LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank # Sacy Gustavo Rossi aspas Erick Santos saadhak Matias Delipetro pancada Bryan Luna Less Felipe de Loyola and OpTic Gaming OpTic Gaming North America Rank # crashies Austin Roberts FNS Pujan Mehta Victor Victor Wong Marved Jimmy Nguyen yay Jaccob Whiteaker faced off in the grand finals of Masters Reykjavik today after surviving two weeks of group and playoff play that began with 12 teams. The match went in favor of OpTic 3-0 after the American side closed out the last two maps in overtime.

Their Bo5 bout was a rematch of the Bo3 upper final, in which LOUD won 2-1 off the back of an incredible Icebox from 17-year-old sentinel player Less .

Both teams made unlikely runs to the grand finals for vastly different reasons. Although OpTic entered the tournament as one of the favorites, they suffered a 2-0 defeat to APAC's XERXIA Esports XERXIA Esports Asia-Pacific Rank # Surf Thanachart Rungapajaratkul Crws Thanamethk Mahatthananuyut sScary Nutchapon Matarat foxz Itthirit Ngamsaard Sushiboys Panyawat Subsiriroj in the group stage's opening day. Since then, the American squad had been on a tear, winning 2-0 in both of their group stage matches to follow their defeat, and then sending two other tournament favorites in The Guard The Guard North America Rank # JonahP Jonah Pulice Sayaplayer Ha Jeong-woo (하정우) trent Trent Cairns neT Michael Bernet valyn Jacob Batio and DRX DRX Korea Rank # stax Kim Gu-taek (김구택) Rb Goo Sang-Min (구상민) Zest Kim Ki-seok (김기석) BuZz Yu Byung-chul (유병철) MaKo Kim Myeong-gwan (김명관) to the lower bracket before they finally hit LOUD's roadblock.

While LOUD had an automatic bye into the playoffs, expectations for the team were mixed after Brazil's previous struggles in VCT LANs. The team had far surpassed the best performance of any other Brazilian team at LAN, and did so with no easy path to the grand finals. To get to the grand final, they had to defeat two European teams plus OpTic.

LOUD were granted both map vetoes and the first map pick of the match as a reward for reaching the grand finals through the upper bracket. They began by banning Split and Fracture, and then selected Ascent. Afterwards, OpTic picked Bind, LOUD picked Breeze, and OpTic picked Icebox, leaving the final map as Haven.

"After the vetoes came in, I was like, 'Chet, not a single Neon map, Chet?'" Victor , who throughout the tournament averaged 163 damage per round and 1.31 kills for every death while playing on Valorant's newest agent. "I was a little disappointed."

Ascent (OpTic win: 13-9)

OpTic looked to turn LOUD's opening map pick against them right out the gate by taking the first four rounds over the Brazilian. While LOUD was able to get on the board by winning the fifth round, OpTic won the next two rounds to go up 6-1.

LOUD attempted to stop the bleeding with a timeout, but OpTic continued to pile on by winning the next two rounds after the timeout. LOUD managed one more round win, but were faced with a daunting scoreline at halftime: 10-2.

A big part of OpTic's dominance on their defense was yay 's performance with the Operator on Jett. His K/D was 17/4 at halftime, by far the best on the server. His in-game leader, FNS , was the next highest on the score with a 13/5 K/D.

Although LOUD fared better on their Ascent attack in the upper final than they did in the grand final — OpTic led 7-5 at the half on Friday — they had proven in their first matchup that LOUD picked the map for their strong defense on it. They closed out the map with an 8-1 defensive half in that matchup, and would need to be equally as dominant just to force overtime.

LOUD got off to a good start in working to that, winning the pistol round off the back of a quick 3K from pancada . He proved just as effective in the subsequent anti-eco, opening the round with its first kill to set up LOUD's swift victory and his team followed up by winning the next round at a gun disadvantage.

pancada sparked the beginnings of a LOUD comeback.

Not even an OpTic timeout could slow down LOUD, as the Brazilian side won five straight rounds before OpTic won their first attacking round. By then, OpTic's lead had been cut to 11-7 and LOUD was rapidly closing the distance further.

But OpTic still managed to make it to map point, winning their 12th round off of a thrifty 4K from Marved . Down 12-9, LOUD took a timeout. Their timeout changed little; for the third time in the map, the team taking the timeout failed to convert it into a round win. OpTic closed out Ascent 13-9 by winning the next round.

