Gen.G’s second-half collapse could mean missing VCT Pacific playoffs altogether

What went wrong for the Korean team?

As the VCT Pacific’s superweek continues, some unexpected and dramatic results are causing a serious shakeup in the standings. While some teams have capitalized on the opportunity of a week with extra VALORANT matches, others can’t seem to stop the bleeding.

One such team that seems to be stuck in a downward trajectory after starting off the year on top is Gen.G Esports. And their 2-1 loss to Japan’s ZETA DIVISION today might be just enough to bump them out of the Pacific League playoff picture.

Gen.G started off the year incredibly strong, going head-to-head with last year’s VCT Champions LOUD in their debut match as a franchised roster. Though Gen.G lost that game, they were very impressive in their debut and expectations were high going into the start of the VCT Pacific League in March.

Initially, those expectations seemed to be met with ease. Led by their stoic in-game leader TS and star support player k1Ng, Gen.G were blazing through their opponents. The consensus was that the team likely sat just behind Korean superstars DRX as far as teams in the region go.

But once Gen.G actually met DRX face-to-face on the stage in Seoul, things started to turn sour at an alarming pace.

Related: VCT Pacific 2023: VALORANT scores, schedule, format, and standings

Though Gen.G did succeed in becoming the first team to shatter DRX’s perfect map record, they eventually lost the match, which seemed to support the theory that they were second-best.

But since that match, which was on April 22, Gen.G lost nine maps in a row over 22 days before finally taking a map against ZETA this week. In that time, they fell 2-0 to both Global Esports and Talon Esports, two of the worst-performing teams in the Pacific League.

Though all teams go through rough patches, the fact Gen.G seemingly still haven’t figured out why they’re performing so poorly is a major issue.

In their first map today against ZETA, some of Gen.G’s more recent struggles seemed to just compound on themselves.

Meteor, Gen.G’s Jett player who was expected to become one of the roster’s greatest assets, has barely been making any impact on the games he’s played in the last few weeks. In contrast to every other team in the Pacific League that seems to have a star duelist player, Gen.G continues to lack that spark.

In addition, k1Ng, who has time and time again been a clutch player for the team, has been performing below his usual standard. Even as a spectator, you can feel that his presence is missing.

On the other side, ZETA looked like they were just getting better. Laz, in particular, put on a masterclass performance.

The match looked like it would be over fairly quickly, until suddenly, all of the Gen.G’s problems fixed themselves on Ascent.

Meteor had one of his best Jett performances all season on Ascent, but notably, his numbers were still not as high as a lot of other duelists in the region. GodDead, one of Gen.G’s newest roster additions, kept his team in the game.

Just when it looked like a spark was finally ignited, it died out on Fracture, and Gen.G only got four rounds in the entire map. As fans in the arena in Seoul waved signs supporting ZETA, Gen.G walked off with their fifth loss in a row.

With their win, ZETA secured a spot in the Pacific League playoffs, meaning they will get a chance to play for a spot at Masters Tokyo next month.

On the other side of the coin, all of these recent losses have put Gen.G in the middle of a scramble between three teams to get the last two playoff spots. Gen.G, Rex Regum Qeon, and Team Secret find themselves in a close contest with just two more days of regular season matches to go. And while both RRQ and Secret each have one match left, Gen.G have none.

If Gen.G do miss the playoffs, we have to ask the question: What happened to the team we saw just a month ago?

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