Four teams remain in the running.
BRAZIL – VCT LOCK//In has reached its semi-finals stage, with only four teams remaining in the running for the top prize. After an intense single-elimination competition that saw a total of 28 teams bow out, the four remaining squads are now poised to battle it out this weekend for a chance to secure the coveted US$100,000 first-place prize and earn their region an additional slot at Masters Tokyo.
LOUD and DRX advanced from the Alpha bracket, representing the Americas and Pacific regions respectively, while two EMEA powerhouses in Natus Vincere and Fnatic emerged victorious from the Omega bracket.
LOUD’s journey to the semi-finals has been impressive, with a dominant performance against Gen.G and Karmine Corp, which saw them win with relative ease. However, they were tested in their match against NRG, which went the distance in a closely contested battle. DRX, on the other hand, had a relatively challenging run to the semi-finals, having been pushed to the limit in their matches against BBL Esports, Cloud9, and Talon Esports, which all went to a deciding third map.
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“It should be EU teams winning this part of the bracket.” Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov said in a post-match press conference of the LOCK//IN Omega bracket, and it turned out to be right. Natus Vincere had a swift run in the Omega bracket, not dropping a single map throughout their three matches against KRU Esports, Team Secret, and Leviathan.
Meanwhile, Fnatic also put up a similarly convincing performance without breaking much of a sweat, dispatching Sentinels, FURIA Esports, and 100 Thieves with ease. However, their next match will be an even more significant challenge as they face the core lineup of last year’s Masters Copenhagen winner.
As the competition heats up, the pressure is mounting on the remaining teams. With favorites such as Paper Rex, Talon Esports, and Team Secret already eliminated, the Pacific region’s hopes now rest on DRX’s shoulders. Although a good chunk of DRX’s matches have been quite challenging, with all three series played going to the third map, they have proven that they are better in the chaotic single-elimination happening in the Alpha bracket with their firepower and variety of innovations.
The first semi-final will be between LOUD and DRX and will be played on Saturday, 1 AM SGT. Natus Vincere and FNATIC will meet the following day in the second semi-final matchup.
A total of US$500,000 is up for grabs at the kickoff tournament, with the first-place winner taking home US$100,000, the runner-up receiving US$60,000, and the third and fourth-place finishers each earning US$40,000.
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Cover photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games