DRX DRX Korea Rank #1 stax Kim Gu-taek (김구택) BuZz Yu Byung-chul (유병철) MaKo Kim Myeong-gwan (김명관) Foxy9 Jung Jae-sung (정재성) BeYN Kang Ha-bin (강하빈) have crowned themselves winners of Group B, advancing to the Pacific Kickoff playoffs. They defeated Talon Esports Talon Esports Asia-Pacific Rank #20 Crws Thanamethk Mahatthananuyut JitBoyS Jittana Nokngam Surf Thanachart Rungapajaratkul lenne Lim You Xiang Lionel ban Joseph Seungmin Oh Governor Peter No 2-0, who will next play the Decider against Team Secret Team Secret Asia-Pacific Rank #6 invy Adrian Jiggs Reyes BORKUM Jim Timbreza JessieVash Jessie Cuyco Jremy Jeremy Cabrera NDG Noel De Guia . DetonatioN FocusMe DetonatioN FocusMe Japan Rank #4 Medusa An Min-cheol (안민철) neth Yusuke Matsuda Meiy Ibuki Seki popogachi Souta Morita Anthem Yoshitaka Enomoto are now the second Pacific team to be eliminated from the tournament, joining BLEED BLEED Asia-Pacific Rank #8 sScary Nutchapon Matarat Zest Kim Ki-seok (김기석) Retla Jorell Teo Deryeon Derrick Yee yay Jaccob Whiteaker in the metaphoric Pacific League waiting room.

Team Secret bid DetonatioN farewell

Team Secret Team Secret Asia-Pacific Rank #6 invy Adrian Jiggs Reyes BORKUM Jim Timbreza JessieVash Jessie Cuyco Jremy Jeremy Cabrera NDG Noel De Guia opened the fourth day of Kickoff by eliminating DetonatioN FocusMe DetonatioN FocusMe Japan Rank #4 Medusa An Min-cheol (안민철) neth Yusuke Matsuda Meiy Ibuki Seki popogachi Souta Morita Anthem Yoshitaka Enomoto from the competition, following a 2-0 victory. Team Secret will next play against Talon Esports for a chance at advancing to the play-in stage.

This match was crucial for both teams, as losing meant missing out on official matches until early April, the beginning of the Pacific League. It also represented an opportunity for DetonatioN to find their first match win, as they had a 12 game losing streak prior to this series. Team Secret, meanwhile, looked to redeem themselves from a disappointing opening match.

The map veto saw DetonatioN picking Lotus, Secret selecting Breeze, and Ascent remaining as the decider. Both teams played their respective selection in their previous match, and both teams lost the map 13-8.

Team Secret started out with a strong Lotus offense, quickly building up an 8-0 lead with little response from the Japanese squad. Finally, on round 9, Medusa and Meiy granted their team a round, but it was too little, too late. Secret closed out the half with a resounding 9-3.

Desperation kicks in for the Japanese lineup

After halftime, the Filipino team won another pistol round. A full sheriff, no shields buy from DetonatioN did not pay off, granting their opponents a flawless round 14. They were able to turn things around, however, scoring four rounds in a row.

Eventually, Team Secret capitalized on their lead, winning the final two rounds to close out Lotus 13-7.

Compared to the match against Talon Esports, NDG 's performance was night-and-day. Just on the first map he more than doubled his eliminations, with 19 compared to a total of 9 against Talon. He also scored a 1.24 rating and 253 ACS, the third best performance in the server behind Jremy and Meiy.

In the post-match interview, NDG commented on the difference between the matches. “At first my monitor was off, so I cannot kill,” he said. “Now, we did our part, individually,” he added. “We do our best.”

The match continued on Breeze, which both teams lost 13-8 in their previous series. This time, DetonatioN won their first pistol round of the tournament going up 2-0. Their opponents quickly equalized and pushed ahead, with NDG denying a clutch from neth setting the score at 4-2.

