Who will win this battle between two of VALORANT’s heavyweights?
In what was being built as the biggest match of the VCT LOCK//IN so far, Cloud9 made quick work of APAC side Paper Rex to progress to the next round of the tournament. The NA squad will now face an equally scary opponent in DRX.
C9 13-8 (Lotus)
C9 13-4 (Pearl)
C9 will now face DRX in the next round
This was a statement series from the North American side. Paper Rex came to play but Cloud9 were ready for everything the APAC side threw at them. The only time this best-of-three was close was in the first half of Lotus with both teams throwing the kitchen sink at each other.
The stars of the day could go to many players on C9, but ultimately Xeppaa ended up getting player of the series. The North American star clearly has the mechanics to hang with the best in the world, the problem was always his consistency. Today Xeppaa showed up when his team needed him most - putting up a player rating of 1.47 according to VLR.gg, only Leaf had a higher rating at 1.49.
Cloud9 must now put its attention on the Korean juggernaut in DRX. The last time these squads faced off on the international stage was at Champions 2021 - C9 was able to take down the then-called Vision Strikers 2-1.
"When their players are feeling it, they can farm you" TenZ on Paper Rex
If there was a team you wanted to avoid playing against with a brand-new roster, it is Paper Rex. The squad is simply terrifying to play against. Tenz said on stream "when their players are feeling it, they can farm you". The Paper Rex squad plays to the beat of their own drum and will not bow to the standard VALORANT meta. Paper Rex had a very good 2022 with the highlight of reaching the Masters Copenhagen grand final and was very close to lifting the trophy.
Cloud9 will have no time to warm up in this event, their newly formed superteam will be trialed by fire in Sao Paulo. The North American squad is not messing around this year. After a horrific 2022 campaign, C9 went out and put together a very strong roster with the additions of Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker and Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro. It will be interesting to see how this C9 roster comes together with the talk of roles heavily featured in the build-up to this event.
Where to watch C9 vs PRX
VCT LOCK//IN 2023 will host every team that is competing in the three VALORANT franchised leagues along with two representatives from China. Fans will be able to watch Paper Rex take on Cloud9 on the official VALORANT Twitch channel.
You can catch up with the latest LOCK//IN results on our Live article here.
Stay tuned to Esports.gg for the latest VALORANT esports news and updates.