OpTic defeats LOUD, claims VCT Stage 1 Masters title
OpTic’s victory came after LOUD previously came out victorious in the upper bracket final, defeating the newly crowned champions 2-1. Following a number of issues ahead of the finals, winning the championship and leading the North America region this year was something they deserved.
“It just feels good to have this roster get a championship because it felt earned, it felt earned for a while, and it felt like we were grinding enough and practicing enough to where we’ve reached a championship level,” in-game team leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta said. “So I’m glad that we finally won.”
Difficulties ahead of finals
OpTic journey in this year’s VCT was not all smooth for the underdogs. In the VALORANT international grand final last year, Gambit took over the win from OpTic. According to Victor “Victor” Wong, the team kept on thinking about the defeat. They eventually moved on and treated it as a motivation to win this year’s VCT Stage 1 Masters instead.
“We know what it feels like lose in the grand finals, in 3-0 fashion too so for me, that helped me push it over the edge today,” Victor added.
After being seeded in Group B alongside Team Liquid, XERXIA, and KRÜ Esports, the odds were slim for OpTic to reach the finals.
OpTic was defeated by XERXIA 2-0 in Group B opening games. Trailing behind Liquid and XERXIA, OpTic had to proceed to the elimination round against KRÜ. OpTic seized the game with an absolute 2-0 win and proceeded straight to the playoffs.
OpTic made relatively tight wins against The Guard in the upper bracket quarterfinals and DRX in the upper bracket semifinals. FNS and co. ran out of luck in the upper bracket final after a 2-1 defeat against LOUD. This defeat sent OpTic to the lower bracket against ZETA DIVISION.
OpTic seamlessly came out of the game as the victor over ZETA. They were given a VIP rematch ticket against LOUD in the VCT grand finals and came out as the winner of the game.
Claiming VCT title
The road was full of challenges for OpTic. At times, however, each member of the team showed a balanced performance in an effort to keep elimination from the tournament at bay. Two notable plays were recorded by Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker with a multi-kill round and Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen with his record-breaking 35 kills.
“Every tournament feels different, so it doesn’t really feel similar at all,” Marved said ahead of the finals. “We definitely had a different path towards this finals, so it just feels different.”
“We’re just going to treat it like any other scrim or game.”
Winning this year’s VCT Stage 1 Masters is not always about lifting the trophy and the first-place prize worth $200,000. For OpTic, it was also about proving to other regions that North America is the best region.
“We’re definitely the best. And I’m sure a lot of people know it. It’s very difficult to beat us and I think we’re more difficult to beat than any other North American team,” Marved explained.
“All our hard work pays off and we finally have the trophy that was long overdue.”