OpTic Gaming beat XSET, book their ticket to Stage 2 Masters

OpTic Gaming defeated XSET 3-1, sending their opponents to the lower bracket of the VALORANT Champions Tour North America 2022 Stage 2 Challengers tournament. This match was the first best-of-five of the tournament, a position that OpTic Gaming was in at Stage 1 Challengers and swept The Guard 3-0. OpTic Gaming showed why they won Stage 1 Masters during this match and qualified over XSET via the upper bracket final. This win also comes a day after OpTic revealed that multiple players on the roster are sick with COVID, beating that on top of XSET to get back to Masters.

“I do not know how they did it, I had it a couple of months and I did not even want to touch my PC,” said OpTic’s Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen. “I’m proud of them for pulling through in a best-of-five.”

Haven goes to XSET after a perfect attack

On Haven, XSET and OpTic both showed off their skills in the Chamber. The key difference in the team was the Jett for XSET, a risky pick with her nerfs. With both Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker and Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban proving their worth, OpTic got a small lead heading into their attack round, up 7-5.

However, XSET’s defense proved they were able to read OpTic’s plays perfectly. Along with winning all the clutches needed, XSET went from 7-5 down to 11-7 up. With 22 kills and 333 ACS, Zachary “Zekken” Patrone on Jett proved to be too much for OpTic to handle. On OpTic’s map pick, they did not win a single round on defense and lost the map 13-7.

Icebox puts OpTic back in the series

After losing the pistols round, an ace from yay against Specter with nothing but his Headhunter seems to revitalize OpTic. They proceeded to get a lead on their defense, but XSET continued to fight back. Cryocells got two important 4ks on two crucial rounds to tie the game at 4-4. XSET then went on their own run to grab the lead back, eerily similar to their perfect attack on Haven. At the very end of the first half, OpTic threw all their abilities and finally won a round again, hitting it down 7-5.

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

Ascent brings back the 9-3 curse

A crazy pistol round with XSET using a Shorty to its maximum effectiveness put them on top early. Five of the six rounds on defense were flawless for XSET, with nobody dying on their team. Rory “dephh” Jackson was leading XSET on KAY / O, with 14 kills by round 9. A clutch 3k from Marved put OpTic back in the game, down 6-3, however. They still went into halftime down 9-3, with another flawless round for XSET to end it.

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

Breeze puts OpTic in the finals

OpTic lost the first pistol on Breeze, with XSET’s Brendan “BcJ” Jensen getting three kills. OpTic started trading rounds as soon as they got guns while XSET was on defense. Just as OpTic started to fashion a lead, a great flank from Victor’s Jett put them on top. OpTic built on the lead, getting up to 6-2 off of a smart play from FNS under tunnel near A site. They hit halftime up 8-4, in a good position to win the map and series.

OpTic won the second pistols round and the following gun round to go up 10-4. Out of all the players on OpTic, Austin “crashies” Roberts led the team in kills while also having the least deaths. After getting match point, up 12-5, Cryocells tried his best to bring the team back. Alas, the lead was too big, and OpTic won the map 13-6 and series 3-1.

OpTic Gaming are back to Masters, while XSET have another match to win if they want to get there. They will face the winner of NRG and FaZe Clan on June 25.

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