OpTic Gaming sweep LOUD, win Stage 1 Masters finals
OpTic Gaming Stage 1 Masters
OpTic Gaming win 2022 Stage 1 Masters | Provided by OpTic Gaming.

OpTic Gaming sweep LOUD, win Stage 1 Masters finals

OpTic Gaming get revenge on LOUD, put NA back on top at Iceland

In a 3-0 sweep, OpTic Gaming defeated LOUD at the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage 1 Masters finals on Sunday, becoming the best international VALORANT team.

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The finals for the VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters happened to be a rematch of the winner’s bracket finals, LOUD and OpTic. Much like their first matchup, both teams had something to prove for their regions. While Brazil with LOUD were reaching new heights in international competition, OpTic were aiming to redeem themselves along with NA. When these teams matched up the first time, OpTic started off strong with a 13-2 map win, yet lost the series 2-1. Felipe “Less” Basso had a map of a lifetime on Icebox, winning the closest map to win the series for LOUD. OpTic themselves took the loss on the chin and swept ZETA DIVISION to get their rematch.

But, unlike their first matchup, a best-of-five would decide who won it all. Plus, as the upper bracket team, LOUD got to ban the two maps within the series, banning Fracture and Split and keeping Breeze in the pool. With OpTic Gaming having success on those bans, LOUD looked to be in a prime position to win the finals. Even then, OpTic started the game with confidence and control.

“We never felt out of control,” said Pujan “FNS” Mehta in a press conference after the match. “As a caller, I still knew what to do. I kept telling my teammates that we could win this, and it felt when we lost rounds it was more due to our mistakes than their successes.”

Ascent starts the best of five

The first map started with a great shock dart from Austin “crashies” Roberts, leading to a flawless pistol round from OpTic. With FNS also getting good timing on LOUD’s gun round, OpTic started the map off with a 3-0 lead.

LOUD didn’t get their first round win until round five, down 4-1. Even with that, OpTic continued to showcase top coordination, getting to 6-1 up before LOUD took their timeout.

Every time LOUD tried to push back, OpTic would read their strategies and win anyway. This included a 3k from Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, which helped put OpTic up 10-2 at the half.

LOUD got a needed pistol win to build some rounds on their side. Off a clutch from Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi, LOUD won their first three rounds in a row. Continuing that streak, Bryan “pANcada” Luna got a crucial 3k on a defuse.

OpTic finally wins a round on their attack, but LOUD didn’t quit. More great rounds put LOUD only down 11-9, after going into the half down 10-2. Just when it seemed dire for OpTic, Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen pulled out another clutch performance to pull OpTic closer to the finish line.

After a rough start to their attack, OpTic pulled out the first map win over LOUD, 13-9.

Bind takes us to overtime

To start Bind, OpTic’s first map pick, a great 3k from Sacy prevented a yay clutch, giving LOUD first blood. Even then, OpTic fought back to win the next two rounds to take their own lead.

No matter what disadvantage OpTic went under, the team would manage to clutch the rounds out anyway. This was clear with Marved sticking a defuse in a 1v1, making it 6-2 for OpTic.

Heading into the half down 8-4, LOUD had less of a mountain to climb than Ascent. Using a pistol round and winning the clutches they couldn’t in the first half, they tied the series at 8-8.

In getting their lead back 9-8, Erick “aspas” Santos was caught in a corner but still got value. The teams proceeded to trade rounds, hitting 10-10 all tied up. The next rounds were close as could be.

Another clutch, this time an ace from Victor “Victor” Wong, tied the map at 12-12, forcing overtime.

Then, when the team needed him most, yay popped off to win the first overtime round for OpTic. Then, after every player traded for each other, a big Showstopper from Victor secures the second map for OpTic, 14-12.

Breeze proves to be one of OpTic’s weaknesses

This needed to be where LOUD made a statement, not only due to OpTic’s tendency not to play Breeze but because if they lost, they had no more chances. After losing the pistol, LOUD scrapped two round wins, but OpTic showed what they can do in a 3-2 lead.

With Marved playing Chamber instead of his usual smokes agents, he kept pulling out rounds where he led OpTic to victory.

After going down 5-2, aspas decided to take the game into his own hands. With his Jett ultimate, he snuck behind OpTic and got a crucial 3k to win LOUD another round.

Crashies looked to clutch another round for OpTic, but LOUD took it back. Even then, they went into the half down 8-4.

Yet again, LOUD were in a scenario of needing a comeback, but now for their lives. They won a very clean pistol round, leading to a big flawless afterwards off the back of aspas and his Marshal 3k.

As LOUD attempted their third comeback, OpTic won crucial rounds to hit double digits, up 10-6. Then, an important thrifty win off the back of a pANcada Guardian kill put LOUD back in the map.

Then, with both Vipers using their ultimates, OpTic got a defuse with 0.5 seconds left on the clock, to put them up 11-7. Despite that, LOUD just kept going A site and kept fighting, only down one round at 11-10.

On an eco round, OpTic got an early pick from Victor but it didn’t matter, as LOUD tied it 11-11. Then, Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro got a clutch 3k to put LOUD on top, 12-11. But, Less couldn’t manage to clutch the next round, this map also going to overtime.

Just like the previous overtime, OpTic won the first overtime round. But this time around, pANcada got a 4k on Chamber to bring it back to even.

After that, FNS got a clutch lurk inside a Vipers pit to put OpTic on top again. This time, OpTic finished it off, 15-13, to win the series 3-0.

OpTic Gaming are your VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters finals champions, defeating LOUD in a sweep to bring the trophy back to NA.

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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.