A back-and-forth ensued, ending the half 7-5. The Japan-based team was able to win another pistol round, including the bonus, which granted them a bit of a lead. Back-to-back triple kills from Jremy pushed the needle in their favor, capped off by a clutch from JessieVash .

Secret deny a thrifty

Three more round wins from DetonatioN followed, but it was not enough. Team Secret won their final three rounds decisively, capitalizing on the building pressure felt by their opponents.

Jremy was the map's standout player, redeeming himself in similar fashion to NDG. He ended the map with 27 eliminations, one less than his total against Talon Esports. Both players were the best and third-best performers of the match, with a 1.25 rating and 1.07 rating, respectively. Meiy, meanwhile, took second place, with only 4 kills and 1 ACS less than his duelist counterpart.

The result extends DetonatioN's winless streak, now at 13 losses since LOCK//IN. Including OFF//SEASON and pre-partnership matches, the org stands at 20 straight series without a single victory, going back to May 2022.

Team Secret's victory means they stay alive in the tournament, next playing in a rematch against Talon to keep their Masters Madrid hopes alive.

DRX qualify to playoffs with 2-0 victory

The Group B Winner's final pit Korean superstars DRX against a newly-built Talon Esports. DRX managed to take the series 2-0, securing a spot in playoffs and earning a few days' rest. For Talon, the loss does not mean the end of their run. They are able to continue in the tournament, playing a decider match against Team Secret, who they previously bested 2-0.

The series had a favorable map selection for the group's favorites, DRX. They opted to begin on Split, historically the team's best map. Talon picked Ascent, confident after a dominant 13-3 just two days prior. Should it be necessary, the match would continue into Breeze, a team in which both teams have shown comfort.

Split began with a strong attacking half from the Korean squad, propelled by a pistol and bonus round win. Only JitBoyS managed to mitigate the damage, finding a triple kill and two clutches to keep the score gap honest.

Despite JitBoyS' best efforts, Talon remained on the back foot the entire match

Foxy9 's Viper was crucial to their offense. He secured the pistol round with a 4k and ended the half with a 92% KAST, 3 first kills, and 14 eliminations. “I'm confident I can do every role perfectly,” he stated. The second half allowed his veteran teammates, stax and MaKo , to shine. They contributed 11 kills each, scoring a 1.24 and 1.31 rating respectively.

After winning the pistol, Talon won three rounds in a row, tying the score 8-8. A triple kill from stax and clutch from MaKo followed, setting up DRX to win the next three rounds. The two teams then traded wins until, eventually, DRX concluded the map 13-10.

Talon Esports looked to map two to equalize the score. Ascent is one of DRX's preferred maps, boasting a 75% win rate and even going undefeated in Champions 2022 (6-0 record) against some of the best teams in the world. Talon, meanwhile, had recent results on their side dominating Team Secret 13-3 thanks to Governor and lenne 's play.

Though DRX won another pistol round, Talon were the ones to push ahead. They took six rounds in their attacking side, but their opponents were able to draw the score 6-6.

Flashback prevents Talon from setting up

Talon Esports maintained the upper hand on the defense-sided map, winning a pistol of their own and setting themselves up for success with an 8-6 lead. DRX's upstart duo had other plans, however. Foxy9 helped turn things around with a triple kill in the bonus round, and Flashback 's lurks added two triples of his own.

DRX carried this momentum over to win the final seven rounds of the map, sending Talon to the Decider match with a 13-8 score.

While Flashback continues to show off his near-perfect gamesense and timing, the BuZz -Foxy9 spearhead was the standout in the final map. They netted a combined total of 40 eliminations, as well as a respective 7/0 first-kill first-death ratio and six assists. This performance was reflected in their rating, as BuZz achieved a 1.36 and Foxy9 a 1.50.

Foxy9 mentioned his team's confidence against Talon. “We expected the result,” he said after the match.