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FunPlus Phoenix beat Paper Rex to win VCT Masters Copenhagen

FunPlus Phoenix clinched their maiden international trophy and the third for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), beating APAC (Asia Pacific) first seed Paper Rex to win the Valorant Champions Tour 2022: Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen. The intense five-map series ended with 3-2 win for FPX, with Dmitry “SUYGETSU” Ilyushin, who missed most parts  of the series due to visa issues, hailed as MVP.

In the first Valorant Champions Tour with a live crowd, PRX picked Bind as a map but FPX immediately dominated the opening pistol round. PRX showed their trademark agressive defense but FPX came prepared to counter it, giving them a 11-1 lead in the first half as attackers. PRX scored two more rounds before FPX sealed the first half 13-3 in their favor. More updates on esports tournaments here!

PRX bounced back in the second map with 9-4 dominance as attackers and an Ace from Wang “Jinggg” Jing Jie on Sage. PRX closed the Ice Box map to 13-7 to equalize 1-1. In the third map, PRX opened with a win in the pistol and eco rounds, but failed to hold the lead as the first half ended in 6-6.  PRX won only the first rifle round, before falling to FPX 7-13 in Fracture to make it 2-1.

In the fourth map, both teams traded wins, with FPX winning the pistol and PRX winning the eco rounds. The round ended 7-5 with PRX as attackers, continuing the momentum to their defense and closing the map to 13-7. The series entered the deciding final map, Breeze. FPX started with a strong 3-0 before PRX struck back in the next five rounds. FPX recovered and closed out the map at 13-9 to seal the title.

“I don’t think you saw the best of FPX [in Copenhagen],” FPX Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov said. “That’s for sure.” He added: “It felt like the crowd helped us a lot, not in terms of information but in terms of supporting us.” ANGE1 also thanked the fan who brought the Ukrainian flag into the arena after Riot Games prohibited him from bringing his own Ukrainian flag onto the stage. “It felt like I went home,” he said.

FPX took home the Masters Copenhagen championship title as well as the grand prize of US$200,000 and 1,000 VCT circuit points. Meanwhile, PRX settled for second place with US$120,000 and 750 circuit points. PRX defeated reigning champions OpTic 2-1 to become the first APAC team to qualify for the grand finals in an international tournament.

“They were the one team we didn’t want to meet,” said Paper Rex coach Alexandre “alecks” Sallé. “They had to play the most matches in the tournament. Not to mention they had a sub.” PRX Benedict “Benkai” Tan boasted their feat during the series despite the loss. “A team hasn’t solidified that with two event wins in a row. We’ve never had a team win events back-to-back,” he said.

He adde: “If they win Champions then I’d definitely call them the best team in the world.” Meanwhile, ANGE1 responded while inside the press room saying, “I think, at this moment, we are the best team in the world. I think it’s hard to prove me wrong.” PRX and FPX will play next in the Valorant Champions, which will be taking place in Istanbul in September 2022. 

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