Gen.G Gen.G Korea Rank #1 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) defeated Team Heretics Team Heretics Europe Rank #1 MiniBoo Dominykas Lukaševičius Wo0t Mert Alkan RieNs Enes Ecirli benjyfishy Benjamin David Fish Boo Ričardas Lukaševičius 3-2 at the VCT 2024 Masters Shanghai grand finals, earning the team their first international title. This was the first time these two organizations had faced each other in franchising, and the first time a Pacific team has won an international VCT trophy.

Gen.G returned to the Masters final again after their previous showing, redeeming themselves with a map-five win instead of their map-five loss at Madrid. Team Heretics finished both second in EMEA and at Masters Shanghai, despite playing with both Wo0t on duelist and a substitute in paTiTek .

Gen.G Team Heretics Masters Shanghai grand finals Gen.G and Team Heretics bump fists before the VCT 2024 Masters Shanghai grand finals. (Image via Riot Games)

The map veto went as follows: Gen.G banned Bind and Sunset to pick Breeze first, and then Team Heretics picked Icebox. Gen.G picked Ascent next and Team Heretics picked Lotus, leaving Split as the potential final map.

Gen.G started confidently on Breeze

Team Heretics brought back Skye to start Breeze. Gen.G ran their default Ascent comp, with the Yoru, Jett, and Astra. Thanks to Lakia , the first pistol round only took seconds for Gen.G to win. To try and convert their bonus, Gen.G bought t3xture an Operator which paid off as they won round three flawlessly.

It took Team Heretics seven rounds to win their first. Their attack had two problems, and the first was t3xture posting up A site with his Operator. The second was that when Heretics wanted to end B, Meteor tricked opponents with his Yoru utility to slow them down. It was a stomp for Gen.G on their defense side. The Madrid finalists headed into the half up 10-2.

Gen.G then pulled off a fake through mid to B to surprise Team Heretics. Munchkin got four kills, three of which happened as he sold the fake nearly single-handedly. The second pistol round went in favor of Gen.G as they reached 11-2. Team Heretics started their hope of a comeback by forcing what would be their eco round and converting it. Gen.G quickly dashed those hopes by securing two round wins to finish Breeze 13-6.

Team Heretics ran away with Icebox to tie the series

For Icebox, Team Heretics opted for a double initiator comp with Sova while Gen.G chose to run the same with Gekko. The first pistol for Icebox was close but Gen.G secured their third in the series. Despite losing many weapons on their antieco round, Gen.G converted their bonus with some clean Sherriff shots, revitalizing their economy.

Team Heretics won their first round on their fifth attempt attacking on Icebox. Gen.G were succeeding in shutting down Wo0t, but Team Heretics instead relied on shots from RieNs and benjyfishy to fight back. A 4-0 lead for Gen.G disappeared into a 4-4 tie, but a perfect ultimate from t3xture to regain the lead seemingly flipped a switch for the star duelist. He remained valuable whether Gen.G played aggressively or passively on defense. Team Heretics entered the half down 7-5, managing to counter the tempo changes from Gen.G as their attack ended.

Team Heretics at Masters Shanghai grand finals Team Heretics on stage at the VCT 2024 Masters Shanghai grand finals. (Image via Riot Games)

Lakia once again proved to be clutch on pistol rounds as Gen.G won their second pistol on Icebox. Both teams then proceeded to win three thrifty rounds in a row as the momentum shifted frequently. Team Heretics was the team that gained more out of the chaotic start to their defense and tied the map 9-9. Gen.G were able to secure plants thanks to Gekko, though the chip damage from RieNs made the Heretics retakes much easier. A defuse with 0.06 seconds on the clock put Heretics safely on top. Icebox ended 13-9, and the series was tied.

Ascent was another great closeout from Heretics

Both teams ran the standard Ascent composition, keeping the focus on the Jett duel between t3xture and Wo0t for the third map in a row. Meteor led Gen.G onto A site to keep their pistol win streak alive, then got three kills to convert their bonus round. A perfect flash swing out of A main allowed paTiTek to mow down Gen.G and once again stop the Gen.G run dead in its tracks.

For the first time in the series, Wo0t started to show exactly why he was such an important part of Heretics' playoff run. Wo0t began to pick Gen.G apart with the Operator and made A site near impossible to execute onto. Team Heretics looked to get their first halftime lead of the series until Lakia made a high-risk flank to keep the teams tied at 6-6.

Team Heretics won their first pistol win of the series on Ascent attack. After the eco and bonus went as expected, Gen.G fumbled a 2v1 against Boo to reinforce a 10-7 lead for Team Heretics. It looked dire for Gen.G as they fumbled advantages and left site defenses weak, allowing Team Heretics to win Icebox 13-9 to take the series lead.

After only dropping 18 kills total across the first two maps, Wo0t shot his way to 23 kills on Ascent to lead the lobby.

Gen.G stomped on Lotus to bring the series to the brink

Just as on Ascent, both teams ran the same composition for Lotus. RieNs led Team Heretics to win the first pistol on Lotus and got a critical 2K to convert their bonus round. Heretics had a 3-0 lead, but Meteor denied them from pulling away with multiple hero plays. Gen.G turned the map back in their favor off of aggressive defenses.

Moving from Jett to Raze, t3xture coordinated a perfect combo with Lakia to seize and nade at B main, resulting in a quadra kill from the nade alone. Team Heretics lost every round after converting their bonus to end the half down 9-3.

Lakia Gen.G Masters Shanghai grand finals Lakia celebrates a round win at the VCT 2024 Masters Shanghai grand finals. (Image via Riot Games)

Gen.G won the second pistol in near-flawless fashion to put the map out of reach for Team Heretics. Munchkin converted the bonus to confirm a 12-round win streak, which dashed any hope of a Heretics comeback. Gen.G won Lotus 13-4 and took the series to map five.

Split was a Gen.G masterclass

The series ended on Split with the third straight mirror matchup. Meteor secured a 4K to win Gen.G their attack pistol round. They were confident to start Split, yet both teams showed resilience after going down early in maps earlier in the series. Split had to be the same for Heretics, but the map started to look as one-sided as Breeze and Lotus had for Gen.G.

The change of pace was what truly made defense impossible for Team Heretics. t3xture was the spearhead for Gen.G, hitting his shots and taking plenty of space. Gen.G entered the half up 9-3, then won the second pistol round and secured the bonus. Split ended 13-3, and Gen.G clinched the Pacific region their first international win in VCT history.

Across the series, t3xture posted an unbelievable 24 first-kills. Nobody else in the lobby had more than 15. Gen.G vindicated themselves after their Masters Madrid grand final loss, with the duo of t3xture and Meteor rising to the challenge when the team went down 2-1 in the series.