“At XSET we are used to being the underdogs, even back in North America. People are just used to not cheering for us. But it just gives us more motivation to prove them wrong “: XSET Cryo after their victory over Fnatic

James Bassett

James Bassett

Cryo’s incredible Chamber play helped XSET overcome Fnatic in the first round of Playoff matches at Champions 2022

XSET came out the victors against Fnatic. Their highly impressive 2 - 0 win means that they will be moving on to the Upper Bracket Semi-finals. There they will be facing off against OpTic Gaming in a North American battle for the ages.

"At XSET we are used to being the underdogs, even back in North America. People are just used to not cheering for us. But it just gives us more motivation to prove them wrong."

XSET's Cryo in his Post-Match Interview

XSET silences the Istanbul crowd with emphatic win over Fnatic

Fnatic came into this matchup with a clear homefield advantage as the Istanbul crowd rallied behind them from the get-go. Most of it directed towards the young Turkish sensation, and home town hero, Emir Ali "Alfajer" Bader.

Though Fnatic had the crowd on their side, that did not make their jobs any easier against a high-flying XSET team who have made quite the impression at Champions thus far. Especially after their highly dominant win against FunPlus Phoneix back in the Group C Winners Match. And they seemed to continue their hotstreak from the Group Stages with a very dominant start to proceedings on Pearl in Map 1. With Matthew "Cryo" Panganibin having a particularly good start as he had an 11 - 0 K/D after just 5 rounds. Fnatic seemed to find their footing towards the end of the map, but were ultimately unable to prevent XSET from taking the map 13 - 8.

Fracture saw Fnatic get off to a much better start to proceedings in Map 2 as they were up 5 - 1 after the first six rounds. However, as the game got scrappier XSET seemed to rediscover their performance from Pearl, allowing them to reduce Fnatic's lead to 7 - 5 at halftime. And it didn't take for XSET to put their opponents on the back foot again. Though it was a valiant effort from Fnatic, they were unable to overcome their NA opponents as XSET closed out Fracture 13 - 11 to secure a 2 - 0 win that stunned the Istanbul crowd into silence.

Cryo comes out on top in the Chamber duel with Derke

There was a lot to look forward to in the build-up to this match, with one of those being the duel between XSET's Cryo and Fnatic's Nikita "Derke" Sirmitev. Both have made a name for themselves this season as being two of the best Chamber players in the world. So many were looking forward to seeing who would come out on top in this affair. And like with the match itself, this was a battle that did not disappoint.

Both players were equally impactful for their squads at various points in the match. With each player having enhanced success on their teams' respective map picks. But when all was said and done, it was Cryo who came out the victor in this particular matchup. Finishing with a total of 48 kills and a 1.92 overall K/D. Though Derke, despite his team's loss, managed to finish the game with 45 kills.

Cryo also led the lobby in first-blood engagements; amassing a total of 9 first-blood kills whilst also only being the first to die in a round three times. Which is phenomenal given how tough the match was for XSET at times, especially on Fracture. With all of those stats to his name, it came as no surprise that Cryo was named the Match-MVP by the fans afterwards. And if he can continue to produce performances like that, XSET could be set for even greater fortunes at Champions 2022.

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