FPX rise above XERXIA in extremely close 3-map series, advance to group’s winners final at VCT Masters Copenhagen

A marathon match goes the way of the EMEA's second seed.

The final opening group stage match of VCT Masters Copenhagen was a marathon three-map affair in which FunPlus Phoenix took down XERXIA after over three hours of VALORANT.

The first half of Bind was very closely contested. FPX invested lots of utility early in rounds on defense, but if that failed to get them the opening kills they wanted, it left them with virtually nothing to use in retakes. FPX adjusted to give themselves more utility for retakes later in the half, but still only mustered five rounds on their defensive side.

A heavenly 4K from ANGE1 in the pistol round allowed FPX to quickly reduce the deficit, and a successful bonus round anchored by ardiis gave FPX the lead and an economic advantage. Surf stopped the bleeding for XERXIA with two incredible Chamber/Op rounds on the A and B site, tying the map back up at 9-9. With the score 11-11, stand-in SEIDER salvaged an FPX attack round with a one-vs-one clutch against sScary, but XERXIA stonewalled FPX’s B execute through Hookah to send map one to OT.

FPX claimed an early advantage in OT thanks to three crispy headshots from Shao on the defensive side. In the next round, foxz’s defensive mid aggression got punished, giving FPX freedom to set up a plant on B, and their crossfires collapsed the XERXIA retake, securing a 14-12 win for FPX on XERXIA’s map pick.

In a similar start to Bind, FPX claimed the pistol and the anti-eco on Ascent, but XERXIA bounced right back with some impressive defensive holds to quickly retake the lead. The first half stayed very close, though, with Surf and ardiis putting on a show with dueling Operators, leading to a 7-5 XERXIA lead at halftime.

Again, just like on Bind, FPX claimed the second half pistol round to keep the map close, but XERXIA retook control with four straight attack rounds propelled by a wave of stellar Jett play by Surf. FPX stemmed the bleeding with a thrifty round of all things, with Zyppan shutting down the A execute with the Sheriff, using XERXIA’s own Cosmic Divide against them. XERXIA went right back to the A site to reach map point up 12-8, though, before heading to B to take away Ascent 13-9.

XERXIA claimed the opening pistol on Haven, but FPX claimed the anti-eco with just pistols to reverse the momentum and break XERXIA’s bank early. XERXIA bounced back, however, scraping together some attack rounds to keep the map close. But 15 kills each from Zypaan and ardiis in the first half gave FPX a 7-5 lead at halftime.

Like the whole series had been, the second half of Haven was just as close, with the two sides reaching a 10-10 tie. FPX claimed a lead off a thrifty round, and in the final round, a SEIDER Omen teleport into the back of B site produced a triple that led to a clutch ardiis one-vs-two that finally secured the series for FPX.

FPX, who were forced to miss out on Reykjavík altogether due to travel woes, arrived in Copenhagen with SEIDER standing in since SUYGETSU was unable to attend. Both EMEA teams in the group stage, FPX and Guild, are now one win away from reaching the playoffs after each winning their opening group stage match.

FPX will take on DRX in the Group B winners final on July 12 at 8am CT.

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