After five maps between Evil Geniuses (EG) and Paper Rex (PRX), the lower bracket final at VCT Master Tokyo has finally concluded. While Paper Rex can be proud of their top-three finish with a stand-in, ultimately, Evil Geniuses triumphed and have scheduled a rematch against FNATIC.
Paper Rex's CEO Nikhil "nikH" Hathiramani tweeted
"Sigh, losing never feels good BUT I know we can't feel bad. Very solid performance from the boys this #ValorantMasters This has to be one of my favorite pics from the whole event. Thank you for all the kind words and support everyone! #WGAMING ftw"
VCT Masters Tokyo Lower Bracket Final Breakdown: All 5 Maps Detailed
The best of five series kicked off on Fracture, EG's pick. EG had a perfect 4-0 record on the map at Masters: Tokyo prior to the final. EG continued their winning ways taking the opening pistol round. Despite Paper Rex having a solid start in the opening gun rounds, the Pacific champs ultimately struggled against EG's defense.
After the first half, EG led 9-3 and were virtually guaranteed to win the series' opening map. EG handled the situation with ease to close the map out 13-7 and grab a 1-0 lead despite Paper Rex having solid rounds with victories in both the second pistol and first gun rounds.
Once they on their own map of Lotus, Paper Rex regained their composure. Following a loss in the pistol round, PRX won seven straight rounds to hold a 7-2 advantage, their renowned hyper-aggressive style of play working wonders against EG. However, EG made a bit of a comeback late in the half, winning three rounds thanks to their A retakes to finish the half with a 7-5 score line. The map was closely contested going to overtime and settling in PRX's favor 14-12.
Similar to Fracture, EG's second map choice of Split almost instantly went their. After falling behind 7-1, Paper Rex made a small comeback at the end of the half, trailing 8-4 at the break thanks to a 1v3 clutch from mindfreak. Thanks to a hero play and subsequent 4k from f0rsaken, Paper Rex received a lifeline in the second half in the form of a pistol and an anti-eco victory. The score was level at 8-8 after four rounds in a row and another clutch play by mindfreak. f0rsaken put on an outstanding performance which helped Paper Rex finish the comeback and win the map 13-10. As a result, Paper Rex now had a 2-1 advantage over EG in the best-of-five series.
As a result of a successful force purchase in the second round following a pistol loss, Paper Rex gained significant momentum going into Pearl. Paper Rex were now at series point. The introduction of CGRS as a replacement was crucial to Paper Rex's success because the Thai player produced both successful lurks and hero plays for his group. EG took a slim lead into halftime at 7-5, coming into their own late in the second half. With the conversion of the anti-eco, EG gained a 9-5 advantage after winning the second pistol on Pearl. The offensive dominance of EG was too much to handle as Paper Rex could only win one round before Pearl was claimed by EG 13-6 to tie the series 2-2.
The battle of attrition moved to the final map of Ascent, kicking off with an amazing 4K from CGRS. After Paper Rex gained a 3-0 lead in the bonus round with to d4v41's 1v2 clutch, EG countered with a low buy win of their own, changing the momentum of the map. After PRX's first three rounds, EG started to dominate the game on their offensive side, winning every round but one.
One series away from a title. pic.twitter.com/ImidJZ21rZ— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) June 24, 2023
A pistol victory and an eco conversion gave EG a 10-4 advantage. Seeing how Paper Rex's defense had broken, The Americans looked set to end the series. Soon after, the map was settled at 13-8, giving EG the series victory 3-2. Third-place finisher Paper Rex has been eliminated from Masters: Tokyo and will next compete at Champions 2023.
On Sunday, June 25, at 08:30 am IST, Evil Geniuses will face off against FNATIC in the championship decider. FNATIC had defeated Evil Geniuses 2-1 earlier in the Upper Bracket Finals making their rematch an interesting grudge match to witness.
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Mrinal, also known by her gaming alias Jollies10, is a semi-professional Valorant player with a never-ending love for Esports. She lives by the rule Eat. Sleep. Game. Repeat.