LOUD eliminated and DRX reaches playoffs - Copenhagen Masters 2
During the second day of the group stage, Guild Esports players took the first available slot for the playoffs. After the third day, it was the turn of DRX to regain its place. If the Korean structure was successful, others did not perform as well: LOUD and XERXIA Esports have been eliminated.
DRX qualifies for the playoffs (Group B)
The first match of the day was between DRX and FunPlus Phoenix. With 22 cards won out of 22 played in their previous matches, the Koreans came into this new battle confident. The players of FPX, whose roster is somewhat changed, however, managed to defeat XERXIA the day before. They were determined to add another victory to their record.
The battle for the first qualification in Group B started on Haven. In the first half, neither roster was able to really get the upper hand. DRX won the pistol-round, then lost the second. They then took 3 rounds, FPX did the same. At the changeover, the Koreans were narrowly ahead, 7-5. The rest of the match was very different. Once in Defence, FPX were monstrous. With 3 wins in the beginning of the phase, they take the lead. If they concede the next round, it was the last gift for their opponents. With 5 more wins, FunPlus Phoenix closed the first map with a score of 13-8.
Unfortunately for them, this was the last victory of the day. On the next two maps, DRX's response was fatal. On Fracture first, then on Breeze, DRX showed the world why they belong in this competition. They inflicted two successive stomps, finishing both maps 13-6. We salute the incredible flick of BuZz on Breeze, who gave his team the fourth point.
Their Attack phases were extremely strong. On Fracture, they only lost 3 rounds, and even went on to win 9 rounds. The win-streak is less important on Breeze, but the story is similar. With only 3 failures, the DRX have largely taken the lead again. Their overall dominance is unquestionable.
The DRX coach spoke in the post-match interview and said that it is the work on flexibility in the game that pays off. He is also very hopeful that his team will reach a better position than in the previous Masters, where they were eliminated in the semi-finals:
There is some misconception about our team that we are solely focused on set plays, but we are training to be more flexible, and because of that flexibility and creativity I think we are going to go further this time.termi - DRX Coach
The end for XERXIA Esports
If there is indeed a challenger in this Masters 2 of Copenhagen, it is without question Northeption. After falling to DRX, the Japanese team held off XERXIA Esports.
The match was well underway for the Thai team XERXIA. On Split, they started in Defense, and despite two initial failures, they were able to gain an early advantage. Thanks to 5 successive wins, Xerxia leads 5-2 in the 7th round. During the rest of this period, the team conceded only two more rounds. However, Northeption proved to be solid once in Defence, and they too had a string of victorious rounds. In round 16, the teams are tied. It is finally XERXIA Esports that proves to be the most solid, and closes this map 13 to 9.
The confrontation continued on Haven, this is a map on which both rosters have similar win rates. During this match, Northeption players dominated. In the first half, they were very effective in attacking. After losing the pistol-round and then the next one, Northpetion took 8 rounds in a row. At the changeover XERXIA was in a tricky position, trailing 4-8. Northeption increased the pressure even more by winning the second pistol-round and then the next two rounds. By the 17th round, the score was 12-5. With one round to go, XERXIA held their heads high to win three more rounds, with a superb clutch of foxz. Despite this, they eventually lost and Northeption won the card 13 to 8.
The match was therefore played on a final card, namely Bind. Neither of the two teams wanted to leave the adventure, and it showed. This final battle, which lasted over an hour, was particularly intense. During the first phase, the rosters exchanged wins and losses, so that at the changeover, they were tied, 6-6. During the rest of the match, again, the teams took turns to lead. In round 20, they were tied 10-10. XERXIA then took the lead, before Northeption won 2 more rounds. They only needed one more round to finish the match. However, XERXIA Esports would fight to the end, winning round 24 and going into overtime. While they managed to take the first round, Northeption did not give away any more points. They won their second point with a final score of 15-13.
By winning this match, Northeption proves its worth and confirms that it has its place at this level of competition. At the same time, they eliminated the first team of this Masters 2.
OpTic Gaming eliminates LOUD (Group A)
The last match of this third day had a déjà vu feel to it. In this decisive and elimination match, it was the finalists of the Reykjavik Masters 2022 who were battling it out, LOUD and OpTic Gaming. Both rosters fell in the first round to KRU Esports and Guild Esports respectively. In this uncomfortable position, the pressure was on, and both teams gave it their all to stay in the Masters.
Everything started well for OpTic Gaming on Ascent, as crashies made a magnificent ace at the frenzy. The match was on. In the 5th round, LOUD was down 4-1, but not for long. The Brazilians chose to break the Momentum by calling a timeout. This break was more than beneficial, as they came out victorious in the next 5 rounds, and took the lead. At the changeover, it was a perfect tie, 6-6. While they started the game well, OpTic Gaming did not succeed in the second half. LOUD conceded only 2 rounds and concludes this card 13 to 8.
If crashies did not make an ace in the first round on Fracture, OpTic Gaming still won the point. They did the same with the next two rounds. LOUD came back with a low-buy in round 4, which allowed them to take 3 rounds in a row. Unfortunately, OpTic Gaming responded at the quarter mark, with 4 successive wins. At the changeover, LOUD was down 4-8. OpTic Gaming players win the pistol-round again, and slowly move closer to victory. At the end of the 17th round, OpTic is just one round away from wrapping up the map. LOUD will have held the lead for three more rounds, before falling. Final score : 13-8 for OpTic Gaming.
These two monstrous rosters were therefore separated on Split. As in the previous meeting, this last map was the scene of a fierce confrontation! During the first period, LOUD dominated, achieving 3 wins in a row, and then 4 more after a loss. At the changeover, the Brazilian team led by a narrow margin, 7-5. They then emerged victorious from the first two rounds in Attack. However, in this second half, it was the OpTic players who were in the lead. In the 19th round, the tension rises. LOUD is only one round ahead. The 21st round was in favour of the Brazilians, the score was now 11-9. If LOUD was getting closer to victory, OpTic was expected to fight back. With 3 superb wins in a row, the team regained the lead. LOUD pulled out the overtime, in vain. OpTic Gaming proved to be more solid and concluded this match, 14-12.
If LOUD is out of the competition for good after this new defeat, OpTic Gaming still has a chance to qualify for the playoffs.
The next decisive matches will take place at the end of the day. FunPlus Phoenix will face Northeption, followed by KRU Esports against OpTic Gaming. The winners of these matches will join DRX and Guild Esports, as well as Fnatic, Paper Rex, XSET and Leviatan, who have already qualified.
To follow these last two matches of the group phase of the Copenhagen Masters 2, go to the official Twitch channel of Valorant.