The Japanese derby might throw up some surprises.

Two Japanese teams followed the earlier Korean team series, to fight for their own bragging rights as the better Japanese team. The DFM vs Zeta Division match brings the best Japanese teams facing off against each other in this epic battle.

Team 1
Team 2
Map 1
Map 2
Map 3
Score
ZetaDFMAscent (13-9)Haven(13-5)Pearl(2-0)

Zeta vs DFM

For Zeta Division, the VCT Pacific season had started well. In joint third with T1 at the start of the day and a scoreline of 2-1, Zeta were expected to win the series. They had only lost to DRX and had cleaned up Global Esports. However, this match presented an opportunity for fans to see if Zeta could 2-0 a team rather than requiring a map 3 like their previous series. Fans' eyes were fixed on Yuma 'Dep' Hashimoto who had shown up well in the Global Esports series. Eyes were also on Koji 'Laz' Ushida who had secured clutch kills to keep Zeta in the series against Global.

On the other side of the stage, it hadn't been such smooth sailing for DFM who found themselves in joint eighth place with Global Esports and Talon Esports. DFM's scoreline of 0-3 meant this series was a crucial opportunity to show they could compete against some of the top teams. Having taken maps off other teams in their series,' including against Gen G who was second. Fans knew DFM had what it takes and needed them to push through Zeta and get a win on the board. But also to prove that DFM was the better Japanese team in their first meeting at VCT Pacific.

Map 1 - Ascent

What started as a must-win series for Zeta to stand a chance of progressing onto Masters. The series began with a Zeta clutch four kills by Crow to ensure DFM didn't get a look in. Laz ensured DFM knew who was taking the series as he secured round two for Zela. DFM clutched round three but then quickly fell behind again as Zeta powered on ahead. While DFM clutched another round, Zeta didn't let that stop them and began to create a round lead. By halftime, it was obvious that Dep was on form from the previous week and really wanted to get to Tokyo Masters as DFM was cleared out. DFM wasn't expected to win here but it was clear Zeta was not playing around as they cleaned up once more. DFM's full buy before the half closed out wasn't enough as Zeta finished the half 10-2.

Zeta wipe DFM off the map in the first half of Ascent - image via VALORANT Pacific
Zeta wipe DFM off the map in the first half of Ascent - image via VALORANT Pacific

As the second half kicked off, Zeta secured the pistol round with SugarZ3ro finishing off two members of DFM via clean headshots. However not to be beaten down so easily, DFM entered the site in round 14 to ensure the map wasn't a complete stomp by Zeta. Securing a much-needed round win to boost the DFM economy and create a second-round win. DFM having begun closing the gap, continued to stop Zeta reaching matchpoint and continued to run it back, creating a six-round win streak. But with Zeta's matchpoint in touching distance, Zeta finally put a stop to DFM and closed the map.

Map 2 - Haven

With the previous map having gone on for longer than anyone had expected. Zeta were ready to claim the second map and finish the series. Laz showed up incredibly, clutching kills and rounds so that DFM couldn't get on the board. Dep also showed up, rushing kills with another flawless round and getting out while Laz was smiling. It was an easy five round lead for Zeta, but at round seven DFM got themselves on the board with a sneaky defuse but Zeta still killed all of them. DFM's round win was short lived as Zeta hit back, creating a seven round lead only for DFM to run it back.

Zeta on an upward streak against DFM - Image via VALORANT Pacific
Zeta on an upward streak against DFM - Image via VALORANT Pacific

DFM managed to secure their first pistol round victory in the second half and secure the second round too. But Zeta stopped DFM before they could build up too far with TENN finalising the round. Zeta continued on to lock in matchpoint at round 18. Securing the 2-0 for Zeta, a clean series that puts them one step closer to Masters.

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