DRX handily defeat Ninjas in Pyjamas to qualify for Masters 1 playoffs
DRX Masters 1
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DRX handily defeat Ninjas in Pyjamas to qualify for Masters 1 playoffs

The only Korean team in the competition is the second into playoffs

On day three of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage 1: Masters, Reykjavík, DRX beat Ninjas in Pyjamas to qualify for the playoffs. This is the second team to officially make it out of the group stage, alongside Team Liquid from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

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Up to this point in international VALORANT tournaments, Korean teams have come in with a lot of hype despite never finding much success. This is something DRX experienced, particularly while competing in 2021 under their previous name, Vision Strikers. While they made it out of groups during VCT 2021 Stage 3: Masters, Berlin, they lost their first elimination match to eventual winners, Gambit Esports. At Champions 2021, they failed to escape Group D with a 1-2 record.

However, having made it to the playoffs again, DRX have a shot at 2022 Stage 1: Masters to prove that they are one of the best VALORANT teams in the world. After sweeping not only ZETA DIVISION but now Ninjas in Pyjamas, they may have a real shot.

DRX’s victory was especially notable considering NiP swept Fnatic in an upset the day before, proving their own ability to overcome expectations. However, when DRX and NiP met on Icebox, the 13-4 win for the Korean squad highlighted the difference in skill. Kim “stax” Gu-taek, in particular, had a great map as KAY/O, finishing with 15 kills and 13 assists.

The second map, Breeze, proved  a bit more of a challenge for DRX, which finished the half up 7-5. But even with Ninjas in Pyjamas giving them a tougher fight, DRX finished off the map 13-8 and won the series 2-0.

As the analysts said on stream, while making it to the playoffs isn’t anything new for DRX, they way they did it is meaningful. Two sweeps not only puts them at the top of the group, but it is a statement to future opponents.

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Michael Czar
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.