They return to Europe for their third international event — twice to Reykjavik!
THAILAND — XERXIA Esports have defeated Bleed eSports in the lower finals of the VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers Knockouts 2-1 (Ascent 10-13, Bind 13-4, Haven 14-12), earning themselves a spot at the upcoming VCT Masters 1 Reykjavik that will run from April 10-24. In a week, they will be heading to Reykjavik, Iceland, to face off against the world’s best teams, including Fnatic, OpTic Gaming, The Guard, and domestic rivals Paper Rex.
The only remaining question marks will be the seeding between Paper Rex and XERXIA Esports, which will be determined in the grand finals today.
ALSO READ: Paper Rex qualify for 2022 VCT Masters Reykjavik over Bleed eSports
XERXIA Esports made their way to the lower finals after annihilating Persija Esports, before a nail-bitter of a match against BOOM Esports in the lower bracket round 3. Meanwhile, Bleed eSports got their second chance after being taken down by Paper Rex to clinch the first Reykjavik spot yesterday.
Despite being in the same group in VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers, XERXIA and Bleed eSports have never played against each other before. The earlier match between the two powerhouses, which was supposed to be the Group C decider, was forfeited by XERXIA owing to a force majeure in Bangkok, granting the Singaporean-Swedish mix the forfeit victory.
Both teams were evenly matched for the first half of Ascent, but it was then Bleed eSports that started to get momentum, especially with an incredibly eco round win in Round 20, that pushed them further. The Singaporean squad claimed the first map 13-10, following a short delay caused by Nutchaphon “sScary” Matarat’s clutch round.
XERXIA Esports were not going down without a fight though as they immediately answered back with a victory on their own on Bind. On the defending side, Thanachart “Surf” Rungapajaratkul was instrumental in extending XERXIA’s full lead, winning duels all over the map and denying Bleed eSports access to bombsites to finish the half 10-2 up. The run continued after the switch with XERXIA Esports closing out the game 13-2 to restore parity in the series.
Haven followed the same script as the opening map, with both teams exchanging the lead from time to time. The half ended 7-5 in favor of the Singaporeans, but XERXIA Esports swiftly reversed the tide with a clean pistol win to reclaim the momentum in the second half. Bleed eSports made things competitive for a while, but the Thai side refused to take their foot off the gas and wrapped things up with a 14-12 map victory to send themselves to Iceland.
Paper Rex were the first of the two teams to net themselves a spot to Reykjavik, Iceland, with a swift two-map victory over Max “Maxie” Lönnström’s Bleed eSports in the upper bracket finals yesterday. On the other side, this is set to be the third LAN event for this XERXIA lineup.
With XERXIA’s victory, the team list for VCT Masters 1 Reykjavik currently consists of:
|🇪🇺 FunPlus Phoenix||🇺🇸 The Guard|
|🇪🇺 Fnatic||🌏 TBD (Brazil)|
|🇪🇺 G2 Esports||🌏 TBD (LATAM)|
|🇺🇸 OpTic Gaming||🌏 TBD (Japan)|
|🇸🇬 Paper Rex||🌏 TBD (Korea)|
|🇹🇭 XERXIA Esports||🌏 TBD (LATAM/BR)|
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Cover photo courtesy of Michal Konkol/Riot Games