The final day of Masters: Copenhagen competition concluded with FunPlus Phoenix FunPlus Phoenix Europe Rank #11 winning their first international title over Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #5 , the first grand finals event in front of a live crowd in Valorant esports history.
Although the match went a full five maps, it took its time to spark the fireworks the audience expected of the series. The match kicked off with a 13-3, which was then followed by three consecutive 13-7 scorelines, all comfortable wins for the victors.
Only the final map, a 13-9 Breeze in favor of FPX, gave fans the back-and-forth they all wanted, and the crowd in the arena responded. As the energy of the match picked up, so too did the energy of the arena, so much so that there wasn't a round that ended in relative silence throughout the last map.
Once the dust had settled, and the trophy had been lifted, SUYGETSU was named MVP, a fitting award for the Russian player who wasn't even sure he would be able to attend the event altogether.
Map 1: Bind
Paper Rex attempted to throw their opponents off throughout the first half of the series through aggressive space taking and early fights. However, FPX looked well-prepared for their opponents' antics, and had counter strategies prepared for what they could have faced between Jinggg 's Raze and f0rsakeN 's Yoru. Every attempt PRX made at throwing off FPX by taking fights in unusual locations on the map was thwarted.ANGE1 kept Paper Rex's players suppressed and unable to go wild, despite being on Brimstone.
The only round that PRX were able to muster was the final round of the first half, where Benkai shut down an attempted spike plant from Shao to give the APAC representatives their first round of the grand finals.
With a near-flawless comeback required from PRX, they had to get momentum on their side. A second half pistol round win from FPX put the EMEA representatives at match point, but a force buy and rush into A site from PRX caught their opponents flat footed, and allowed them to capture the bonus and following round. However, the next round would spell the last of the first map of the series, with ANGE1 shutting down PRX's duelists and wreaking havoc on the aggressively positioned remaining members in lamps, leaving mindfreak in an impossible comeback position, and FPX claimed the first map in the bo5 series.
Map 2: Icebox
Unlike the first map, PRX opened Icebox with a strong start, only stumbling in the third round of the first half. Their explosive start was powered by overwhelming FPX's A site defenders, with Jinggg's electrifying ace in round six shifting the momentum completely in their favor. FPX mustered three rounds on their defense half to keep the round differential at six going into their attack half.Utterly electrifying.
After losing the second half pistol, FPX forced a buy since they were down seven rounds, and their gamble paid off, allowing them to narrow the score difference to five. An answer from PRX in round 16 prompted a timeout from FPX, but the round trades that followed were not sufficient enough for FPX to mount a proper comeback, and PRX closed out Icebox 13-7, evening up the map score.
Map 3: Fracture
With the map score evened up, and a win on their opponents' map on the board, Paper Rex wanted to continue their momentum from their first map to give them an edge over their EMEA opponents. The first half kicked off with a flawless pistol win from PRX, but FPX managed to take the lead shortly after, prompting a timeout from the APAC representatives to stabilize. The rest of the half was a back-and-forth battle, with neither side fully able to establish control, and both teams swapped sides with even scorelines.
FPX opened up the second half by winning three out of the first four rounds of the second half, slowly putting together a master plan to shut down PRX's defensive aggression that they had attempted on Bind. By round 17, FPX had compiled the right strategy to shut out PRX and their defensive aggression allowed them to coast to victory over their opponents, with a 4k from SUYGETSU closing out the map to send the series to the fourth map, Haven.
Map 4: Haven
The fourth map of the series kicked off with back-and-forth round exchanges between both teams. While FPX won the pistol, they weren't able to convert the bonus, setting their economy back for the first rifle round of the half. Despite their economic setback, Zyppan clutched up against the attackers, bringing the crowd to life and giving themselves a temporary lead in the series. Neither team was able to establish a true foothold throughout the rest of the first half, and PRX were able to manage a two round lead going into their defensive half off of a clutch from f0rsakeN against ANGE1 that caused the crowd to erupt.
PRX's defensive aggression continued to be a trend in the second half of Haven, which netted them early advantages in rounds, setting themselves up for success. A 1v2 clutch by mindfreak with just a Spectre against both of FPX's Vandals sent the crowd roaring once again and caused the EMEA representatives to burn a timeout to stabilize the situation.
FPX continued to trudge forward in an effort to make up the round differential, and a 1v3 clutch from Shao gave his team temporary ground to stand on, despite his life being traded by Jinggg's showstopper after he had finished off Benkai, once again bringing the crowd to life. An eco round win awarded FPX their seventh round of the half, but mindfreak and Jinggg stunted all of FPX's efforts to come back, and PRX tied up the series with a 13-7 win on Haven, sending the series to the fifth and final map.
Map 5: Breeze
The final map of the series began with FPX winning the first three rounds of the half, two of which were achieved off the back of clutches from Shao. Once PRX had full gear and weapons, they were able to kick their unusual team composition consisting of Yoru, Neon, Astra, Breach, and Fade into high gear, stringing together five rounds in a row, bolstering their support and cheers from the crowd.
Realizing that the momentum was not in their favor, FPX called a timeout to regroup and discuss a counter strategy. That counter strategy revolved around ardiis 's Operator performance, who took otherwise risky peeks in order to take out the opposing players and stop PRX's assault. Another clutch from Shao in the final round of the first half kept PRX from equalizing the score, giving FPX a two round buffer going into the second half.
By that time, the atmosphere of the arena had become electric, with every round ending in a roar for one side or the other. PRX and FPX fans began to exchange chants, and the excitement at the mid-round was greater than it had been all tournament.
With the crowd once again behind them going into the final half of the tournament, PRX fed off the energy given to them and converted the first four rounds of the half. However, FPX gambled on a fast A site take in round 17, which gave them the second wind to start converting rounds and overtake their opponents. Their momentum continued through the rest of the map, despite PRX's herculean attempts to mount a comeback.
PRX's closest attempt at equalizing things came in round 22, what would be the final round of the series and tournament. Jinggg and f0rsakeN attempted to pick off one of the FPX members early in the round outside of A, but didn't find anything outside an exchange of utility. The first blood in the round came from Jinggg, who found a pick onto ardiis.
However, mindfreak and d4v41 were prepared for the full rotation from the remaining FPX players. Two more FPX players went down in exchange for a frag onto mindfreak, leaving only Shao and SUYGETSU left to clutch the 2v4. SUYGETSU found two kills onto Benkai and d4v41 before Jinggg secured another kill onto Shao, but SUYGETSU knew enough information on the remaining two PRX duelists to claim his fourth kill of the round, close out Breeze 13-9, and claim the Masters Copenhagen trophy.From nearly missing the event to securing the trophy for FPX, SUYGETSU staked his claim as one of the best players in the world this grand finals.
Jinggg was a force to be reckoned with throughout every map, finishing the series with 21 first bloods and five kills short of 100 total frags. The next highest totaling fragger was Shao, who finished with an impressive +18 kill/death ratio and 82 frags.
In the press conference afterwards, the team noted that their primary objective for this event was just to secure a spot at Valorant Champions in September, given the ambiguity surrounding whether or not certain members of the team or the squad altogether would be able to attend the event.
From SEIDER 's cameo with the team in place of SUYGETSU, to the team's group stage and quarterfinals losses to DRX DRX Korea Rank # and FNATIC FNATIC Europe Rank #6 , FPX have created a storyline unlike any other that's been seen so far at a Masters event. Now, they have defeated the best teams in the world and etched their names in the accolades of Masters champions.