VALORANT Masters, Reykjavík: ZETA DIVISION marks first international victory
ZETA DIVISION walked into their Tuesday group stage match against Fnatic looking for their first international victory at Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters, Reykjavík. They ousted Fnatic by 2-0 and won their first international victory.
Previously in 2021, ZETA DIVISION was humiliated at Masters, Berlin, finishing with only one map win. The team was not off to a good start at the match, leading to them conceding a quick 2-0 loss to DRX. They were then pushed down to the lower bracket. Besides qualifying, their only achievement was winning the first map for Japan on an international level.
The team, however, stayed confident. After two intense maps, they claimed their first victory and eliminated Fnatic from the tournament.
Fnatic entered the game crippled as the team was forced to make two substitutes. Their star player, Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev, was quarantined and the suspension of Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov prevented him from being in the starting line-up. Their loss to ZETA DIVISION on Tuesday came after the defeat to Ninjas in Pyjamas
DRX’s Kim “stax” Gu-taek showed his support for ZETA DIVISION. He wrote on Twitter: “If @zetadivision shows us exactly what they practiced against us in Asia, they’ll win easily. Let’s show it with confidence #ZETAWIN”.
Fnatic relies on Derke too much, coach says
In response to a question about what he wanted to accomplish at the international event, ZETA DIVSION coach Hibiki “XQQ” Motoyama said he hoped that his team would not leave anything on the table at the end of their stay in Reykjavík.
When it comes to Kill/Death ratio, Koji “Laz” Ushida was ZETA DIVISION’s best player in the series.
“We have been waiting and longing for this win for the longest time,” Laz said in a post-game press conference. “So to be accomplishing our goals coming into Masters, I am very proud of it and very happy”.
Despite ZETA DIVISION being unbeaten going into the competition, they lacked the appropriate hype. The Japanese team has also yet to prove that they are a serious threat to the top teams in VALORANT. There has only been one win by the team on the international stage so far.
Despite being down two players, Fnatic still praised the team for defeating them in straight maps and playing up to the competition.
Fnatic’s in-game leader Jake “Boaster” Howlett said after the match, “I think honestly, they stepped up to the challenge, I think that was the most admirable thing”.
“They came in and they didn’t show the kind of same fear and kind of hesitation as previous times when the more minor regions come in and play. They really stepped up and proved why they deserve to be here as well,” he added.
Fnatic coach Jacob “Mini” Harris, meanwhile, said the substitutions harmed the team’s chance of a major run at the Masters.
“We’re essentially a new team, we just watched a new team play the game, and obviously trying to watch a new team play the game on the biggest stage that we’ve got, that’s what happens,” said Mini in a post-game press conference.