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The “El Clásico” rivalry between OpTic Gaming and LOUD has emerged as the best international feud between two teams in VALORANT. There’s no bad blood between the teams, but as they jostle for position at the top, you can’t help but wonder who will claim the next win.

Just when the rivalry was starting to look one-sided, LOUD trounced OpTic in one of the biggest defeats the North American side has seen in months. The Champions upper bracket final promised to be a close affair, but LOUD had other ideas.

“Their plan was just better than ours,” OpTic’s coach Chet “Chet” Singh said in the press conference after LOUD beat them 2-0. “They won ever clutch and pistol. Things just went their way.”

As of now, the record between the two teams across the 2022 season of the VALORANT Champions Tour is 3-2 in favor of OpTic. That number could still change. Although OpTic were defeated, they aren’t eliminated from Champions. In fact, they have a strong chance to rally in the lower bracket and create another rematch in the grand final.

“It’d be a pretty fitting end,” OpTic’s Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker said.

“It won’t be a surprise if they go to the grand finals and, there we go, LOUD against OpTic again,” LOUD’s  Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi said.

OpTic — LOUD rivalry in 2023

LOUD sacy
Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi of LOUD at the VALORANT Champions 2022 Istanbul Semifinals Stage on Sept. 16, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. | Photo by Colin Young-Wolff. Provided by Riot Games.

And while an OpTic v. LOUD grand final at Champions would be a poetic way to end 2022, VALORANT fans have good reason to expect plenty more of the “El Clásico” rivalry next year.

OpTic and LOUD are both strong contenders to make it into the new franchising system in 2023. If that’s the case, the two teams will be clashing constantly. Both teams would be in the Americas international league, meaning that they would play one another regionally instead of just at biannual international events.

“We have more opportunities to play against each other,” sacy said. “I think that people will get more excited to see us face each other again.”

The first tournament of 2023 is a kick-off event in Sao Paolo, Brazil. That means that — if both teams make franchising — LOUD will have a chance to play OpTic in front of their home fans. It would be a stark difference from Champions Istanbul, where the fans have thus far leaned towards OpTic.

“For Brazil, it’s really huge, because VALORANT in Brazil is getting really big and it’s only increasing,” LOUD’s Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro said. “For us, if we manage to be there it will be like playing at home. It would be really comfortable.”

From there, the matches would move to the hub city in Los Angeles, California. Chances are, the fan support would swing back towards OpTic, who are at present the best team in North America.

Either way, there’s plenty more “El Clásico” to come.

The grand final of Champions would be the sixth meeting between the two teams and their final bout of 2022.

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