage, even though he mainly plays duelists, and Yoru made his appearance for the Koreans. We saw him in our analysis of the Tokyo MastersThis agent is rarely played in official matches.
It's a bit of a gamble, given that he's a particularly solitary character, but one that nonetheless has a few advantages if used properly, as Rb himself points out "Yoru's choice gives the impression of not playing with his team most of the time. You can take more risks and play with more freedom, which I think has opened up other possibilities for the rest of the team.".
The first few rounds went in favour of Stax and his acolytes. However, Natus Vincere took matters into her own hands and went on a rampage once properly armed. Spurred on by of a destructive cNed with its Sage - a fully functional pick - NaVi outwits the opposition's post-plants and goes from strength to strength. The team trailing at the start of the game took a considerable lead in the score, so much so that at the changeover they were displaying twice as many wins as his opponent.
The second half was just as intense. The gap in the score widened even further, but there was no cause for concern on the DRX side. Calm as a cucumber, BuZz set about defusing the Spike in the fifth heat, even though two of his opponents were still alive. The seconds ticked by, and no enemy fire disturbed him. He took advantage of this rare moment of calm to finish what he'd started. Remember "Pros never fake"!
The spectators were in for quite a surprise. After this somewhat lunar victory, Stax and his comrades gave the NaVi representatives a run for their money. We witnessed a real comeback for DRX. One win, then another, a third and finally six in a row! At the end of heat twenty, the two teams were level and anything was still possible. The pressure was on when Shao survives a critical situationBut the Koreans held firm and snatched extra time.
At this stage, some teams could be showing signs of weakness, but neither DRX nor NaVi were prepared to let points slip through their fingers. Like an echo of the round lost on the BuZz stick, Shao gives his team the lead by keeping his coolThe bullets were flying and coming dangerously close to his head.
The end of the game was as electric as the rest of this first encounter! Despite the efforts, the individual prowess and the initial lead, Natus Vincere eventually lost 15-13.
cNed hits the nail on the head
Nevertheless, cNed wasn't going to stop there. On Split, he passed over Jett again, and became the Koreans' worst nightmare. In DefenceIt easily climbed to the top of the rankings, with a staggering rating of 1.83 and no less than fourteen eliminations for just four deaths. Luck obviously had nothing to do with it. cNed is recognised as one of the best duelists today. So it's hardly surprising that he was just as effective. in Attackwith, once again, a monstrous rating of 1.78 and an ACS of 337. His individual performance undoubtedly played a part in his team's victory on this second card, won by 13-9.
But success was not guaranteed. At the end of the first half, the two teams were level on points, and Natus Vincere even showed a moment of weakness. Everything really came down to the second half of the matchNaVi dominated and set the pace, even though the DRX representatives gave it their all. to pick up a few more points.
A fierce battle for victory
At this stage, each team has one point on the scoreboard. So the ten players set off on Lotus in a bid to clinch top spot in the play-offs. Once again, they thrilled the spectators, engaging in another long-running battle.
The Koreans took the lead - thanks to a clutch from Rb in the first round and four takedowns from BuZz in the second - but Natus Vincere quickly got back into the game once they had some decent weapons. In the end, the first half came down to an exchange of victories and defeatswith Rb and Suygestu as the star players.
The other half was not so different. DRX won several rounds, before losing in turn. At the end of the twenty-second round, the Korean team was just one point away from victory. In a last-ditch effort to secure extra timeSuygestu and his allies snatched the missing two points. The Korean response was swift and impressive. The MaKo/Buzz duo put an end to the match in a matter of secondsafter more than an hour of play.
stax, BuZz, Rb, Zest and MaKo thus emerged victorious from their second match of the group phase, securing their place at the top of the table. a slot for the playoffs. They're definitely not Korea's number 1 team for nothing!
Players of NaViAs for the French, they just missed out on qualification. They are not eliminated from the tournament, however, and will even have another chance to reach the next stage. To do so, they will have to defeat the winners of the LOUD versus Team Liquid match.