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The final stage of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 2 Masters tournament in Copenhagen, Denmark is about to begin.
The competition is now down to just four teams: Masters Reykjavik champions OpTic Gaming, Singapore’s Paper Rex, as well as FunPlus Phoenix and Fnatic from EMEA.
Paper Rex and OpTic Gaming are seated in the upper bracket finals, where they’ll fight for the first spot in the Grand Finals. Meanwhile, FunPlus Phoenix and Fnatic are in the lower bracket semifinals fighting to extend their tournament stay.
One of these four teams will emerge victorious to claim the Masters Copenhagen trophy, and here are our predictions for how the tournament’s final leg will play out:
Upper Bracket Finals: OpTic narrowly beat Paper Rex
To start the last leg of the tournament, OpTic Gaming will be facing Paper Rex in the upper bracket finals.
As the top dogs of APAC, Paper Rex have more than earned their right to be in this tournament. Hyper-aggressive but never forgetting to have fun, the Singaporean squad have performed excellently so far, sweeping both Guild Esports and Fnatic for a smooth entry into the upper bracket finals.
That said, standing in their way are OpTic Gaming, North America’s very own VALORANT powerhouse.
Despite a slight stutter from their earlier matches, the Reykjavik champions are a very well-oiled machine, one that always capitalises on their enemy’s weaknesses.
For this match, we predict that OpTic will have the upper hand, especially with stars like Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen and Austin “crashies” Roberts leading the way.
That’s not to say that Paper Rex will go down without a fight, what with Benedict “Benkai” Tan at its helm.
This is the first time that Paper Rex will face OpTic in any tournament, so it could go either way. Still, with OpTic’s experience and willingness to be ruthless, that very well may tip the tides to their favour.
Lower Bracket Round 3: FunPlus Phoenix defeat Fnatic
We love rematches, and this one between Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix is shaping up to be a good one.
Despite some pushback from DRX, FunPlus Phoenix still managed to fight their way through the group stage, before getting dropped by Fnatic in the opening of the playoffs.
Still, that didn’t deter the European team from fighting their way through the lower bracket to reach the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Fnatic were one match short of reaching the upper bracket finals before Paper Rex left them fighting for their life in the lower bracket. Fight they did, however, as Fnatic beat Leviatan to reach the semis and once again face FunPlus Phoenix.
Unlike the playoffs opener, however, we predict that FunPlus get their revenge here. With Dmitry “SUYGETSU” Ilyushin back on the roster, the team is back in full form, and they’re using that momentum to make a comeback.
That’s not to say that it will be a jog in the park, however, with Fnatic standing in their way. Fresh from a three and a half hour of adrenaline-inducing VALORANT, Fnatic have shown their mastery in crucial kills and ridiculous clutches.
However, FunPlus have certainly proved that they can adjust on the go, especially if their roster is complete.
Furthermore, SUYGETSU has done nothing but impress since his late entrance into the tournament, and we suspect that same skilled gameplay will help FunPlus Phoenix beat Fnatic, even if that means outlasting them across three or so hours of action.
Lower Bracket Finals: Paper Rex beat FunPlus Phoenix
As we predict that FunPlus Phoenix will be able to get past Fnatic, there’s a chance that they’ll be facing a juggernaut in Paper Rex in the lower bracket finals.
If there’s anything that’s certain in VALORANT, it’s that matches can go either way, and this should be no different.
However, a closer look might tell a different story.
For one thing, Paper Rex's lifetime match wins in VALORANT far, far exceed that of FunPlus Phoenix, and it wasn’t sheer luck that placed them there.
Ever the hyper-aggressive team, Paper Rex’s bold strategies and takeovers have earned them a reputation, and that could very well be the wall that finally stops FunPlus Phoenix.
Of course, that’s not to say that FunPlus Phoenix doesn’t have a fair shot of their own. With SUYGETSU back on the team, FunPlus’ confidence has taken the front seat again, leading to a full roster teamwork that can prove to be a problem for Paper Rex.
Ultimately, however, Paper Rex have experience on their side, with heavy hitters like Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart and Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto ready to dominate right from the start.
Grand Finals: Paper Rex defeats OpTic to claim the championship
As we reach the Grand Finals, we predict that we have another rematch on our hands: OpTic Gaming vs Paper Rex.
As two powerhouse teams, this could be an epic matchup from start to finish, as both teams’ aggressiveness and cunning clash against each other.
We predict OpTic to be no less than deadly, especially with back-to-back Masters titles on the line. That’s certainly what the North American squad seems to be doing, as they pulled a reverse-sweep against DRX earlier in the tournament; another familiar matchup.
That being said, this rematch against Paper Rex could go differently.
For one, Paper Rex are known for their adaptive plays, meaning that they could have already learnt from their past mistakes against OpTic.
Second, Paper Rex came into Masters Copenhagen seemingly more aggressive than ever, which could catch OpTic off-guard.
Despite that, we’re certain that OpTic will put up a hard fight, with Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker pouncing for the kill at every given opportunity. There’s also crashies, whose consistency with his aim and headshots have proved to be an asset every time.
Ultimately, however, we predict that should this rematch happen, Paper Rex would have all of the utility and experience needed to beat OpTic and claim the championship, even if that means exhausting each other through a full five-game series.
— VALORANT Champions Tour 🇩🇰 (@ValorantEsports) July 18, 2022
Masters Copenhagen will see 12 of the top VALORANT teams from all over the world clashing with each other from 10 to 24 July, all for the chance to reign victorious as the Copenhagen champions and claim a spot in VALORANT Champions 2022 in Istanbul come September.
For everything you need to know about Masters Copenhagen, check here.
Feb has been trying to speedrun Super Mario 64 ever since he started playing video games at 11 years old. He has never succeeded, but has completed other video games in the time since. When not playing, he's usually playing music or building Gunpla.