Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen teams preview
OpTic Masters 1
Provided by Riot Games

Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen teams preview

A short introduction to every team competing at Copenhagen

The VALORANT Champions Tour is heating up as teams from across the globe travel to Copenhagen, Denmark, for Stage 2 Masters. Twelve teams will battle it out to decide who is the top professional team in VALORANT going into the latter half of the year.

Recommended Videos

Masters Copenhagen brings together teams from many different VCT regions. It’s an opportunity for the different teams to vie for regional pride as well as money and prestige. What’s more, Masters Copenhagen will be the first international VCT event with a crowd.

If you haven’t been able to keep up with the VCT, don’t worry. This handy guide will provide a short rundown of every team heading to Copenhagen.

FunPlus Phoenix

For the second Masters event in a row, FPX may be crippled by travel restrictions imposed on their Russian and Ukrainian team members. The team missed Masters Reykjavík, but they have no intention of missing Copenhagen. That may mean that FPX will be forced to play with a substitute.

It’s an unfortunate situation for the Europe, Middle East and Africa second seed. The team is a fun one to watch, bringing in compositions that are somewhat unorthodox in the present meta. FPX were quick to integrate Fade and still sometimes lean on out-of-favor sentinels like Cypher and Killjoy.

We can only hope that the team is able to attend Copenhagen at full strength.

Guild Esports

For a team that’s hovered around the top of EMEA for so long, it almost comes as a surprise that this will be Guild’s first international event. With the previous Swedish iteration of the roster, Guild struggled to punch their way into the top four of Challengers events. That changed during Stage 2 Challengers where they placed third behind Fnatic and FPX.

Nikita “trexx” Cherednichenko has been Guild’s top performer. The 18-year-old has been the explosive burst of talent that Guild needed. The team’s other young gun, Leo “Leo” Jannesson, has emerged as one of the best initiators in the world.

Expectations aren’t too high for Guild at Masters Copenhagen, which means that they have room to rewrite the narrative as one of the underdog teams.

DRX

stax Masters 1
Kim “stax” Gu-taek of DRX competes at the VALORANT Masters bracket stage in Reykjavik, Iceland. | Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Provided by Riot Games.

Ever since they flew under the banner of Vision Strikers, the DRX roster has been one of the most consistent teams in the world. It wouldn’t really feel like a VALORANT LAN without DRX in attendance. Every player on this team has proven that they’re among the best in their respective role.

The one thing DRX don’t have is an international trophy. Will this finally be the event that the South Korean powerhouse roster finds a Masters win?

OpTic Gaming

It’s no surprise, but Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker is still an absolute monster — one of the best in the world. He’s become one of the few players that defines the current competitive meta by playing Chamber as his sole agent. Seriously. Chamber was the only agent he played in Challengers. When yay is prying out advantages with opening Operator picks, there’s almost nothing OpTic’s opponents can do. Of course, you’ve also got an exceptional supporting cast surrounding yay, especially his fellow duelist Victor “Victor” Wong and controller Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen.

In spite of losing the NA Challengers grand finals to XSET, OpTic are still the reigning Masters champions from Reykjavík and one of the favorites to win Copenhagen. If OpTic put together another Masters win, this may just be the start of a new VALORANT dynasty.

XERXIA

Yet another team familiar with the international stage, XERXIA have consistently punched above their weight. At this point, it’s hard to count out the Asia-Pacific teams.

XERXIA are a well-rounded team with some deadly, refined protocols. This team has no weak links. Even Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut, who played a more supportive initiator role for his team during Challengers, has a tendency to level up on LAN.

XERXIA are savvy, well-drilled and a serious threat to even the top teams at Masters Copenhagen.

Northeption

One of the few international debutants at Copenhagen, Northeption had to beat fan favorites ZETA DIVISION to do it. We don’t know much about Northeption. What we do know is that Kim “Meteor” Tae-O is a menace. As one of the few primary duelists still favoring Jett, Meteor makes it looks like the agent hasn’t received a single nerf.