The MVP of the lower final methodically picked LOUD apart with smart positioning.

While yay slowed down significantly in the second half — he went 5/10 in the final 10 rounds — Marved and crashies picked up the slack to close out the match. Both players averaged more than 200 damage per round in the final half to halt LOUD's comeback.

"Losing Ascent didn't really change the other maps for us. We already lost the first map in the series before and I don't think that's what affected us," LOUD head coach bzkA said in the press conference after the match, referencing the upper final in which LOUD lost 13-2 on Fracture before winning the next two maps.

Bind (OpTic win: 14-12)

OpTic led 1-0 heading into their map pick: Bind. LOUD had gone 4-0 on the map in Brazil, but had not played the map once during Masters. Entering the match, OpTic had won their last six appearances on Bind, including two at Masters, never allowing the opposing team to win more than eight rounds in a single one of those victories.

The map started out with the teams trading rounds back-and-forth. LOUD won the pistol, but OpTic won their eco round immediately after. OpTic converted their new economic advantage into another round win, but LOUD were able to fight back the following round to tie the score 2-2.

OpTic then began to create some distance between themselves and LOUD soon after. They won the following round to make the score 3-2, and then crashies clutched out the next round to deny LOUD the opportunity to tie the score once again. LOUD's chance to respond in the next round hit a wall in the form of a yay collateral 2K with the Operator, and OpTic further extended their lead when Marved stuck the defuse from behind a smoke in a 1v1 to put OpTic up 6-2. At that point, LOUD was finally forced to call a timeout.

"Usually when you take a timeout, you're going to try something different," yay said of his team's ability to counter LOUD's timeouts. "We had some predictions or reads on what they might try and do next, and then we just kind of played with that."

OpTic's ability to read their opponents made it so LOUD needed two rounds before they could get back on the board, finally doing so off the back of aspas sealing the 1v2 clutch with his Showstopper ultimate on Raze. LOUD took the opportunity to build momentum in their favor for the first time in the map by winning the next round and forcing OpTic to call their timeout for the half. Thanks to a yay 4K that opened with a fast three kills, OpTic converted a timeout into a round win for the first time in five tries across the match. That gave OpTic an 8-4 lead heading into halftime.

aspas clutched the round with the knowledge he didn't need to survive as long OpTic's final two didn't survive either.

Once again, yay dominated the first half of the map. He went 19/6 on Chamber, bringing his total K/D in the first half of the opening two maps to 36/10. aspas and Sacy earned 13 and 12 kills respectively after they each made plays in the first half to keep their team in the map.

LOUD responded to OpTic's strong first half by winning the first four rounds of their defense to tie the score 8-8 and force OpTic to call a timeout. The Brazilian squad's other rookie, 18-year-old duelist player aspas, started heating up during those four rounds and earned a 4K in the map-tying round.

Not even a timeout could cool off the rookie in his first LAN grand final, as he followed it with a 3K to give his team the lead. While yay was able to use his Tour de Force to shut down aspas in the next round, LOUD put another round on the board off of a saadhak 3K earned entirely from inside the teleporter.

Is this the first 3K or better by a player who got all of their kills inside a Bind teleporter?

"We never felt out of control," FNS said of LOUD's comebacks map after map. "Even when they were crawling back on Bind, for example, and they had a 10-8 lead or something like that, I still felt completely in control. I just kept telling my team, 'We should be winning these rounds. Every round that we've lost, we should be winning,' and everyone knew that."

OpTic finally stopped the bleeding thanks to a 4K from Marved and tied it with another round after that. Once the score was 10-10, it was LOUD's turn to call a timeout. While OpTic was able to win the very next round, LOUD quickly returned to form by winning the next two rounds — the second off of a Sacy clutch against Marved — to reach map point at 12-11.

LOUD could just about reach victory on Bind, but Victor was determined to force the map into overtime. He took out three on Bind's A site, and then joined Marved for the plant on B site in a 2v2 showdown. Victor killed two more for the ace and the clutch, giving his team a chance at going up 2-0 in the match.

Concern over OpTic's ability to show up in high pressure LAN environments could be put to rest with this single play.

