Paper Rex sends Guild to VCT Masters Copenhagen bottom bracket, shines even without f0rsakeN on stage

A thrilling showdown between EMEA’s Guild and APAC’s Paper Rex kicked off the VCT Masters Copenhagen qualifiers this morning. These two VALORANTS the teams are the first to face each other in the playoff bracket. Guild sailed through the group stage flawlessly while PRX received a straight bye to the playoffs due to their position in their region.

After a dominant first map and a biting second, PRX took the win today 2-0 over Guild.

Heading into today’s game, one of PRX’s top players has tested positive for COVID. F0rsakeN, who was reportedly experiencing symptoms, played from a separate off-stage room for the match. With one of their star players under bad weather, the other PRX players definitely needed to step up today.

Guild have had a great run so far in the Masters through to the group stage, being the first team to qualify for the playoffs. They entered the tournament as an underdog, only ranked sixth in our Dot Esports VCT power rankings. They are considered the weakest European team in the tournament behind powerhouses Fnatic and FPX.

Guild chose Ascent as their first map and PRX won the first two rounds. Despite Guild rebounding in round three as they had guns in their hands, PRX went on to win six rounds in a row.

F0rsakeN looked no different from himself, performing unpredictable threats and teleports on Chamber that took Guild by surprise. But all of his teammates were on his side, and the wins were spread evenly across the PRX roster. The half ended with PRX up 8-4.

The momentum continued to turn in favor of PRX in the second half. They were able to go three rounds in a row, and once f0rsakeN had an operator in his hands, it was pretty much over for Guild. F0rsakeN got an easy and clean opening pick, and Jingg confidently called Raze to eliminate all Guild players for the third straight round. Guild couldn’t reverse their deficit and the final map score was 13-4 over Ascent.

PRX carried his momentum into Fracture on the attacking side. The guild has mostly gone for a slow style of play so far in Masters, saving their defense runs for post-planting scenarios. PRX took three rounds before Guild started to play more aggressively, backing off at the right time and letting f0rsakeN push straight into Sayf’s Tour de Force. The guild was able to earn a thrifty round after changing their pacing.

Continuing with this style, Guild performed more successful covers. Still, mindfreak started reading these Guild pieces and started to focus its usefulness more on securing the post-factory for PRX. It continued to be a battle between these two styles of play and teams tried to change their strategies every round to outwit each other. The half was tied at 6-6.

The second half of the map looked a lot like the first, and the coaches on either side were visibly frustrated with the lack of momentum to swing in favor of either team. The card seemed destined for overtime, with no end in sight.

Guild was finally able to get caught on match point at 12-11, and the 24th round allowed both teams to flip the map and PRX was able to get a defuse without too much of a contest from Guild. Fracture was sent to overtime.

However, PRX went back to his signature card and got the two rounds he needed. PRX left a gap in their victory photo for f0rsakeN since their team would not have achieved this victory without him.

PRX will now move into the upper bracket to face the winner of the FPX match against Fnatic later today. Their next match is July 17 at 10 a.m. CT.

The guild moves into the lower bracket, where it still has a chance to make a run. They will play July 16 at 10 a.m. CT.

About Debra D. Johnson

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