G2 Esports defeat ZETA DIVISION in first match of Masters playoffs
G2 Esports Masters 1
Provided by G2 Esports.

G2 Esports defeat ZETA DIVISION in first match of Masters playoffs

ZETA DIVISION fought hard despite loss

With a whole-team performance, G2 Esports beat ZETA DIVISION in the first match in the playoffs of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage 1 Masters.

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This match told the tale of a powerhouse against an underdog — the number one team from the Europe, Middle East and Africa region versus the best Japanese VALORANT team to date. While G2 came into this game with experience, ZETA had the benefit of warming up with multiple, previous days of play.

Split puts G2 in the driver’s seat

Starting off on Split, ZETA took two of the first three maps for an early lead. Yet both teams traded both rounds and leads back and forth, with Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas on the Raze starting off strong. Every time a team edged out any kind of lead, the other team fought back to tie things up. Off the back of an almost whiffed Raze ultimate from nukkye, G2 took the lead at the half, 7-5.

ZETA remained their determined selves, though, with Yuma “Dep” Hashimoto making a big 4k play to stop the momentum G2 started building.

Just when ZETA started to fight back, Auni “AvovA” Chahade got an important 2k on a post-plant to clutch G2 another round. After a Raze ult from ZETA couldn’t get the 2k they needed, G2 just ran away with the map. Even after a clean ace from Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe, ZETA were still down 7-12. After another great round from nukkye, G2 got the map 13-7 and went up in the series, 1-0. The map was a lot closer than the score showed, with G2 clutching out multiple fights down one or two teammates.

Bind gets close, but G2 edge by

G2 had found success on their map pick, Bind, all year. Even with that history against them, ZETA continued to surprise. Round five was a great example, as the Japanese team shut down the G2 Esports attack with Dep getting a clean 4k.

After hitting 3-3 and taking a timeout, G2 clutched another round off the back of smart shots from Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas. As halftime peaked over the horizon, Tenta “TENNN” Asai got a big ace to keep ZETA close. They followed that ace with a flawless round, going to the half up 7-5.

In the second half, G2 continued to clutch rounds when it mattered most. Trading more rounds back and forth, the game ended up tied again at 9-9. As G2 tried to be aggressive and regain the lead, ZETA read their play to go up themselves. Yet, despite a plant and a Viper’s pit, G2 won another round to tie it up again.

The play that ultimately ended the series was a round-winning collateral kill from Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho. After that, G2 finished ZETA off 13-10, sending them to the lower bracket. But once again, despite the score, ZETA looked like they could have won the whole series had a few rounds gone their way instead.

After the match, in a post-game press conference, nukkye attributed G2’s inability to put the series away more dominantly with the feelings that often come up during the first game of a big tournament.

“I think we had some nerves starting on LAN, and the more we play those nerves will go away,” nukkye said.

G2 will continue onward in the upper bracket and face off against the victor of the LOUD/Team Liquid series.

Author
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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.