The action resumes on day two of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) 2022 Masters Stage 1 tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland.
Brazilian team Ninjas in Pajamas (NiP) opened the day by sweeping Fnatic while European team Team Liquid outlasted Thai team XERXIA to become the first team from the group stage to qualify for the playoffs.
Here is a recap of all the action that took place on day two of the VCT Masters Reykjavik 2022:
Ninjas in pajamas 2-0 FNATIC
Day two of the VCT Masters Reykjavik group stage kicked off with a veteran squad Fnatic taking on NiP’s Brazilian outfit VALORANT, with both teams eager to prove themselves this year.
For Fnatic, this is unfinished business and a comeback. Last time they were in Iceland for the VCT Stage 2 Masters 2021, Fnatic were swept away by the Sentinels in the Grand Finals.
Without Sentinels this time, the doors were wide open.
Meanwhile, on NiP’s side, it was Brazil’s revenge on the menu.
Despite all the hype around teams coming from home, their three representatives in VALORANT Champions last December (Team Vikings, Vivo Keyd, FURIA) were eliminated before the knockout stage.
A good showing from NiP in Reykjavík could spark a return to relevance for Brazil.
NiP opened the match in Ascent headfirst, smashing Fnatic Duelists to take the lead. However, Fnatic recovered with some resistance in the second half, led by Joona “H1ber” Parviainen on loan from KOI.
Nonetheless, the Ninjas’ well-honed team play managed to fully secure the upset, leading to a 13-7 victory on the first map.
The Brazilian side continued their aggressive lead in Game 2 in Split, thanks to confident shooting and calculated maneuvering from Walney “Jonn” Reis and Benjamin “bnj” Rabinovich.
Under pressure, Fnatic pushed and stopped the bleeding for a few rounds.
Despite this, the Brazilian underdogs found the opportunity to close the series.
A perfect flank from Walney “Jonn” Reis allowed him to take a victory lap via a triple headshot to give NiP the 13-8 win and secure the 2-0 sweep.
MVP of the match: Benjamin “bnj” Rabinovich
Team Liquid 2 – 1 XERXIA Esports
Fresh off their respective victories on day one of the group stage, Team Liquid and XERXIA faced off in the first qualifying match of the VCT Masters Reykjavík 2022 playoffs.
With Split as the first map, XERXIA built up yesterday’s momentum by winning the first two rounds, only for Team Liquid to win the next five.
XERXIA responded by getting a tie, only for Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen’s operator to lead Liquid to victory.
The Thai team got back into the game, with Panyawat “sushiboys” Subsiriroj feeling right at home in Icebox. Liquid staggered, but eventually matched XERXIA point-for-point via aggressive replays.
Still, the Thai team managed to push Liquid to their limits and took the 13-11 victory, setting the stage for a decisive third game.
Liquid and XERXIA took Ascent for the decider, with the former gaining an early advantage in the earlier rounds. But XERXIA didn’t back down, catching up soon after to show just how comfortable both teams were on the map.
Separated by a slim margin, XERXIA and Liquid would go on to outplay each other, going into a whopping four overtimes as the two teams held each other relentlessly in a fierce battle for a playoff spot.
Unfortunately for Southeast Asia, it was Liquid who prevailed in the end, winning the third game 17-15 after a 32-round marathon.
MVP of the match: Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen
With Day 2 results, NiP will face South Korea’s DRX in the first Group A playoff qualifier, while losing teams Fnatic and ZETA DIVISION will battle in the first Group A playoff.
Meanwhile, in Group B, Liquid becomes the first team from the group stage to qualify for the playoffs. XERXIA have yet another chance to qualify for the next stage, as they will face the winner of the elimination match between KRÜ Esports and OpTic Gaming in the Group B deciding match.
The VCT Masters Reykjavík brings together 12 of the best VALORANT teams in the world to compete from April 10-24 for a share of a $675,000 USD prize pool. The tournament begins with a double-elimination format, where eight of the tournament’s 12 participating teams will begin their campaigns.
The eight teams are split into two groups of four, with all losing teams from Day 1 getting yet another chance to hold onto their respective places in the tournament and bounce back.
On the other hand, the winning teams will continue to fight to earn the first two places in their group and qualify for the playoffs.
The playoffs will see the four teams that qualified from the group stage join the top four seeded teams in a double-elimination bracket, with all teams starting in the top bracket.
All playoff matches will be best-of-3 except for the Lower Tier Finals and Grand Finals, which will be best-of-5 playoffs.
Feb has been trying to run Super Mario 64 at speed since he started playing video games at age 11. He never made it, but has completed other video games since. When he’s not playing, he’s usually playing music or building Gunpla.