In a rematch of the VCT North American Challengers finals, OpTic Gaming got their revenge over The Guard and will move on to face the DRX in the Upper Semifinals.

After The Guard obtained a 10-4 lead on the decider map Fracture, the momentum slowly shifted back towards OpTic. It started with Jimmy “Marved” Nyguen winning an improbable 2v4 and earning an ACE. In a close-out situation for The Guard, needing only three rounds to advance, OpTic made every key adjustments. In terms of their approach to defending on Fracture, it opened up the doors to a comeback for the ages.

In the final 11 rounds, OpTic found every single important gun round and kept The Guard’s economy fluctuating. The minor adjustment to pour utility into the choke points with Pujan “FNS” Mehta on Breach and Marved on Brimstone kept the explosive Guard roster at a constant disadvantage.

Limiting The Guard’s Sayaplayer

The former Overwatch League pro, Ha “Sayaplayer” Jeong-woo, has fast become one of the most dangerous Operator players in VALORANT. Even in a 2-1 reverse sweep loss to OpTic, Sayaplayer ended the day with an impressive game-high 294 Attack Combat Score (ACS) and 1.74 kill-to-death ratio.

Despite The Guard activating Sayaplayer on Jett to take and win duels, OpTic were dominant when shutting down The Guard support players. On their defensive sides, they won 23-13 in total rounds. Showing a keen ability to deny map control and win retakes. So while Sayaplayer outdueled all five OpTic players, The Guard failed to find picks and openings on attack.

The hidden value of OpTic FNS

When OpTic has momentum, the presence of FNS can be felt all over the map. In fact, FNS spoke on the on the idea that OpTic doesn’t rely on hero plays to win games. The team relies on each other and sound fundamental VALORANT.

“A lot of it comes down to people not trying to be heroes” said FNS at VCT Masters press conference. “People not trying to do their own thing and kind of just using the utility that we have and like you saw today, if we do those things we’re usually pretty hard to beat”

FNS playing on stage at VCT Masters Rekyavik
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – APRIL 15: Pujan “FNS” Mehta (L) and Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen of OpTic Gaming react at the VALORANT Masters Bracket Stage on April 15, 2022 in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)

In one of the biggest moments, FNS and crew found that patience and stuck to their solid game planning to pull off the miracle comeback. Again, FNS on the Breach made a world of difference, not only fragging out, but setting up so many traps that found his teammates kills. 

“He makes my job so easy for me. I literally ask him Pujan where do I go and I kill”

Victor wong

OpTic move on to face South Korea’s DRX on Sunday, April 17th. The Guard drop to the lower bracket and face the dangerous Asia Pacific champions Paper Rex.

Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at 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