Optic and XSET spoke to the media after the match, discussing group stages, the FNS sick game, and the next round of playoffs

Optic fell in the NA Challengers final to a surprising opponent, lost their first group stage match, made it out of groups from losers, and beat the North American champ in round one of the playoffs. No, this is not a summary of their Masters Reykjavík run. It’s deja vu in Copenhagen.

Even stranger, Optic will move on to play DRX in the upper bracket semi-finals for the second straight event. It’s eerie how similar these two events are playing out for the Champs and momentum is slowly building as we saw in Iceland.

Facing XSET, the strength of Optic was on full display. The 79% rifle-round win percentage for Optic is one thing, but not dropping a single-man advantage situation throughout the series is downright absurd. In 39 situations where Optic held the player advantage, Optic converted all 39.

Optic FNS on getting revenge for the North American Finals

After getting roughed up in the North American finals by XSET, Optic IGL Pujan “FNS” Mehta had something to prove. Despite playing with COVID along with teammates Austin “Crashies” Roberts, he considered it the worst performance of his career and came out firing with a purpose in Copenhagen.

“Point is, going into this match I obviously had something to prove. I didn’t want to lose to them again and I wanted it to be set in stone that we are the better team when we are all healthy and all good to go. I think we proved that today”

Optic FNS

“I had covid the last time I played against them and it was the worst series of my career because of it. Crashies also had covid. Both of us had really bad symptoms and it was really hard for us to focus on that match. Point is, going into this match I obviously had something to prove. I didn’t want to lose to them again and I wanted it to be set in stone that we are the better team when we are all healthy and all good to go. I think we proved that today”

Optic was truly sensational in the win and seeing them fire on all cylinders should cast doubt on the remaining teams. Each game Optic plays on stage seemingly makes them more comfortable and adjusted to the meta. After staring death in the face against LOUD in groups, Optic has a renewed sense of confidence.

XSET on skipping the group stage

According to XSET’s Rory “dephh” Jackson, it did take a moment for the team to find their footing in the new environment. Furthermore, it doesn’t help to start on your map pick down 7-1 and XSET never recovered.

“We didn’t settle early today. Obviously, it’s one of the harder matchups in the entire tournament. Hopefully, we get a chance to play them again. I don’t think them sitting across from us was a big deal. We just have to settle ourselves down and play the Valorant we know we can play”

XSET dephh
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

Many will point to Optic playing three games prior to this as a reason for XSET’s sluggish performance, but dephh doesn’t see that as an excuse.

“You could say it’s an advantage to play from the group stage against some of the lesser teams you have to knock out but I don’t know, we don’t want to use that as an excuse. We’re here to play. We have to beat optic regardless of how many games they’ve played this entire tournament”

XSET get Levitian, Optic get DRX

The first meeting between DRX and Optic was a certified banger. The two most intelligent, meta-defining teams clashing with one another is VALORANT porn. In that meeting at Reykjavik, Optic clutched out the win in overtime, but the series came down to micro decisions in-game and the map veto.

As for the two teams with the deepest map pools, Optic head coach Chet “Chet” Singh recognizes how important the map vetoes will be in the semifinals. He also previewed a potential surprise in store for fans.

“The veto is going to be super important against that team just because they have such a wide map pool,” said Chet post-match, “and hopefully we have a couple of surprises for them that you guys will enjoy”

XSET plays an elimination match against Leviatan tomorrow at 11pm PST. The Optic vs DRX grudge match will take place at 11pm PST on Friday, July 17th.

Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022