The final set of matches in the group stage concluded with ZETA DIVISION beating Ninjas in Pyjamas to clinch a berth in the quarter-finals. Meanwhile, XERXIA Esports are out of the race with the loss to OpTic Gaming in the decider match.
ICELAND – The fourth day of VCT Masters 1 Reykjavik saw the elimination of the first APAC team, XERXIA Esports, by OpTic Gaming. Among the other teams who have been eliminated so far are KRÜ Esports, Fnatic, and Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Meanwhile, Japan’s ZETA DIVISION booked tickets through to the playoffs with a 2-1 win against Brazil’s Ninjas in Pyjamas. They will join domestic rivals DRX who advanced to the playoffs two days ago.
ZETA DIVISION will be hoping to restore some faith and continue their impressive form since putting their current roster together, which has included wins over Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas. After skipping the APAC Last Chance Qualifier last year to rebuild the roster, ZETA DIVISION cut three players from the legendary Absolute JUPITER core to make spaces for youngsters in Yuma “Dep” Hashimoto, Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe, and Tenta “TENNN” Asai.
The Japanese side will face G2 Esports in the first opening match of the playoffs tonight.
XERXIA Esports arrived in Iceland, retaining four of the five members from last year, with the addition of Thanachart “Surf” Rungapajaratkul to fill in the void of Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong. The Thai side managed to make a strong statement early on by taking down OpTic Gaming in the first match of Group B and a closely-contested affair against Team Liquid that eventually went to the EMEA side. Their group stage run in Reykjavik continued with OpTic Gaming standing as the last obstacle between them and the playoffs.
The decider match kicked off on XERXIA’s map pick, Fracture, where both teams kept it tight, playing almost equally throughout the first half, 6-6. In the end, OpTic Gaming pulled ahead after winning the second pistol, chaining five together to build the momentum and seal the opening map, 13-9.
The following map, Haven, was a far more straightforward affair, with Victor “Victor” Wong and Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker combining for 30 frags to power OpTic to a 9-3 half on the attack. XERXIA still strung a few rounds together after the gun rounds before the North American side took control of the game and went out 2-0 victors.
Cover photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games