Battle for NA: OpTic outlast XSET at VALORANT Champions 2022

OpTic had ice on their necks and in their veins.

A North American battle as old as time was rehashed in the upper bracket of VALORANT Champions Istanbul today when OpTic Gaming took on XSET. The first and second seeds from NA survived the group stage at Champions and were now playing for a top-three finish at the year’s biggest event.

XSET started off strong on Haven by winning key gunfights and shutting down the double-sentinel setup from OpTic. When the sides switched, however, XSET struggled to maintain the pressure they started with. This resulted in XSET winning only one round in the second half while OpTic ran away with the map to finish 13-9. To no ones surprise, yay was the MVP performer on Haven with a 1.64 K/D and 260 combat score on Chamber.

Ascent was similar to Haven, with XSET looking dominant when on the defense. Cryo and AYRIN had key site holds to earn their team nine consecutive rounds to start things off. Despite staring down the barrel of a 9-3 deficit, OpTic reset their mental and slowly began earning round after round. With the map tied 9-9, XSET took a timeout to try and stop the bleeding and guarantee a third map. A few key rounds earned XSET the map, closing Ascent out 13-11 to avoid overtime. 

The final map of the series flipped the script between the two teams. This time, OpTic took the lead at the half but began to let that lead slide back in favor of XSET. After a lengthy technical pause, OpTic regained composure and finished off strong by stringing together five rounds to close out Pearl 13-8. Yay kept up his MVP performance, this time with a 2.1 K/D at 21 kills and just 10 deaths.

With this loss, XSET will have a rematch against FunPlus Phoenix tomorrow in the lower bracket to stay alive at Champions.

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