OpTic Gaming becomes only the second team in the history of the VALORANT Champions Tour to get back to a finals after sweeping Zeta Division.
The same roster that made it to the Grand Finals of VCT Masters Berlin have achieved the improbable by returning to another finals. At VCT Masters Berlin, OpTic (then under the EnVyUs moniker) failed to take a game off Gambit in the finals and missed their chance at glory. Fast forward eight months later, OpTic get a chance at redemption now facing the Brazilian super team LOUD for a chance at a VCT title.
As for the Zeta Division run, it was nothing short of remarkable. The team many considered one of the weakest at the event ended up sending Team Liquid, DRX, and Paper Rex home before falling to OpTic. In a shocking wave of upsets, Zeta Division proved themselves on a national stage and will make teams respect the Japanese region moving forward.
The OpTic Marved show
Focusing on the performance, it was the Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen show from end-to-end. The Controller main wasn’t just effectively setting up his teammates, but continually found multi-kill rounds. He took advantage of every opening. When the top-fragger comes from the support line, it takes pressure off Operator main Jacob “yay” Whittaker and makes executing the game plan much easier for OpTic.
Marved stats vs Zeta Division
- ACS: 286
- K/D: 1.56 (+25)
- ADR: 188
- Clutches: 5/12
- KAST%: 76%
- HS%: 35%
- Multi-kill rounds: 18
OpTic win the map draft
As for the map draft, OpTic certainly found an advantage. Zeta Division opting for Fracture in game two rather than Icebox gave OpTic three consecutive maps with experience and impressive win rates.. Zeta entered the match with a 100% win rate (5-0) on the map, but none of those previous matchups featured the fast-take ability of Victor Wong on the Neon to contest their strong setups.
On both Haven and Fracture, Victor was able to cause a major disruption to the Zeta site anchor. He caused them to consistently move off their angles and play for retakes. Victor was seeking out duels early and often. Despite a -6 first kill on Haven, he created enough space for his teammates to follow-up with utility and kills. Even down 11-5 in the second half on Haven, OpTic weren’t afraid to run full-sprint into Zeta and challenge them with superior rifling.
OpTic Winning the full-buys
In full-buy rounds, OpTic had a clear advantage, not only with the compositions they were running but with the individual performances. OpTic won 64% of their full-buys and 71% of their half-buys, essentially any time they had a rifle and utility, Zeta struggled to get a footing in rounds. Furthermore, any disadvantageous situation for OpTic ended with them pulling out the round, winning 21.8% of their clutch situations. After Haven, OpTic never looked back and cruised to a Grand Finals appearance.
Marved was the catalyst to the 3-0 victory, but OpTiC yay had a massive impact on the Chamber (266 ACS). Punjabi "FNS" Mehta, as the team's IGL, was finding new ways to approach Zeta’s gameplan. He made a number daring calls late in games that proved to be the difference. Including putting Marved on the Judge and pushing C-long on Haven.
“We were predicting a fast C-split from them or some sort of C-split just judging off previous rounds and it was just a feel kind of thing,” said OpTiC yay in a post-game interview. “We predicted they would try and do their C-split again. Our IGL, FNS, told Jimmy to buy a judge and he even went ‘it’s a weird call but trust me on this’ and he trusted him and it worked out pretty well and then ended up going exactly where we were expecting”
Even if Marved was the lynchpin, it was a total team effort. The team didn’t shy away from any of the tactics that brought them to this point but leaned into them. The quick Zeta start didn’t shake their confidence. As they’ve done all tournament, they completed a comeback that pushed them past their limits. Rattling off seven of eight rounds on second half Haven and carrying that momentum into the next two maps.
The Rematch with LOUD
Looking ahead, a post-game interview, OpTiC yay spoke on this team staying true to themselves in the rematch against LOUD.
“Same thing we've been doing all tournament, which is to go in there and give it our best. Do our best to play together and don't be afraid to make plays, just be ourselves essentially. We’re not going to try and be super-anti or try to think a lot about them, we’re just going to try and be ourselves and if that's not enough then that's not enough.”
The Grand Finals will begin on Sunday, April 24th at 10am PST. The winner will go home with $200,000 and the title of VCT Masters Reykjavik champions.