"All the time and effort we put into this team wasn't lost": DRX eliminate Talon Esports at VCT 2023 LOCK//IN Brazil
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Subject Specialist
Original Reporting

In the battle of the Pacific region teams, DRX came out on top over Talon Esports with a close 2-1 win at the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 LOCK//IN Brazil tournament. Despite a surprising map one upset from Talon Esports, DRX fought back to edge out both Ascent and Icebox. With this win, DRX will face LOUD in the tournament semi-finals.

Fracture goes to Talon Esports, but their underdog run ends with DRX at LOCK//IN

When the series began, the pick of Fracture looked to be a smart one for Talon Esports. It ended up close, but every time a team could develop a lead, it was Talon Esports. It ended 13-10, with great performances out of Panyawat “sushiboys” Subsiriroj and Apiwat “GarnetS” Apiraksukumal.

Then, when Ascent came along, Talon Esports started the first half just as strong, getting to halftime tied 6-6. But, it spiraled out of control, with DRX not losing a single round afterwards to the 13-6 win. Then, on Icebox, both teams ran the same comp that DRX brought to light with Harbor at the helm. It remained close, but DRX had a cleaner first and second half. It ended at 13-10, with DRX winning 2-1 and Talon Esports officially out of the LOCK//IN tournament. Even with the loss, the team remained positive, especially Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut.

“I think all of us did well,” Crws said. “We exceeded my expectations and I hope we do better next time. There were a lot of very close rounds that we lost, but I’m very proud of the boys.”

DRX ends off Ascent strong, clutch out Icebox in mirror match

From DRX’s side, this match almost slipped away. As mentioned earlier, map one was a Talon Esports win and map two started close as could be. But, everything changed on the second pistol round of Ascent, when Kim “Zest” Gi-seok had both an ace and a clutch to win an important round.

“I was able to pick up two to three kills in the hallway, waiting on site for my teammates,” Zest said. “When they didn’t make it, it just ended up turning into a 1v1 and an ace.”

From that point on, DRX was perfect on the defence. Heading to the next map, they saw that familiar Harbor comp and fought tooth and nail to win. It was close, with Talon surprising them with how strong they performed. However, in the end, DRX came out on top thanks to key performances from Zest, Yu “BuZz” Byung-chul and Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan. With this win, DRX finally hit back-to-back top-four finishes at international tournaments, something they struggled with since VCT began.

“I feel like all the time and effort we put into this team wasn’t lost,” MaKo said. “I’m so glad we’re able to do this well. These results tell us that it was worth sticking together to push through those tough times, and I’m so grateful for my teammates.”

Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.