OpTic Gaming defeats XSET, books ticket to Stage 2 Masters

OpTic Gaming defeated XSET 3-1, sending their opponents to the bottom bracket of the VALORANT Champions Tour North America 2022 Stage 2 Challengers tournament. This match was the first of the tournament’s best five, a position OpTic Gaming found themselves in at Stage 1 Challengers and swept The Guard 3-0. OpTic Gaming showed why they won the Stage 1 Masters in this match and qualified on XSET via the Upper Bracket Finals. This victory also comes a day after OpTic revealed that several players on the roster were sick with COVID, beating that in addition to XSET to return to the Masters.

“I don’t know how they did it, I had it for a few months and didn’t even want to touch my PC,” said Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen of OpTic. “I’m proud of them for succeeding in a best-of-five.”

Haven goes into XSET after a perfect attack

On Haven, XSET and OpTic both showed their skills in the Chamber. The main difference in the team was the Jett for XSET, a risky choice with his nerves. With Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker and Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban proving their worth, OpTic took a small lead heading into their attacking round, up 7-5.

However, XSET’s defense has proven that they are able to read OpTic’s games flawlessly. Along with winning all the necessary clutches, XSET went from 7-5 to 11-7. With 22 eliminations and 333 ACS, Zachary “zekken” Patrone on Jett proved too much for OpTic to handle. On OpTic’s map pick, they didn’t win a single round in defense and lost the map 13-7.

Icebox puts OpTic back in the series

After losing the round of pistols, an ace of yay against Specters with nothing but his Headhunter seems to revitalize OpTic. They started to take a lead on their defense, but XSET continued to fight back. Cryocells got two big 4k’s over two crucial rounds to tie the game at 4-4. XSET then continued his own run to regain the lead, eerily similar to his perfect attack on Haven. At the very end of the first half, OpTic threw away all of their abilities and eventually won a set again, dropping them 7-5.

This time around, an early pistol win for OpTic showed their second half would be better. After leveling 7-7, XSET won all three games in a row to maintain their lead. OpTic responded with some smart mid-game changes, playing slower and focusing on potential yay picks to close the map. In the duel between yay and Cryocells, as the map progressed, yay started to win it more often. Tied again at 11-11, yay broke his Stage 2 record for eliminations in a match with 34. But, Victor “Victor” Wong’s 3k put OpTic on the map point, then OpTic Gaming secured the card at 13-11.

Ascent Brings Curse Back 9-3

A crazy gunshot with XSET using a Shorty at maximum efficiency put them on top early. Five of the six rounds on defense were perfect for XSET with no one dying on their team. Rory “dephh” Jackson led XSET on KAY/O, with 14 kills in round 9. A 3k clutch from Marved put OpTic back in the game, down 6-3, however. They still went 9-3 at halftime, with another clear round for XSET to end it.

On the OpTic defense side, they started strong, winning their first four rounds in a row. In that fourth win, Pujan “FNS” Mehta’s 3k kept OpTic on the map, but XSET ended that four-man streak. Down 10-7, within reach of OpTic, they won three more rounds to tie at 10-10. An aggressive shot from yay put them up 11-10, and they make the 9-3 curse a reality in a 13-11 win. Despite losing numerous clear rounds against XSET, OpTic stuck with it to go up 2-1 in the series.

Breeze places OpTic in the final

OpTic lost first gun on Breeze, with XSET’s Brendan “BcJ” Jensen getting three wins. OpTic started trading rounds as soon as they got guns while XSET was on defense. Just as OpTic was starting to shape a track, a large flank of Victor’s Jett put them on. OpTic built up ahead, going up 6-2 on a smart play from FNS under the tunnel near Site A. They reached half-time 8-4, in good position to win the map and the series .

OpTic won the second round of guns and the next round of guns to go up 10-4. Of all the OpTic players, Austin “crashes” Roberts led the team in kills while having the fewest kills. After getting match point, up 12-5, Cryocells did their best to bring the team back. Alas, the lead was too big and OpTic won the map 13-6 and the series 3-1.

OpTic Gaming is back in the Masters, while XSET has another game to win if it wants to get there. They will face the winner of NRG and FaZe Clan on June 25.

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