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Paper Rex and OpTic Gaming made it through Day 8 of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Stage 2 Masters tournament on Sunday, continuing in the upper bracket.

Fnatic and DRX will continue in the losers bracket, with the former facing Leviatán and the latter facing FunPlus Phoenix.

Paper Rex advance past top seed

The first series was between Paper Rex and Fnatic, the top seeds of the Asia-Pacific region and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region respectively.

It started on Ascent, Fnatic’s map pick, but the teams traded rounds. After hitting the half 6-6, Paper Rex continued their high risk/high reward playstyle and took a lead late in the game. Just before Fnatic could force overtime, Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart won the map for Paper Rex 13-11.

Paper Rex, up 1-0, headed into Bind with a chance to knock Fnatic to the lower bracket. Both teams were undefeated on the map during Stage 2, but Paper Rex took the lead at the half 7-5. Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto took over the map on Yoru and showcased a slew of teleport strategies and flanks to get big round wins. Fnatic fought back but still couldn’t handle it, losing 13-10 and the series 2-0.

OpTic on path for back-to-back Masters titles

The second series between OpTic Gaming and DRX was another close matchup, but it didn’t start off that way. DRX took a massive lead to start Fracture, and it just kept on building.

OpTic won their first round down 10-1, an almost insurmountable deficit, and lost the first map 13-4.

Heading into Breeze, a map that DRX has a good win rate on, OpTic took an early lead and stretched it into a 10-2 halftime advantage. DRX needed to form a big comeback to sweep the series. But alas, a 13-4 map win for OpTic evened up the matchup.

On the final map, Bind, OpTic carried over the momentum from their Map 2 victory. They went into the half up 8-4 after a close bunch of rounds at the start. As soon as OpTic hit 10 round wins, DRX made a run to cut the lead. They tied it up at 10-10, but Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker didn’t let them lead.

The victory let OpTic keep their winning record against DRX and gave them a few more bragging rights in the budding international rivalry.

Play of the day

The play of the day revolved around using Yoru utility to its full potential. And of course, if you want Yoru plays, Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto is your guy. On a key round to end the half, a smart teleport gave f0rsakeN three kills to end the half.

Bind was full of clever Yoru plays like this one, but this one was a back-breaker and kept Paper Rex in the lead for the map.

Day 8 MVP

After his performance helping his team come back from a tough position, yay deserves MVP for Day 8 of Stage 2 Masters. After OpTic faced one of their toughest map losses in recent history, they bounced back on Breeze thanks to yay’s performance on the Chamber.

On that map, he put up a 22/8/3 KDA (kills/deaths/assists), eight more kills than the next-highest player in the lobby. In the series, he topped everyone with 62 kills and 304 average combat score. Perhaps the most telling stat, though, revolved around his 20 first blood kills. Nobody else in the lobby even had 10.

Now, OpTic will move on to face Paper Rex.