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The second match of the second day of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage 2 Masters tournament proved to be a long, tough loss against Guild Esports for Roberto Francisco “Mazino” Rivas Bugueño and his team, KRÜ Esports. With two of the three maps in the series going to overtime, it took fans a while to find out which team would make it out of the groups first. It ended up being Guild, who clutched a triple overtime on the third map to win the series and keep KRÜ in groups for one more match.

Mazino and Klaus’ teamwork clutch Bind

However, on Bind, it was the patience and creativity of Mazino who put KRÜ up in the series in the first place. When that map hit overtime and KRÜ got the first round, Mazino got his moment to secure the map. In coordination with teammate Nicolas “Klaus” Ferrari on Viper, they hid Mazino in a corner facing the opponents. So, when three enemies pushed into him, he peeked out and got all three.

“I basically was thinking about that wall all game long, and I just was waiting for the right time to use it,” Mazino said. “I knew nobody would expect it, so I just waited for the moment in both the kills and the plant.”

This wasn’t even the only time Mazino got a clutch 3k in overtime; but despite getting a resurrection and having a 4v2 man advantage on Icebox, they lost that overtime round. Mazino himself had a great map, turning up in the second half to lead his team in kills. However, heading into the matchup, Mazino knew that no matter who they faced, it will be tough.

“We’re facing the best teams in the world,” Mazino said. “At Masters, no matter who we face, they’ll be good. We knew of Guild’s playstyle, especially with how they’re really smart with their aggressiveness.”

Even with the research they did into Guild, it wasn’t enough. That 4v2 man advantage round win would’ve won them the series, but it slipped out of their fingers, eventually losing the map and series to Guild.

A close series puts KRÜ in elimination territory

While the first and last map of the series proved close as could be, map two wasn’t close. A 13-6 stomping by Guild on Fracture tied up the series. After winning a close map and losing in that fashion, KRÜ fought back and was one round away from winning the series twice. Thankfully, this was a winner’s game in the group stage, giving them an opportunity to put this game behind them and get one more shot of qualification. With that, the most tenured roster in VCT history has to recoup their losses and go again.

“We’ve been together a year and a half now, and [the team experience] helps us in every moment of the game,” Mazino said. “When we’re down, it helps us support each other across the game, and same for when we’re doing good, it keeps us focused.”

Their opponent in the fan-dubbed ‘group of death’ will be the winner of OpTic Gaming and LOUD. One of the finalists of VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters will exit the tournament as early as possible. Then, the other will face Mazino and KRÜ. Even after losing to Guild, Mazino and KRÜ Esports are confident that they can win.

“I believe I can speak for me and my whole team that we can truly face anybody we are put up against,” Mazino said. “We’re facing the best but we just got to win now.”