VCT Stage 1 Masters: LOUD and OpTiC Advance to the Final

Posted on April 19, 2022

So much has happened in Reykjavík over the past few days and there’s a lot to cover. We’re already at the Upper Bracket Final where LOUD and OpTiC Gaming prepare for the final dash to the Grand Final.

The Lower Bracket was also quite interesting. ZETA DIVISION, against all Valorant betting odds, managed to eliminate both Team Liquid and DRX, and now await their match against Paper Rex, the APAC Challengers.

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Image Credits | Riot Games

Is This The End of EMEA Dominance?

Despite getting 3 Masters slots in this tournament, none of the EMEA teams will be able to pick up the trophy in Reykjavík. Instead, we’re left with some unexpected candidates and we’re thrilled about it.

Right now, the only four remaining teams in the race to the top are Paper Rex, LOUD, ZETA DIVISION, and OpTic Gaming.

The Brazilians are probably one of the biggest surprises of this year. LOUD entered Valorant on February 3rd, formed a humble roster, and decided to give Valorant Champions Tour a shot. They ended up dominating the Brazilian scene and continue to do so in Reykjavík. And keep in mind, this is their first esports tournament ever!

Then we have the Japanese ZETA DIVISION. Initially given low-ranking by all esports predictions and expected to drop out in the group stage. Against all odds, the Japanese remained strong and eliminated Team Liquid and DRX, but also foiled Fnatic’s and NiP’s plans in the group stage. It’s incredible to see how far they’ve come in this tournament.

Paper Rex, a Singapore-based esports organisation, have also done incredibly well. They came as one of the top seeded teams and proved that was no coincidence. They lost to DRX in the Quarterfinals, but then ended up eliminating The Guard and G2 Esports. These guys mean business and really shouldn’t be underestimated.

Finally, OpTic Gaming remains in the race as the only team representing North America. They probably have the most experience out of all the teams left in the tournament, but that alone won’t be enough. We’ll see if they’ll be able to persevere against LOUD and their aggressive playstyle.

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Image Credits | Riot Games

Who Will Win?

At this point, it’s still hard to tell who will end up winning. Honestly, from what we’ve seen so far, it could be any of these four remaining teams. Obviously, LOUD and OpTic have the greatest odds given how they’re in the Upper Bracket Final.

The match between LOUD and OpTic will be quite a spectacle. LOUD has been on a win streak so they’re running full steam ahead. OpTic, on the other hand, have had a rough journey here but proved to be the only NA team with enough endurance to accomplish what needed to be done. OpTic’s experience could be the deciding factor here and allow them to finally stop the Brazilians.

The match between ZETA DIVISION and Paper Rex will also be quite fun to watch. ZETA is unique in this tournament because they didn’t really expect to get this far, and as such, they’re really going all out and not holding back at all. They’re not chained down by fear of losing, and that’s exactly what makes them so dangerous. Paper Rex is a top-tier Valorant team, but they should approach this match carefully.

Both matches start on April 22nd, so make sure to tune in live and watch the teams clash on the official Valorant Twitch channel.

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Denis Alihodzic

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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