OpTic Gaming took out The Guard in an intense three-map series to secure their spot in the VCT Masters Reykjavík playoffs against DRX.
The Guard earned their own spot in the playoffs by winning the North American Challengers One event, briefly holding the title as the best team in the region. In the grand final, they defeated OpTic Gaming, who had to fight their way through the group stage for a chance at revenge. OpTic were sent to the elimination match by XERXIA Esports, but they defeated KRU Esports and exacted revenge on XERXIA to earn their spot in the playoffs. Their quest for revenge wasn’t over, and they finally redeemed themselves by beating The Guard in the upper quarterfinals.
OpTic started the series by winning the first two rounds on Icebox, and yay secured an ace to set the pace for the rest of the game. OpTic won the bonus round easily, and yay got three kills with his Operator.
The Guard finally found their footing on offense in round five, winning two rounds in a row before OpTIc once again dominated with a four-round run. The Guard only managed to win more round in the first half as OpTic led going into the second half with a 3-7 scoreline.
The Guard had a much better start in the second half, winning four straight rounds to significantly close the score gap. Sayaplayer killed three enemies with ease in round 15, but his team would only win one more round before OpTic went on a four-round win streak to take the first map of the series.
The second map started in The Guard’s favor as they won the first two rounds. But OpTic stopped the bleeding in round three, although The Guard was able to win the following two rounds. OpTic finally went on a decent run, winning rounds six through eight, including a beautiful one-vs-two by OpTic’s Victor in round eight. The Guard won three out of four of the remaining rounds in the first half, securing their two-round lead going into the second half.
The second half featured another strong start from the Guard as they won the first two rounds. Sayaplayer pushed directly down C long in round 15, killing three enemies with little trouble. OpTic won a Thrifty round in round 16, stopping The Guard’s momentum. But The Guard still retook C site in round 17, taking a comfortable 11-6 lead. OpTic managed to win one more round, but The Guard closed map two 13-7, taking the series to Fracture.
Both North American teams had one final chance to avoid dropping to the lower bracket on Fracture, and The Guard proved they wouldn’t give up without a fight by winning the first three rounds. FNS almost clutched round three for OpTic, but he couldn’t get the final kill, allowing The Guard to win their bonus round.
OpTic finally got on the board in round five, taking A site and successfully defending the spike. The teams traded blows throughout the next few rounds, and OpTic almost tied the game until The Guard won a Thrifty round in round 10 to maintain their lead. They also won the final two rounds of the first half, going into the second half with an 8-4 scoreline.
The Guard once again started strong by taking A site in the pistol round and winninng the second round of the half without significant trouble. But OpTic answered back with four-round wins of their own, including round 16, where Marved secured an impressive ace.
OpTic won another three rounds in a row to take the lead before a tech pause halted the game for a few minutes. The Guard came back to win round 20 after the delay. OpTic were determined to comeback and tied the game 11-11 by winning rounds 22 and 23.
Round 24 was a back and forth affair as both teams traded kills until OpTic finally killed NeT and defused the spike, taking the game to match point.
The Guard will face Paper Rex in the first lower round tomorrow at 3 pm CT. OpTic Gaming will move on to the upper semifinals and will play DRX on Sunday at 3 pm CT.