All of the winners and losers matches are now defined at VCT Masters Copenhagen after a three-map encounter where Europe’s FunPlus Phoenix took down Thailand’s XERXIA.
This all started on Bind, which was XERXIA’s pick. The first half was a very close fight between these two teams. FPX used their economy in lots of utility earlier on, but as that failed to get them the opening kills they needed, it left them with basically nothing to use in retakes. The European squad had to adjust, giving themselves more utility for retakes, but still only managed to pick up 5 rounds on defense.
ANGE1 was FPX’s savior during the pistol round, allowing them to quickly reduce the deficit, and a successful bonus round followed by ardiis gave them the lead and an economic advantage. Surf stopped the bleeding for the Thais with two incredible Chamber/Op rounds on the A and B site, tying the map back up at 9-9. With the score 11-11, FPX’s stand-in SEIDER saved an attack round with a one-vs-one clutch against sScary, but the opposition stonewalled their B execute through Hookah to send map one into overtime.
The European runner-ups claimed an early OT advantage thanks to 3 headshots from Shao on defense. In the next round, foxzs defensive mid aggression got punished, giving FPX freedom to set up a plant on B, and their crossfires collapsed the APAC runner-ups’ retake, securing a 14-12 win for FunPlus Phoenix on XERXIAs map pick.
In a similar start to the first map, FPX claimed the pistol and the anti-eco on Ascent, their map pick. But XERXIA managed to swiftly bounce back with some impressive defensive holds to quickly retake the lead. The 1st half stayed very close, though, with Surf and ardiis putting on a show with dueling Operators, ending in a 7-5 lead for XERXIA.
But once again, just like in Bind, FPX claimed the 2nd pistol round to keep the match interesting. XERXIA took control of the game after winning 4 attack rounds in a row thanks to an excellent performance on Jett by Surf. The European representatives stopped the bleeding with a thrifty round of all things, with Zyppan shutting down the A execute with the Sheriff, using XERXIAs own Cosmic Divide against them. XERXIA went right back to the A site, picking things back up to reach match point against FPX’s 8, though, before heading to B to take away the 2nd map of the series with a 13-9 score.
Like the whole series had been, the 3rd map was a very intense fight. While FPX was in control during the 1st half, the 2nd half of Haven was very close, with the two teams reaching a 10-10 tie. FPX claimed a lead off a thrifty round, and in the final round, a SEIDER Omen teleport into the back of B site produced a triple that led to a clutch ardiis 1v2 that finally secured the victory for the European squad.
Now Europe’s 2nd and 3rd seed, FPX and Guild, are now one victory away from getting into the playoffs after both winning their opening matches. FPX will take on South Korea’s DRX in the Group B winners final on July 12.