The Lower Bracket Finals of VCT Masters 2 was no mere Best-of-5. It meant another shot at the title for OpTic, satisfaction of proving doubters wrong for FunPlus Phoenix and for the game itself, it was the first Bo5 series with fans on stage. Many VALORANT fans, local or international, gathered to the arena to witness it firsthand, both the enjoyment of the game and the enjoyment of watching with other fans in the crowd.
We spoke with fans around and inside the studio at Copenhagen throughout the day about their predictions for the series, Copenhagen as the host city and the big question: Who will win it all?
“Most likely OpTic, of course. They are just the superior team, in my opinion.”
Before the series started, many fans were confident in their answer as to who would stay in the tournament to play in the Grand Finals. As the series went on with FPX taking two maps, the confidence of some OpTic fans wavered.
“My favorite player from the finals has been FNS. I love FNS, I think he’s got a great range, I think he’s the one carrying OpTic at the moment. Yay will get some kills but I think FNS will go ahead and bring it.”
Hope returned to North American fans like water on a desert after OpTic took the third map: Dreamy, life saving but quickly evaporating. Nevertheless, we encountered some loyal fans who stayed hopeful even when things were at their worst for the former Masters winners.
“I believe in OpTic, you know the 3-1 comeback of Cleveland? LeBron James, 2016? We’re about to do it again.”
Atmosphere of Bo5
“I think, so far, I’ve really enjoyed it. We’re only half a map in but it already looks really fun. I think the energy is really fun.”
In the sea of people filled with VALORANT fans (and even some professional players), the common thing was the enjoyment – not just from the series, but from the electric atmosphere of the arena. Some fans were too upset to fully enjoy the momentous occasion after yesterday’s results, but most continued having fun at the event.
“It feels amazing, I don’t know, I have no words. I’m just sad Fnatic lost because I’m cheering for them, you know?”
It’s not the screens or the lights that make an esports event grand. It’s the humans; the players who are trying their best, the fans that cheer for their team, however wild their run may be. Now, with VALORANT events allowing fans to attend in-person, we can expect more grand events from this game.
“Good, good. The crowd is nice, [there’s an] amazing atmosphere, I’m feeling good. It’s actually fun watching with fans; [it’s the] first time for me in the crowd, it feels amazing. I’m chilling with my brother and friends, [the] amazing people and amazing crowd, it’s really cool.”
More thoughts on Copenhagen
“It’s beautiful, man, it’s exactly how I imagined it to be honest.”
People who have traveled here for Masters 2 Finals from afar are generally impressed by the beauty and the cost of the city, both of which are more than what people expected. Fans who weren’t at the first day were especially happy about being in Copenhagen, and not just for the chance of seeing VCT history being made.
“We had a really great time, it’s a really nice city, it’s a little bit more expensive than most cities are in Europe, but so far it’s been great.”
An event of this size doesn’t just bring people to a city from other countries, it also gets locals interested in the game; it might even make them fans of the game or the esport one day. What better way to make a first impression than to show them what esports is meant to be?
“I find it interesting, I think it’s good, but I don’t think I’d be here if it wasn’t in Copenhagen. I’m happy it is, so I can experience this.”
Prediction for tomorrow
“I’m hopeful [about OpTic]. But Paper Rex has been pretty good, unexpectedly for my opinion, at least.”
Before the results of the game were clear, some fans were predicting that OpTic would lift the Masters trophy back-to-back; that they would establish the first VALORANT esports dynasty. Unfortunately for them, the second seed of North America did not get the chance to try their shot as FPX took them down 3-1. Now, the whole tournament is between them and Paper Rex.
“I wanted OpTic to win, they are losing; yesterday I wanted Fnatic to win, they lost. So I think tomorrow I want Paper Rex to win.”
Both teams have their own golden tales to tell; FPX coming this far after all of their struggles, despite having to play without their full roster at the beginning; Paper Rex proving many wrong with their clean playstyle and predictably unpredictable behavior, clearing their name from underestimation. Tomorrow, we’ll see the clash of these two rosters and it will be a treat to watch.
“I gotta go with OpTic, but let’s say worst-case scenario; I think PRX is looking clean, they are looking dangerous on the attack side, so I have high hopes for them if OpTic doesn’t make it.”
Everyone, including OpTic fans in spite of their loss, had fun today, due to both the quality of the games we watch and the atmosphere of the studio with the fans and the screens. This is the feeling esports should give you, the hype it should provide through glorious moments and dramatic storylines.
As we approach the third and final day of Masters 2 finals, make sure to soak in the experience fully and have fun, because it is going to be a long wait until Champions in Istanbul.
“I must say … FPX might be the best team, but Derke is the best player — he’s insane. His baldness is just, like, so good, it’s amazing to watch him play, shining in the game and outside.”
The beauty of esports lies in its power to replace your world and its worries, anger or fears, even for the shortest of moments. I want to make this power available to all who reach for it.