OpTic Gaming finally defeat XERXIA Esports, qualify for playoffs
OpTic Gaming Masters 1
Provided by OpTic Gaming.

OpTic Gaming finally defeat XERXIA Esports, qualify for playoffs

OpTic get their revenge and eliminate XERXIA

Thanks to smart team composition choices, OpTic Gaming have eliminated XERXIA Esports from the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage 1 Masters and claimed revenge for their earlier defeat at the APAC team’s hands.

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This was the third, crucial matchup between these two teams in the past six months. Originally playing as Team Envy and X10 Crit, respectively, X10 notched an upset win when these two teams faced off at VALORANT Champions 2021. When the teams rebranded and faced off in their first international game of 2022, XERXIA pulled off the upset yet again. But, this time around OpTic redeemed themselves, beating XERXIA 2-0 to qualify for the Stage 1 Masters playoffs.

XERXIA start slow and OpTic capitalize

The first map, Fracture, provided some great rounds from both teams, from quick site executes to slower rotations. Victor “Victor” Wong chose to use Neon, a pocket pick he developed comfort with during NA Challengers 1.

Despite the advantage offered by Neon, round eight showed how even both teams were in terms of skill. XERXIA used a smart fake along ropes to rush and plant at B. Even with OpTic getting key picks in the fight, the utility from Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut kept OpTic from defusing, helping XERXIA win the round to go up 5-3.

OpTic fought back to try to get a lead by halftime, but a great Guardian clutch from Panyawat “sushiboys” Subsiriroj kept things tied at 6-6. As the attack side came by for OpTic, they used their Neon and Breach to their full utility, gaining a lot of value by rushing and blinding their opponents. This caught XERXIA off guard and their defense struggled to win a round.

On at least one occasion, XERXIA also managed to throw away a round they had almost clutched. During round 16, Itthirit “foxz” Ngamsaard initially avoided a Brimstone ult before accidentally walking back into it, losing the round and forcing a timeout. OpTic ultimately won the first map 13-9, putting the team only one map away from the playoffs.

Haven brings a fast pace, quick win

The map started strong for OpTic, which forced XERXIA into two back-to-back 1v4 scenarios they couldn’t clutch up. It wasn’t until round four that Nutchaphon “sScary” Matarat snuck around B site and got two big Sherriff kills to win XERXIA their first round on a thrifty.

Even better, when OpTic attempted a rough A site hit, Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker almost clutched with an early Operator. However, a good Killjoy ultimate detained him and allowed an easy defuse for XERXIA to tie up the series early on. But just afterward, OpTic increased their pace to win two more rounds in the span of a single normal one. That pace took OpTic to a 9-3 lead at halftime.

Just when OpTic looked to be in a great position to end the series, XERXIA won the first two rounds of the second half. Yet when it started to look like the 9-3 curse was real, Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen clutched a 1v2 scenario to bring the momentum back in OpTic’s favor.

OpTic Gaming secured the map 13-6, and the series 2-0, eliminating XERXIA Esports from Stage 1 Masters. This means they will face fellow NA team The Guard in the playoffs on Thursday.

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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.