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Day 1 of the North American VCT Challengers playoffs on Thursday wrapped up with OpTic taking a 2-1 victory off of XSET in their quarterfinal matchup. This was preceded by Cloud9 defeating the Pittsburg Knights 2-1 in their own series.

Cloud9 defeat Knights in the VCT Challengers playoffs quarterfinals

The first map Cloud9 and Knights met on was Ascent. Neither team ran a particularly surprising composition, and the game was ultimately very close. Though Cloud9 eventually managed to snag the win, Knights were right behind them to the very end. They pushed Cloud9 to overtime by tying them at 12 rounds, showing off their defensive skill on Ascent. But despite Knights’ tenacity, Cloud9 were able to string two consecutive rounds together to take the game.

On the next map, Breeze, things were a bit less evenly matched. Knights started picking up steam approaching the half and were able to convert that momentum into a 13-8 victory. Everything for this quarterfinal match would come down to Haven.

Whatever slump Cloud9 had found themselves in on Ascent seemed to clear up on the final map. They managed an efficient 13-6 win over Knights, thoroughly outplaying them on defense. Pittsburg now find themselves facing a lower bracket run if they are to have any hope of making it to the finals.

OpTic knock XSET to the lower bracket

OpTic and XSET started their quarterfinal bout on Split. The latter started things off with a bang, taking the map from OpTic with a statement 13-4 scoreline. On the next map, Ascent, things were a lot more evenly matched. OpTic didn’t allow XSET to run away with the lead this time, and managed to pull ahead themselves. They took Ascent 13-9, pulling things together with a solid defense.

The decider for this matchup was Bind. OpTic were able to maintain their form from the previous map, defeating XSET 13-7. They will move one step closer to securing a spot at the upcoming VCT Stage 1 Masters tournament in Iceland and will face off against Cloud9 next.

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