XERXIA become third Asian team eliminated from VCT Champions as KRÜ survives

The LATAM team lives to fight another day.

Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games

Elimination matches continued today at the VALORANT VCT Champions tournament for groups C and D, giving teams one last chance to end their 2022 season on a high note.

After two teams from Asia were eliminated yesterday, the pressure was on XERXIA Esports, who hail from Thailan, to represent their region. Their opponent for today’s match, Latin America’s KRÜ Esports, was also faced with the potential of being knocked out in the group stage after their incredible run at Champions last year.

XERXIA and KRÜ came into the Group C lower bracket after losses to XSET and FunPlus Phoenix, respectively. These opening matches were both 2-0 losses, giving each team a disappointing start to the tournament. 

Despite both of these squads being very experienced on the international stage, this is the first time they have gone head to head, and it was for their tournament lives. KRÜ took the win today to keep their hopes alive, getting the better of XERXIA 2-1.

The teams began the match on Icebox, where XERXIA went with a more standard composition. Surf locked in Jett as the team’s duelist pick, setting himself up as a player to watch on the map.

KRÜ started off snowballing four rounds in a row after they adopted the strategy pioneered by FPX of buying up to Vandals in the second round. KRÜ continued to execute their post-plant strategies to perfection in the first half, while the XERXIA players made several noticeable mistakes over and over. 

KRÜ’s Mazino continued to showcase some of the best Sage play we have seen in Champions so far. Surf, on the other hand, struggled to find value and fulfill his role on Jett. The few rounds that XERXIA managed to win came down to clutches and lucky timing advantages. KRÜ took the win easily on Icebox 13-4.

After a disappointing showing on Icebox, XERXIA came into their map pick of Haven blazing. Just as KRÜ had done on the previous map, XERXIA took the pistol round and never looked back, getting six rounds in a row straight out of the gate. KRÜ tried to stop the bleeding a bit in the first half, but after XERXIA got the second pistol round, the map was virtually over. 

Crws came alive for the Thai squad, and sushiboys finally showed up after a quiet start to Champions. XERXIA took Haven 13-7.

In stark contrast to the first two maps, Ascent started off as an even game without a clear advantage to either team. But in the second half, KRÜ completely dominated on their attack, picking apart XERXIA’s defense at every opportunity. Unfortunately for XERXIA, they just couldn’t keep up and lost Ascent 13-6 in another one-sided map. KRÜ took the match 2-1.

Today’s series was surprising because each map was clearly dominated by one team yet the game was still a close contest. Even though KRÜ took the win today and showed much better form than in their game against FPX, the LATAM team still doesn’t look as scary as they have in previous tournaments.

After the match between FPX and XSET was canceled yesterday due to health issues for some players, KRÜ does not know who their next opponent will be. They will find out later this afternoon and will play another elimination match on Sept. 8.