OpTic Gaming fall to Xerxia Esports again in 2022 Masters 1 group stage
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Sunday’s VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 Masters 1 tournament matches concluded with the bout between North America’s OpTic Gaming and Thailand’s Xerxia Esports (formerly known as X10 CRIT), which Xerxia won 2-0.

A rebranded rematch

These teams last met on the 2021 VCT Champions stage in 2021, where Xerxia defeated OpTic (then Envy) in the lower bracket to advance to the playoffs after OpTic originally sent them there in their first groups match.

The Xerxia roster is largely the same as the X10 CRIT one that competed at Champions, with the exception of Thanachart “Surf” Rungapajaratkul, who joined the roster after Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong left to return to the esport he originally started competing in, Overwatch. This was Surf’s international VALORANT debut.

OpTic, meanwhile, maintained the full Envy Champions roster, simply changing the name/organization the team was associated with.

Xerxia crush OpTic’s hopes of revenge at Masters

Xerxia started out the first map – their pick of Icebox – strong on attack, taking a five round lead over OpTic. But as the end of the first half approached, OpTic began to wake up and start closing the gap, finishing the half with only a two round deficit at 5-7. Despite this, Xerxia managed to pull away in the end, taking the map 13-10.

Ascent was up next, a map both teams consider to be their playground. Xerxia once again took the lead, and OpTic again chased them relentlessly. But like the last time they clashed, the Green Wall began to crack and Xerxia came away with the map and match win, 13-11 and 2-0.

By defeating OpTic yet again, the core Xerxia squad got to prove that they still have what it takes to compete on the international stage, and Surf got an excellent debut.

“It feels great to be able play them again and actually know that we didn’t get lucky last time and it was actually our gameplay and our setplay that made us win the game,” said Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut in the post-game interview. “I think we’re really happy as a team.”

They move on to play Team Liquid in the next match of the main group stage bracket. On the other hand, OpTic now drop to the lower bracket and will have to defeat KRÜ Esports to keep their place in the tournament.