Northeption also have the benefit of being one of the only teams with experience playing in front of crowd as the Japanese Challengers grand finals took place in a packed arena. With the support of the Japanese VALORANT community behind them, Northeption are a team to watch.

LOUD

sacy Masters 1
Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi of LOUD arrives at the VALORANT Masters semifinals in Reykjavik, Iceland. | Photo by Lance Skundrich/Provided by Riot Games.

LOUD are the best team in Brazil, and it’s not especially close. It seemed like a foregone conclusion that the Masters Reykjavík grand finalists would be back for Copenhagen. Like OpTic, the team has made no personnel changes between the two events. Now LOUD are back and looking for revenge.

It’s impossible to talk about LOUD with mentioning Erick “aspas” Santos. The 19-year-old Brazilian is already touted as one of the best in the world, among the likes of yay and Derke. He’s surrounded by smart, experienced players like Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro and Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi. The result is a dangerous team.

KRÜ Esports

KRÜ have continued their streak of attending every international VCT event by making Copenhagen. Still, they had to take a bit of an alternate route after losing the Latin America grand finals to Leviatán. Luckily plot armor and a quick 3-0 sweep were enough to propel KRÜ past Ninjas in Pyjamas during the LATAM/BR Last Chance Qualifier.

Ever since KRÜ’s exceptional run at Champions 2021, the Chilean/Argentinian team hasn’t looked like the top team we know they can be. It’s not that they’re bad, just that the team isn’t up to their full potential. Certainly Angelo “keznit” Mori will still be one of the strongest players at Copenhagen. And anything can happen if the team catches a little momentum.

Fnatic

Fnatic head into Masters Copenhagen as one of the best teams in the world — anywhere from top four to No. 1, depending on who you ask. The EMEA champs will get a bye past the group stage. That means the team’s mastermind, Jake “Boaster” Howlett, will have the benefit of watching and learning from the group stage teams. Fnatic also have the deadliest fragging duo in VALORANT at the moment: Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder and Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev.

Although Fnatic have been dominant regionally, they haven’t been able to recreate the success they had at 2021 Masters Reykjavík at more recent events. Still, this is the team that ran EMEA this stage. All that’s left is to see how they stack up against their international competition.

XSET

For a time, XSET seemed cursed to always finish in fourth, just shy of attending international events. That all changes with Masters Copenhagen. XSET punched their ticket alongside OpTic as the clear top two teams in North America.

Performance-wise, XSET is slightly top heavy. They’re another team that really relies on their duelists, Zachary “zekken” Patrone and Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban, finding significant impact. Both are young and untested, so they will be good players to track when it comes to their LAN, in-arena form.

Even as NA’s first seed, many see XSET as a middle-of-the-pack team at Copenhagen, behind heavy-hitters like LOUD, Paper Rex, Fnatic and domestic rivals OpTic. It’s up to them to challenge that narrative.

Paper Rex

Paper Rex Masters 1
Paper Rex at the VALORANT Masters semifinals in Reykjavik, Iceland. | Photo by Lance Skundrich/Provided by Riot Games.

Paper Rex, simply put, are fun. They have a wildly aggressive playstyle that looks infuriating to play against. The Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto, Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie one-two punch has been impossible for regional APAC teams to deal with. Jinggg in particular is one of the most exciting duelists to watch. His Raze is high-flying, and he is one of the only pro players still regularly using Reyna.

Paper Rex are a dark horse to win Copenhagen. The problem is that if their opponents figure out how to shut down their controlled chaos approach to VALORANT, Paper Rex may just fall flat.

Leviatán

Leviatán have been hanging around the top of the LATAM region for a while, but they’ve haven’t been able to get past gatekeepers like KRÜ and NiP until now. Masters Copenhagen will be their entrance onto the world stage.

Coming into Copenhagen, Vicente “Tacolilla” Compagnon will be a player to watch. Like yay, Tacolilla has fully bought into the Chamber meta and almost exclusively plays the French sentinel. The team is also coached by Rodrigo “Onur” Dalmagro, who previously led KRÜ. Onur will provide some much-needed guidance for a team that’s never played internationally until now.

Author
Image of Coby Zucker
Coby Zucker
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.