The first day back in action for VCT Pacific saw Korea's T1 T1 Korea Rank #3 Sayaplayer Ha Jeong-woo (하정우) Rossy Daniel Abedrabbo Carpe Lee Jae-hyeok (이재혁) iZu Ham Woo-ju (함우주) xccurate Kevin Susanto and Gen.G Gen.G Korea Rank #2 Munchkin Byeon Sang-beom (변상범) t3xture Kim Na-ra (김나라) Meteor Kim Tae-O (김태오) Lakia Kim Jong-min (김종민) Karon Kim Won-tae (김원태) both taking wins over Southeast Asian underdogs BLEED BLEED Asia-Pacific Rank #8 sScary Nutchapon Matarat Zest Kim Ki-seok (김기석) Retla Jorell Teo Deryeon Derrick Yee yay Jaccob Whiteaker and Rex Regum Qeon Rex Regum Qeon Asia-Pacific Rank #33 xffero David Monangin Lmemore Hagai Kristen Yesyurun Jemkin Maksim Batorov Estrella Park Gun (박건) fl1pzjder Saibani Rahmad . Both teams move onto the qualification round of their respective groups, with T1 facing the winner of ZETA DIVISION ZETA DIVISION Japan Rank #7 Laz Ushida Koji yuran Yushin Hato hiroronn Hiroki Yanai Dep Yuma Hashimoto SugarZ3ro Shota Watanabe vs. Global Esports Global Esports Asia-Pacific Rank #66 blaZek1ng Gary Dastin Lightningfast Abhirup Choudhury Polvi Niko Polvinen Benkai Benedict Tan Russ Russel Mendes , while Gen.G will face the inaugural league champion Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #1 mindfreak Aaron Leonhart Jinggg Wang Jing Jie f0rsakeN Jason Susanto d4v41 Khalish Rusyaidee something Ilya Petrov .

T1 send BLEED and El Diablo to the lower bracket depths

After an extended tech pause lasting over three hours, the first match began on Breeze, BLEED's pick. Setting the tone for the game lying ahead for both teams, both teams' compositions stood out with some striking similarities, yet stood out notably for the Singaporean side with yay locking in Neon for the first time ever in his career.

BLEED got off to an early 6-1 start on their defense after taking the opening two rounds followed by four consecutive retakes in a row. An early lead for BLEED was quickly left in the dust, with Sayaplayer and iZu 's double-duelist antics scraping T1 back to an equal 6-6 half.

iZu especially turned up on T1's attack side to help drive the match back into their hands.

“I want to be remembered as a player that when someone asks, ‘Who is the Faker of Valorant?' everyone says iZu,” he said in his post-match interview.

Out with f0rsakeN 's Yoru on Breeze, and long live iZu.

A valiant effort by sScary and yay throughout the second half catapulted BLEED up to 11-8; however, T1 wouldn't go down quietly without a fight. A 0.05 second defuse by Sayaplayer brought back life in his squad, soon bringing the map to OT. Going all the way to 34 rounds, T1 ultimately came out victorious 18-16, despite two clutches by sScary.

Lotus, T1's pick, saw xccurate return to his signature Chamber while yay saw yet another role swap onto Skye. T1 struck first to open up the map, taking an early 4-0 lead on their attack. After BLEED took their first round, T1 stood undeterred and quickly climbed up to take five more rounds in a row, ending the half up 9-3. Going out with a whimper, BLEED only managed to take three more rounds until T1 took the series, winning out the map 13-6.

Gen.G shake off pre-season doubts

Kicking off the second match of the day was a rebuilt Gen.G taking on a hopeful Rex Regum Qeon. The map veto saw the debut of a revamped Icebox in the 2024 season, with both teams running a near-mirror comp with Gekko replacing Sage's typical spot in the map's meta.

Heading into the match, RRQ were riding high on the spirit of their highly anticipated signing, Jemkin . In the opening five rounds alone, the Russian duelist shot his way up to an 11-1 K/D. Neither side was able to establish a decisive lead, eventually ending the first half 6-6.

But in response to Jemkin's breakout performance, t3xture fired back even harder. As rounds continued to go the way back-and-forth for both sides, t3xture was able to find consistent impact throughout both halves, racking up a staggering 33 kills by the end of the map – a 13-11 win for Gen.G.

GEN's pick brought the match to Split. RRQ came out swinging with high spirits, taking revenge for their narrow loss on Icebox by steamrolling their way to an early 10-2 lead on defense. Despite a slow start for t3xture, Meteor sought to take the helm of Gen.G's fragging heading into the second half.

Down 10-2, it would take nothing short of a miracle for GEN to have a hope at life. But after an explosive start to begin their defense, combined with Meteor 's Operator, the Korean team gave themselves a fighting chance. Round after round, Gen.G made a comeback all but inevitable. It wasn't until the final five rounds of regulation where RRQ won for the first time in the second half, followed by the final two rounds to win out 13-11.

One of Meteor's multiple pop-off rounds on the Operator.

Following two close maps, the match came down to the decider, Sunset. RRQ began by taking yet another opening pistol round to get an early 2-0 start, but quickly spiraled out of hand with another streak of retakes being won out by Gen.G to take an early 8-4 lead. Gen.G carried out six successful defuses throughout the half.

t3xture saw a return to his form seen on Icebox, coming into the second half at an 21-8 K/D. After winning out the first three rounds to kick off GEN's attack, RRQ managed to fight back, getting within striking distance of Gen.G at 11-8. Despite RRQ's best attempts on their defense, Gen.G emerged on top, taking Sunset 13-8 and the series 2-1 overall.

Yet, while the victory may be a triumph for the Gen.G roster overall, one man came out of the series clearly relieved more than everyone else.

“I was really hangry, so I was telling the guys, ‘come on, let's go have some food and close it out'. I was able to focus on the game and finally get to have dinner,” said t3xture.