OpTic rally from dismal start on Breeze to beat LOUD again and secure VCT Champions playoff spot

These two never fail to deliver when the face each other.

The third day of VALORANT Champions 2022 ended with the fourth meeting between OpTic and LOUD this year. The two familiar foes have previously met in playoff finals and elimination games, but today, they squared off in a group stage winners final with one of the first spots in the playoffs on the line.

Breeze was the sight of dominant defensive play by LOUD, who throttled the OpTic attack side round after round. LOUD’s superstar duelist aspas had complete control over the map, using the Jett/Operator combo to get early picks and shut down OpTic executes. He and Sacy combined for 30 first-half kills against only six combined deaths in an 11-1 first half.

Yay anchored a couple of early rounds on OpTic’s defensive half just to get some momentum rolling, and even while facing such a large deficit, the Masters Reykjavík champions looked equally as stalwart on defense. LOUD had to spend multiple ultimates just to get on the B site and plant, but it paid off to get them to a 12-7 lead. Despite some great playmaking on Jett from Victor, it was LOUD’s Less who opened up the B site with some crisp headshots to close out Breeze 13-7.

LOUD showed on Fracture that their defense is multi-faceted, relying on crunching retakes to build an early lead. But OpTic didn’t let LOUD run away with a huge lead this time, clawing back with more effective post-plant angles and kills. This was epitomized by a magical two-vs-four ace from yay with Chamber’s ultimate where he picked off all the LOUD retakers before they could even execute their maneuver, tying the map at 6-6.

LOUD claimed the attack round pistol and the first buy round to retake the lead, prompting an OpTic timeout from coach Chet. OpTic initially struggled to respond to audacious and confident swings from LOUD, especially when they were coming from Less and his Operator. But a thrifty win stopped the bleeding and reversed the momentum, with yay keeping up his unbelievable pace to help OpTic retake the lead themselves. OpTic’s more aggressive defense style, with Victor’s Neon leading the way, paved the way for an OpTic comeback on Fracture, 13-10.

OpTic’s goal on Pearl defense was clearly long B control, taking aggressive angles to force LOUD to spend as much utility as possible, then pinching the attack if they went elsewhere. NA’s top seed looked more than prepared for Pearl defense, surrendering few opportunities to LOUD’s attack and leading 9-3 at halftime.

OpTic maintained their momentum heading into attack, showcasing their knowledge of and comfort on Pearl immediately and claiming the pistol, anti-eco, and even the bonus round to take a commanding 12-3 lead. With the weapon advantage, OpTic executed onto B with little resistance from LOUD, taking the series 2-1 with a commanding 13-3 victory on Pearl.

In the rivalry between OpTic and LOUD, OpTic are now winners of three straight meetings, having only lost the winners finals of Masters Reykjavíka loss they made up for in the grand finals. OpTic join Leviatán in the VCT Champions playoffs, while LOUD must wait on the winner of BOOM Esports vs. ZETA DIVISION.

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