Paper Rex’s aggressive playstyle proved to be the difference as they defeated The Guard in the lower bracket of VCT Masters Reykjavik
Paper Rex defied expectations as they took down The Guard 2 - 0 in the lower bracket at VCT Masters Reykjavik. This win marks the first time Paper Rex has won against an international opponent in the VCT.
Following their dramatic loss to OpTic Gaming in the Quarterfinals, The Guard were in desperate need of a quick reset. Yet, despite their previous loss, The Guard's roster looked good at various points in their match. Especially Sayaplayer, who outslayed everyone in the lobby with a total of 68 kills across the all three maps. But now that they were starring down the elimination barrel, and the question was would the rest of the team be able to step up to plate.
Paper Rex were also coming into this match off the back of their loss to DRX in the Quarterfinals. Yet in that loss we saw glimpse of their hyper aggressive double duelist setup, which seemed to be working for them at times. And while the team had performed well overall in that matchup, they were going to need to really bring the pain early in order to beat The Guard.
Paper Rex vs The Guard Full Match Recap
Paper Rex's duelists go on a tear on Haven
The match kicked off with a trip to Haven for Map 1. Given how good The Guard have been on Haven, with the NA side having an 84% win rate on it, this seemed like it would be relatively simple for them.
But that wasn't going to be the case, as Paper Rex won the opening two rounds of the first half. The Guard responded with a round win of their own, but from that point on the APAC team took complete control on their offensive side. Thanks to the aggressive tendencies of duelists Wang Jing "Jinggg" Jie and Jason "f0rsakeN" Susanto. And despite The Guard's best efforts, Paper Rex were able to take a comfortable 8 - 4 lead into halftime.
Paper Rex continued momentum by winning the first three rounds of the second half, to take their lead in the map to 11 - 4. Yet The Guard finally managed to gain some ground in this game as they won four rounds in a row, thanks to the efforts of Ha "Sayaplayer" Jeong-Woo and kill leader Jonah "JonahP" Pulice. Though the NA side managed to make things close towards the end, Paper Rex's aggression proved to be too much to handle in the end as f0rsakeN managed to hit a nice 3k with the Operator to close out the map 13 - 10. Giving the APAC side a surprising 1 - 0 lead in the series.
Jinggg goes ballistic on Split
After breaking The Guard on their map pick, Paper Rex were looking pretty confident going into Split for Map 2. Especially when considering The Guard's less than impressive track record on the map.
Paper Rex opened things up on Split with the first two rounds of their offensive half. The Guard responded by taking the next three rounds in a row. This led to a scrappy contest between both sides, with neither team gaining the upper hand in the first half. But that didn't stop Paper Rex's Jianggg from adding to his highlight real with an ace in round 11 to tie the map up at 6 - 6 going into halftime.
With the score all tied up it looked as if The Guard might be able to gain a foothold in this match, especially after winning the second pistol round. However that proved to be a minor insignificance for Paper Rex who proceeded to win the next four rounds in a row to take them into double digits. With f0rsakeN getting a 3k with the Marshall in the process. The Guard managed to scrounge together another round win. But at that point it seemed like the die had well and truly been cast for NA's number 1. And this was indeed the case as Paper Rex took the final two rounds of Split almost effortlessly. Winning the map 13 - 8, and the series 2 - 0.
With this win, Paper Rex will be progressing to the next round of the Lower Bracket where they will be facing the loser of the semifinals match between G2 and Loud. Unfortunately this is the end of the road for The Guard. Despite earning the early bye into the Playoffs, the NA team were unable to win a single series in what was their first taste of international play in VCT.