OpTic’s incredible performance on Pearl capped off an epic clash with bitter rivals Loud at Champions 2022.
OpTic Gaming have taken down Loud 2 - 1 in the Group B Winners match. With this win over Loud, OpTic have become the second team to secure their place in Playoff stage at Champions 2022 after what was a three map thriller against their bitter rivals.
The OpTic vs Loud rivalry reaches new heights at Champions 2022
The OpTic/Loud rivalry has become one of the standout matchups of the season. The have faced each other at both Masters events this season, with OpTic holding the slight edge over the Brazilian side coming into this game at 2 -1; including their triumph over them in the Masters 1 Grand Final. Their last meeting came in the group stage of Masters 2 in Copenhagen which ended also ended in a three map thriller. So it seemed only right that we got to witness one more showdown between these two coming into Istanbul for Champions 2022. And it certainly lived up to the billing once again.
OpTic got to off to yet another slow start to a match, as Loud dominated the first half of Breeze to take a resounding 11 - 1 lead. Loud's Erick "Aspas" Santos in particular was having a monster of a map against OpTic; with everybody, except IGL Pujan "FNS" Mehta, having a shocking first half. OpTic were able to steady the ship a bit in the second half, but were unable to make a miracle comeback as Loud managed to close out the map 13 - 7.
Things remained fairly scrappy on Fracture, but it seemed like OpTic were starting to break down their opponents towards the end of the map. Culminating in them taking Fracture to tie up the series, with Jaccob "Yay" Whiteaker finishing the map with an impressive 29 kills. A stark contrast to his performance on Breeze. And then came the decisive game on Pearl, where OpTic put on a clinic to win the map 13 - 4 to beat Loud for the third time this season, and book their place in the Playoffs.
OpTic set the standard on how to play Pearl
With Pearl being added into the map pool for Champions, there were many who were eager to see how various teams would approach it. And that was certainly the case when it was allowed to be the third map in this series versus Loud. Despite both teams running the same agent compositions, it was clear from the get go that OpTic had done a lot of work on the map.
I enjoy playing them [Loud]. I think they are an insane team and they are really hard to play against. And they came out swinging in that first map. It still does feel like a rivalry even though we've beaten them the last three times we played."
With the combined strength of Jimmy "Marved" Nguyen's Astra alongside Austin "Crashies" Roberts' Fade and Victor "Victor" Wong's Kay-0, OpTic truly became the Greenwall. With their excellent positioning and utility usage enabling them to dictate proceedings on the defensive half. It was clear to see that OpTic were enjoying their time on Pearl. And, according to Crashies in his post-match interview, has been the case since they started scrimming the map.
"Personally we really like that map a lot as a team. When we first started practicing it, it just kind of clicked. All five of us kind of understood how we wanted to play it. It felt really good to be able to play it in a match so that we know what we are capable of, and I'm just happy with the result."
While it will be quite a while before we see OpTic again at Champions, one thing that's for certain is that teams will now be thinking twice about challenging the Greenwall on Pearl.
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