One bracket ends, another soon begins.
Even without their returning star player and while fielding a substitute, Talon Esports has grabbed the spotlight at the VCT LOCK//IN tournament, and even in defeat pushed the kings of Korea in DRX to their limit in the final match of the Alpha bracket.
The former XERXIA roster hailing from Thailand struck first in the series, taking care of business on their pick, Fracture. While DRX came out swinging to start both halves, Talon was able to withstand the punches and put together strong showings on defense and attack thanks to their fearless aggressiveness and claimed map one 13-10.
The series remained close on Ascent, with both sides tied 6-6 at half-time, but Kim “Zest” Gi-seok started the second half hot with a pistol ace to hold down defense of the B site.
That ace proved to be the catalyst to an overwhelmingly dominant defensive side, as DRX did not surrender a single second-half round, taking Ascent 13-6 and sending the VALORANT series to Icebox.
Talon looked poised to potentially stun DRX on what’s been historically a tremendous map for the Korean juggernauts in Icebox, but despite a 3-0 start for Talon, DRX displayed more dominance on attack with overwhelming map control and fearless Jett playmaking from Byung-chul “BuZz” Yu. Talon would not be denied though, relying on the same aggressive attack style from Fracture to keep the map close, plus some Jett heroics of their own from Apiwat “GarnetS” Apiraksukumal.
But DRX stole a round via a sneaky defuse to take a 12-10 lead, and BuZz shut down Talon’s last gasp to take the map 13-10 and the series 2-1.
It was a tremendous showing from Talon all tournament, who won both their earlier series 2-0. For DRX, it was another successfully passed test, winning their third straight series.
With today’s final result, the VCT LOCK//IN heads into a two-day break, giving the talent and staff some time to rest before the start of the Omega bracket. The Omega bracket begins on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at 11am CT, with Team Liquid taking on Team Secret, while both LOUD and DRX await their future VALORANT matchups.