There have been a couple of exceptionally close calls, though, and Latin American Stage Two champions Leviatán have been involved in both instances. First, against DRX, Leviatán nearly came back from a 3-9 deficit thanks to a terrific attack side on Haven. But DRX closed out map three of that series in the final round of regulation, thanks to crucial holds on A Long and Garage from both Rb and BuZz. Leviatán were nearly victims of the curse in their next match against XSET, again on Haven in map three, but Leviatán escaped with a win in the third OT period.
For those unfamiliar, the 9-3 curse started as a joke in the community. It implies that a team that leads 9-3 at halftime will throw away their lead in the second half and lose on a map that they held such a large lead on. Casters and viewers have even jokingly remarked that teams leading 8-3 should throw the final round of the first half so that they don’t go into half-time with the cursed 9-3 lead.
However, the 9-3 curse isn’t completely a joke, especially in North America during the 2022 VCT season. In two months of international VCT play between May and June, there were seven total instances of 9-3 leads being blown around the world, and six of them occurred in North America alone. Most notably, FaZe Clan fell victim to the 9-3 curse twice in the same series in the opening round of the NA Stage Two playoffs against 100 Thieves.
Speaking of NA, in their final two series of Masters Copenhagen against Paper Rex and FPX, OpTic trailed 9-3 at the half in four separate maps, but neither Paper Rex nor FPX would succumb to the curse.
Now, both teams will face off on Sunday in the grand final. Will we make it through the entire event without a single instance of the 9-3 curse? Or has the curse been biding its time, waiting for the most opportune moment? Tune in to the grand final on Sunday at 10am CT to find out.