FPX eliminated one of the tournament favorites. They are now in the top four at VCT Masters Copenhagen.
DRX has had four opportunities to break into the top four at Masters events and each time has barely come up short. In the rematch against FPX with Dmitry "SUYGETSU" Ilyushin in the lineup, DRX fell one spot short again losing 2-0.
The loss at Masters Reykjavík against Zeta Division haunted the team. At Champions, Cloud9 sent them home in an upset bid. Back at Masters Berlin in 2021, the eventual champions Gambit beat them 2-1. It's a recurring theme with DRX, dating back to their Vision Strikers days where this team crumbles under the weight of the lower bracket.
In all the previous losses, DRX had managed to take a map and at different points looked like the superior team. However, as soon as the game starts to tip towards their opponents, the sharpness of their play drops off entirely. Against FPX, after unveiling a triple-flash composition on Ascent and pushing them on their map pick, they fell apart in the second half.
DRX unveil new Ascent composition
DRX won the second half pistol, but FPX followed that up with six straight round wins. At that point, Suygetsu and Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks simply weren't missing shots and DRX started taking more duels on contact and not executing on utility.
Furthermore, FPX in-game leader Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow felt they made a mistake by not taking Ascent or Fracture out of the map pool.
"I think they made a mistake, to be honest. They let us play two comfortable maps. I understand that Fracture is super strong to them but give respect to us."
Head coach Erik "d00mbr0s" Sandgren chimed in on the map vetoes. "I expected them to ban Ascent, to be honest," said d00mbr0s post-match,"but they didn't because obviously they had a new comp there and I guess they didn't respect our Ascent that much"
On the second map Fracture, the DRX seams came loose and the small FPX lead bloated out to a 9-3 deficit by half time. It was clear that the energy on the DRX side was shot and this incredibly talented Korea team lost their confidence going against a full FPX roster.
"We feel much more confident than we did with stand-in and it's not about Seider. It's about the chemistry on our team, when everyone knows different situations. It's easier to play for every one of us. So, I'm happy that we won, I'm happy that we won it confidently."
FPX ardiis delivering a masterclass in Copenhagen
As the tournament moves on, the team that dominated Europe in stage one becomes more menacing with each passing match. ardiis has proven to be a LAN animal, with the highest ACS at the event (263.5), and Suygetsu has brought another viscous rifler with good positioning into the server.
FPX ardiis stats and Copenhagen ranking
- Agents: Chamber, Jett, KAY/o
- ACS: 263.5 (1st)
- KD: 1.36 (3rd)
- KAST: 73% (15th)
- ADR: 167.1 (1st)
- KPR: 0.94 (1st)
- FKPR: 0.17 (9th)
Ardiis wasn't shy when pointing out his supreme play as the Chamber with the best numbers at the event.
First ANGE1 blurted out, "I mean, you're walking on water," when ardiis was asked about his play in Copenhagen.
"I've been walking on water," said ardiis jokingly. "I think I've been playing lights out this whole event. Obviously having a lot of prep helped us. Knowing exactly what to do and how to counter but overall, I think the difference between all the games is that we have a full five and a day or two to prepare. So, we were able to practice without going into match after match after match. I think the day helped us a lot"
The FPX roster in many ways mirror the reigning champs Optic and European champs Fnatic. It's a five team roster all contributing in their roles with a dominant Chamber main soaking up all the damage numbers. Seeing the ANGE1 gameplan, with an extra day to prepare, completely throttle DRX shows this team's ability to counter opponents main strategies.
FPX on the fourth Fnatic matchup in two months
FPX won't play again until Friday against Fnatic in front of the Copenhagen crowd. It's their first real opportunity to take a break and truly study the Fnatic tape. Despite beating everyone else in Europe, FPX have lost four straight and need to take a critical look at what's going wrong in that matchup.
"We've played Fnatic a lot," said d00mbr0s. "I wouldn't say we're comfortable playing them, but we know how they play. We know what they do. I think the big difference now is us and Fnatic will have the same time to prepare and we have our full roster this time. So, I think it will be a close match"
ANGE1 chimed in, as he's becoming increasingly known to do, with a facetious comment about their chances:
"There's no chance we win"
FPX face off against Fnatic in the rematch on Friday July 22nd at 11am PST on VALORANT main channel