XSET and OpTiC are the NA representatives at Masters 2 Copenhagen
The lower bracket final of the VCT NA Challengers 2 saw XSET take on FaZe Clan in a best-of-five series. At stake was an invitation to Copenhagen and a spot in the Grand Finals.
XSET and FaZe came from different groups, which meant they never faced each other in the Challengers 2 so far. The two teams have quite a different approach to their playstyle, where XSET has a very coordinated and inclusive approach to the game. On the other hand, FaZe, it seems relies on the star power of a couple of its players. The stylistic matchup lived up to it’s name as we saw the two teams clash for their spot at the Masters 2 Copenhagen.
In the post-match interview with Cryocells, the young superstar spoke about the weight of the expectations on him when he first joined the team.
I definitely felt the pressure going into my first season. With enough reps into practice, just slowly easing into it. I just want to say Thank you to all the fans who supported me all the way through ever since I joined XSET. I wouldn’t be here without you.
Despite losing to OpTiC in the upper bracket finals, XSET’s players were in high spirits before their FaZe matchup.
We were definitely still on high spirits. Obviously, we were still a little upset cause we are all competitors. But we were all thinking like, win or loss in that OpTiC match, we are still going to Copenhagen no matter what. We just have to keep it tight for the next match.
The player, who said in the interview, he does not watch regions that NA, came out in full force against FaZe Clan.
Coming into this series, FaZe Babybay had said there was little to no pressure on them. Such a team is not only dangerous but very often could come out with a win. XSET started on the Split defense winning the pistol round. But the immediate force-buy by FaZe allowed them the foothold back into the map. The two teams traded a few rounds always keeping the other team in check. The first half ended in a relatively even 6-6.
Over on the second half, FaZe started strong with five consecutive rounds on the defense. The two teams continued to trade rounds after that, but the early lead helped FaZe secure the win with a narrow 13-11.
Today’s match was in stark contrast to yesterdays’ matches when both the series saw teams amass quite a few rounds. In NRG’s case, Ethan and co. managed a stellar comeback on Icebox, which was thwarted by a last-minute rush by FaZe Clan.
"We had a really good bootcamp and just in that one month, we improved a lot": NRG Ethan on Challengers 2 performance
The players had to go back home from the bootcamp following a COVID scare.
Cryocells chills the FaZe fire
The second map was all about Cryo. The youngster had a fairly quiet Map 1, but on the second map he was in his elements, putting up some big numbers. At the end of the second map, Cryo had 27 kills, almost twice of that of the second-best player on his team.
Again, the first half was relatively even with a 6-6 score. But once XSET moved to the attacking side, Cryo opened up sites with ease and guided XSET to win their first map of the series.
The Cryocells factor continues as XSET lead FaZe
XSET continued its momentum into Icebox, commanding a 9-3 lead. However, there is a Valorant curse on the 9-3 lead and it almost came to fruition on this map.
The first half was dominated by Cryocell’s Chamber who looked extremely comfortable on the agent. Meanwhile, on FaZe’s defense, Babybay’s Chamber found a hard time getting into groove with his own playstyle. He was also unfortunate enough to be at the receiving end of Cryo’s knife on the 5th round.
Despite a 9-3 lead for XSET, FaZe’s deicy and supaman tore through the XSET defense on Icebox. Powered by the dynamic duo, the map went to overtime, where XSET took the win. Icebox went on for a full 30 rounds with XSET winning 16-14. XSET had a 1 map lead in the series and needed just one more win to secure the victory.
The final map – Derailed by internet issues
The start of the fourth map was delayed for more than 90 minutes due to technical issues from the location where the FaZe players were competing from. The ensuing delay definitely derailed their momentum as they never seemed to be back into the series again.
It seemed FaZe ran out of steam on Ascent as it was yet again another 9-3 half. While every player on XSET stepped up to the occasion, BCJ and Cryocells had the most frags and the most stylistic points.
It was an unfortunate turn of events for FaZe who were just starting to look well-rounded and strong coming into the Challengers lower bracket finals. However, it will be XSET who have now confirmed their slot in the Valorant Champions Tour Masters 2 Copenhagen 2022 after eliminating FaZe. They join OpTiC as the only two representatives of North America going into the event.
The Grand finals will feature XSET and OpTiC Gaming in the grand finals. OpTic come into this tournament as one of the favorites and have once again made a strong run through the upper bracket of the playoffs.