The first Masters event of 2024 kicked off with a battle between reigning EMEA champions Karmine Corp Karmine Corp Europe Rank #8 MAGNUM Martin Penkov tomaszy Tomás Machado N4RRATE Marshall Massey marteen Martin Pátek sh1n Ryad Ensaad and Chinese underdogs FunPlus Phoenix FunPlus Phoenix China Rank #3 Autumn Kale Dunne Life Qu Donghao (瞿东豪) AAAAY Zhang Yang (张杨) BerLIN Zhang Bolin (張柏霖) Lysoar Liang Youhao (梁优好) ZiXuan Liu Junwei (刘俊伟) , with the former taking the first win of the Swiss stage in 2-0 fashion.

A convincing streak on Icebox was only temporarily halted by the Corp's adversaries before the diverse lineup closed out the map 13-8. Although FPX were momentarily able to stem the bleeding on Lotus with a dominant lead, KC bounced back in the second half to finish 13-10.

Karmine Corp will now play one of the three other winners to be unveiled over the course of the next three matches. FPX will fight to avoid elimination against one of the other defeated teams.

Madrid's stage hosted two teams hungry to prove their worth in front of the Spanish crowd, one after besting fan-favorites Team Heretics in the EMEA Kickoff grand finals, while the other bowed out at second to EDward Gaming in the Chinese Regional. Eager to take the lead on the road to playoffs, KC and FPX entered the server with a fury.

The first map was Icebox, selected by the Chinese representatives. Karmine Corp opted to start on defense, which seemed like the right choice after they denied bomb plant after bomb plant to secure a 7-0 lead while simultaneously draining both of coach NaThanD 's timeouts.

Despite this setback, FPX bounced back off of coordinated site hits and matched each round KC had picked up to tie the score 7-7 after their first successful pistol. Unfortunately, both N4RRATE and marteen once again stole the spotlight in the second half and helped build momentum for their team. The youngsters shared 22 kills between each other in the second half as they snowballed their way to victory 13-8. Despite accumulating a rating of 1.39 and ACS of 318, Life could only do so much on Reyna as the rest of his team could not keep up.

I sure hope he doesn't ace the next round or anything…

Back in good spirits, KC entered their map pick of Lotus on defense. Ironically, it was their opponents who took the lead this time around, as ENGH was forced to call a timeout only six rounds in after a 5-1 scoreline favored FPX. Fakes and team fights called by BerLIN – who finished his attacking half with a 1.32 rating on Omen – set up a comfortable 8-4 lead for his team as the sides were swapped.

Unfortunately for FPX, the French fans erupted in cheers as Karmine Corp dragged themselves back into the half. N4RRATE once again came alive in the second half, this time with a rating of 1.89 accompanied by a monstrous 415 ACS on Fade, the highest in the lobby.

When they were unable to retake and play together, FPX simply fell apart as KC snatched up any opportunity for an early pick and free space on the three-site map. BerLIN had gone particularly quiet on defense, only securing two kills while ceding three first deaths off of isolated plays.

Last year his team was relegated out of Challengers. Now, he's farming at Masters.

Eventually, FPX were only able to claim two more rounds before Karmine Corp continued their dominance outside of their regional league and closed out Lotus 13-10. Each player stepped up individually, and with a solid lead secured the team looks to meet another round one winner for a favorable playoffs seed.

The final match of the day will pit 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) and LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank #1 Quick Gabriel Lima saadhak Matias Delipetro Less Felipe de Loyola tuyz Arthur Andrade cauanzin Cauan Pereira against each other, the first time the two teams have met since the Brazilian fury eliminated South Korea's tigers at 2023's LOCK//IN.

Day 1 Current Standings: