The kings of North America are ready to reclaim their crowns.
After a year full of success, OpTic Gaming OpTic Gaming Inactive are itching to close it out with one more trophy to add to their collection. This time, however, the stakes are higher than ever with 16 of the best teams in the world coming together to battle it out for the title of VCT 2022 World Champions.
Victories over countless foes have all led to this moment for OpTic. (Photo: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
It's no surprise that OpTic are known as the top dogs of North America. On top of reaching the grand finals of both NA Challengers events, OpTic were also the first North American team to qualify for both Masters: Reykjavik and Masters: Copenhagen. In doing so, the team solidified themselves as a force to be reckoned with.
However, their position at the top of North America and even possibly the world was often called into question. Heading into Iceland, the team's defeat to XERXIA Esports XERXIA Esports Asia-Pacific Rank #70 brought many doubters out of hiding.
An early loss in the group stage led OpTic to a rocky start at Reykjavik. (Photo: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Unwilling to bomb out of the tournament that early, OpTic climbed out of Group B by eliminating KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #5 and XERXIA in their rematch to advance to the playoffs. From there, wins over The Guard The Guard Inactive and DRX DRX Korea Rank #1 secured them a spot in the upper final against LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank #1 , who had been undefeated throughout the entirety of 2021.
Unfortunately, OpTic would end up falling to the Brazilian supersquad, forcing them to yet again fight for their tournament life in the lower bracket final against ZETA DIVISION ZETA DIVISION Japan Rank #10 . In another attempt to avoid elimination, the Green Wall triumphed against the underdogs of Japan in a quick 3-0 sweep. With the momentum in their favor, Optic met LOUD in the grand final for an all-green showdown. Despite being at a map veto disadvantage, OpTic defeated their Brazilian adversaries without dropping a map, crowning them the first international champions of 2022.
Spirits soared as North America claimed yet another international title in Iceland. (Photo: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Hungry for another title, OpTic gave themselves another opportunity to travel abroad, this time to Copenhagen as North America's second seed alongside XSET XSET Inactive . In a repeat of their showing at Iceland, the team fell to Guild Esports Guild Esports Inactive in Group A's opening match, sending them to the elimination match against Reykjavik runner-up LOUD. Again, OpTic would persist and took down LOUD again, then eliminated KRÜ from their group for the second time as they blitzed to the playoffs.
History was on track to repeat itself as OpTic took down team after team to secure an upper final appearance, and once again the North American kings were dethroned in the upper final. Having lost to Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #1 and on the verge of elimination, OpTic faced FunPlus Phoenix FunPlus Phoenix Inactive , EMEA's second seed, in hopes of making another grand final appearance. Unfortunately, defeating FPX proved to be too difficult a task, and OpTic were sent home with a third-place finish.
So close, yet so far. OpTic were two matches away from their second trophy. (Photo: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Despite being sent home early from Denmark, the circuit points OpTic had accumulated over the year instantly qualified them for Champions as North America's first seed, allowing them to avoid the NA LCQ entirely and immediately prepare for their next match.
Set to take place on Sept. 1, OpTic will battle APAC representative BOOM Esports BOOM Esports Asia-Pacific Rank #5 in Group B, which also fosters Reykjavik finalists LOUD and ZETA. Should North America's finest prevail against the winner of the APAC LCQ, a rematch of Reykjavik seems inevitable.
The Green Wall looks to double their international trophies. (Photo: Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Will the Green Wall stand strong against the world's best? They've braved the storm before, and they can do it again.