It's heating up.
The final stages of the Alpha bracket at VCT LOCK//IN will see North America facing off against Asia.
The first match of the day, Cloud9 vs. DRX, will match two powerhouses against each other. They are considered the favorites to win the tournament from the respective regions. Meanwhile, Evil Geniuses will have to face off against Talon Esports on the weaker side of the bracket.
North American team Cloud9 looked impressive in their first match against Paper Rex, very much unlike my original prediction.
The introduction of yay and Zellsis wasnt even the highlight of the team, surprisingly. Zellsis was on the duelist responsibility, while leaf and Xeppaa were the standout performers. Its not often that yay isnt at the top of a scoreboard.
DRX, on the other hand, looked dominant on their opening map against BBL Esports, but the Turkish team ran them close on the second and third. DRX ended with the victory thanks to Rb and stax with some impressive scorelines. On the third map, it seemed like an eternity before Rb was taken down. He finished with only nine deaths.
This match will be close, but it could go either way. I expect Cloud9 to take it in the end.
Evil Geniuses looked solid in their opening match against a disjointed Heretics team. Much of the credit belonged to Ethan as EG secured the victory with a 2-0 sweep. Heretics managed to secure 16 rounds in total across two maps.
Ethan, not known for his duelist capabilities per se, pulled out the Yoru on the first map, Pearl, against Heretics. He finished the match with an emphatic 305 average combat score and 180 average damage per round, according to VLR.gg.
Talon Esports had a slightly closer bout against MIBR but managed to secure a 2-0 sweep nonetheless. The heavy hitters known from the former XERXIA roster, such as foxz and Sushiboys, managed to put up a decent performance against the struggling Brazilian side.
But the North American teams have been difficult to beat at the tournament so far. I dont expect this to start today.