DRX are the second VALORANT team to move on to the playoffs in the 2022 Masters Reykjavík group stage by defeating Ninjas in Pyjamas without dropping a map today.
DRX started their run in Group A with a 2-0 win against ZETA DIVISION, while NiP were fresh off an impressive sweep against Fnatic. Both teams wanted to be the first team from Group A to make it into the playoffs, but only one could maintain their flawless record.
The South Korean team DRX started strong on Icebox, taking the pistol round on offense. A brutally long tactical pause halted the action after the first round, but DRX didn’t lose momentum, winning the second round. NiP won their first buy round in round three, preventing DRX from bonusing and running away with the early game.
But DRX won the next two rounds, forcing NiP to take a timeout to rethink their defense. NiP failed to protect the B site in round six and couldn’t pull off a Thrifty in round seven. DRX’s RB showed how he can hold his own with Sage, securing four kills in round eight with ease. NiP won round nine, but DRX refused to drop another round and closed out the first half 10-2.
DRX continued the onslaught by winning the second pistol round, but NiP did go on a small run by winning rounds 14 and 15. But then, DRX held the B site in round 16 and DRX’s stax used a well-placed KAY/O grenade to prevent the spike from being planted. NiP couldn’t make a comeback on their map pick and DRX closed out the first map with a devastating 13-4 scoreline.
After a substantial technical pause delayed the beginning of map two on Breeze, NiP started the second map by winning the first two rounds. But DRX immediately answered back with three round wins, showing why they chose the tropical map as their pick. DRX almost won round six, but NiP successfully retook the A site to tie the game. This did little to stop the dominant Korean team, however, since they won the next two rounds, including a flawless round eight.
NiP stopped DRX in their tracks on the A site in round nine, but DRX committed to the same site in the following round and RB killed four players for good measure as his team won another round. NiP’s Cauanzin put the team on his back with three Sheriff kills in round 11 to win a crucial Thrifty round. And DRX’s Mako showed how both teams feature players who can easily clutch since he killed three enemies to close out the first half and maintain his team’s lead with a 7-5 scoreline.
NiP powered their way onto the site in the second pistol round, giving them a substantial boost going into the second half. They successfully tied the game in round 14 when xand killed four players with ease. But this was the only success they found in the second half. NiP only won one more round before DRX ended the series 2-0.
NiP will face either Fnatic or ZETA Division in the Group A decider match tomorrow at 1pm CT. DRX have secured their spot in the playoffs alongside Team Liquid, G2 Esports, The Guard, Paper Rex, and LOUD.