OpTic Gaming’s shockingly one-sided loss to LOUD in the winner’s final of VCT Champions 2022 was certainly a rare occurrence. It’s uncommon to see NA’s consistent top team look shaky on one of their map picks and even more surprising to see them lose by double digits on any map.
With the latest chapter of the defining VALORANT rivalry of 2022 going the way of LOUD, OpTic now must head to the lower bracket final and will need to win two straight best-of-five series to claim a world championship. OpTic’s exceptional controller player, Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen, favors his team’s chances in the expanded series format.
“Personally I think best-of-five is good for us,” Marved said in the post-match press conference after the loss to LOUD. “We like to start slow a lot. It’s a good warm up and we have a lot more leeway, and more maps. Also our map pool is pretty large…so the vetoes usually favor us. I like best-of-five’s because it’s a lot of VALORANT being played.”
But if Marved’s opinions on playing best-of-five are put aside, OpTic’s track record in best-of-five series isn’t as stellar as his confidence suggests. During the 2022 VCT campaign, OpTic has played six total best-of-five series but has only won half of those, including two straight losses coming into Champions.
Their success against remaining opponents at Champions is mixed too; they 3-0’d LOUD in the grand final of Masters Reykjavík but lost 3-1 to FPX in the lower final of Masters Copenhagen. They’ve never played DRX in a best-of-five, but they’ve won both matches against them at Reykjavík and Copenhagen.
The good news for OpTic is that the team is following the script from their most successful showing as a team yet. OpTic lost to LOUD in the upper final of Reykjavk, but swept both the lower final and the grand final to lift the trophy in Iceland. Doing so again at the world championship will certainly be a tougher task, especially coming off arguably their worst series performance ever. Until then, they can only wait to see who they will play in the lower final of Champions 2022.