OpTic Gaming stay alive by eliminating KRÜ Esports at Stage 1 Masters
OpTic Gaming Masters 1
Provided by Riot Games.

OpTic Gaming stay alive by eliminating KRÜ Esports at Stage 1 Masters

NA's second seed climbs back from a tough loss

Off the back of Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, OpTic Gaming eliminated KRÜ Esports from the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Stage 1 Masters, Reykjavík. This victory keeps their tournament hopes alive after previously losing to XERXIA.

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Both OpTic and KRÜ were seeking redemption heading into this elimination match. OpTic Gaming were looking to make up for their failure to exit the group stage as Team Envy during VALORANT Champions 2021. KRÜ, meanwhile, sought to prove that their top-four finish at Champions 2021 wasn’t a fluke.

The match began on Bind, a strong map for OpTic despite KRÜ choosing it themselves. It wasn’t a close map, however, with one of KRÜ’s only highlights coming from an amusing 1v1 where Juan Pablo “NagZ” Lopez Miranda ran away from Austin “crashies” Roberts to win the round. That stopped a seven round win streak and became an important thrifty win for KRÜ on their attack round.

With OpTic hitting the half up 8-4, KRÜ had to start a comeback that harkened back to their Champions days. However, yay and his Sheriff took their first two attack rounds and never slowed down. Yay and OpTic cleaned up the rest of the map, finishing it off 13-5.

Yay, in particular, was off to a hot start. He almost hit 400 ACS on Bind, showing off how much he can help lead a team to victory.

KRÜ struggle to fight back

Despite the early stumble, KRÜ fought back in the series to keep their tournament hopes alive, just like they did earlier in the tournament against Team Liquid.

Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen pulled off another key moment in the game, not only getting the ace on round five but clutching a 2v4 scenario to do so. Then Pujan “FNS” Mehta followed that clutch with one of his own in the next round.

Even in those clutch round wins from OpTic, KRÜ Esports hit Ascent up 7-5 at halftime. When OpTic’s defence started, yay had another crucial map win with a Marshal 4k to tie the map at 7-7. After trading rounds, yay and Marved gave OpTic the lead and never gave it away. The map ended 13-10, the series ending with a 2-0 OpTic Gaming sweep over KRÜ Esports.

As a result, KRÜ Esports are eliminated from Stage 1 Masters. OpTic, meanwhile, are set for a rematch against XERXIA next, the team that sent them down to lower bracket and beat them the last two times they met, internationally.

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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.