OpTic won the first round of overtime, taking them to map point. In the 26th round, with OpTic up 13-12, Victor was once again put into a clutch situation — this time against LOUD's top performers on Bind, Sacy and aspas. If the last round of regulation wasn't evidence enough of Victor's ability to perform under pressure, then this round was. He took out aspas first, then killed Sacy with his Showstopper to win the 1v2 clutch. His performance gave OpTic a 14-12 win on Bind.

Although yay once again slowed down when he had to switch to the attack, he still managed to drop 30 kills on the map and average 204 damage per round. His 313 ACS was matched by LOUD's star of Bind, aspas, who put up 29 kills himself. Sacy and Victor similarly mirrored each other; Sacy finished the map with 26 kills and Victor finished with 25 kills.

Round after round of Bind was won by a knife's edge. The two teams combined for nine 1vX clutch wins; LOUD won two 1v1s and two 1v2s, and OpTic won three 1v1s and two 1v2s. Three of those clutches came after round 19 and belonged to Victor, who also had two 3Ks, one 4K, and one ace.

Breeze (OpTic win: 15-13)

OpTic entered LOUD's map pick, Breeze, up 2-0 and just one map away from taking the Masters Reykjavik trophy. But the map could prove problematic — they had kept Breeze banned throughout 2022, only playing it in the Challengers NA grand final, where they lost to The Guard 13-2.

"We figured they had to pick Breeze, like it makes the most sense," OpTic head coach Chet said in the post-match press conference after telling reporters OpTic did a two hour "dry run" on Breeze following their match against ZETA Division. "So we just did our best to prepare the attack side at least, and then defense side I just kind of did on the fly before the match. And then that that was basically our whole preparation for that game."

That preparation appeared to be enough, as OpTic didn't appear too uncomfortable at the map's start, winning the first three rounds to build a commanding early lead. LOUD responded with two of their own, but OpTic took two more rounds to lead 5-2. The American squad extended their lead a hair more to 8-4 by halftime and put themselves just five rounds away from winning the grand final.

Sacy uncharacteristically struggled in the first half, managing just two kills across 12 rounds. His Sova counterpart, crashies, led his team statistically — creating a stark contrast between them on Breeze.

LOUD once again opened the second half with a pistol round win, doing so on the attack this time instead of on defense. They followed that up with an anti-eco, and cut the deficit to two. This time, however, OpTic wasn't ready to let LOUD start closing the distance so quickly, and won the next two rounds to bring their lead back up to four.

LOUD slowly resumed their comeback afterwards, bringing themselves back within two at 11-9 a few rounds later, and forced OpTic to call a timeout. But neither team had followed their timeouts with round wins throughout the match, and this timeout would be no different. LOUD won the two rounds that followed the timeout to tie the score 11-11.

Map point went to LOUD with the fifth straight round in their favor, but, once again, OpTic found it within them to force overtime. And just like on Bind, OpTic won the first round of overtime. This time, however, they followed that round win with a timeout. pancada picked apart OpTic after the timeout, earning his first 4K of the match to bring his team the round and send the map into a second overtime.

OpTic won the next overtime round, despite a numbers disadvantage, off the back of a perfectly timed FNS Viper's Pit. The American team then comfortably won the next round to close the map out 15-13.

Once FNS popped his Viper's Pit, it seemed all but certain that OpTic was about to win their 14th round.

"I think the inexperience of us as a team — because we only have had four months of being a team — it really showed at the end," saadhak said after the match. "We couldn't close a map. We couldn't close two maps."

The two snipers led the way for their teams across the match. yay finished with the best kill differential of all players, with 23 more kills than deaths. He finished two kills short of the match leader, aspas, who killed 76 in total.

Notably, both stars were far more dominant on defense than they were on offense. yay had a kill differential of +26 on defense and averaged 205 damage per round. aspas finished +13 on defense, but still maintained a respectable offensive presence with a +5 differential on that side.

Despite the OpTic roster's consistent podium showings since 2021, this was the team's first LAN title and only their second VCT tournament win at all — the only other being in Stage 1: Challengers 2 in 2021. The team finished second at Masters Berlin last year under the Envy name, and fizzled out in the group stage of Champions.

"We know what it feels like to lose in the grand finals, in 3-0 fashion, too," Victor said. "So I feel like that was really, personally for me, what helped me push over the edge today."

This defeat was LOUD's first since the organization put this roster together, and the three maps they lost were more than the total number of maps they lost across the three matches they had played at Masters Reykjavik prior. In fact, since the roster has been playing under LOUD's name, they had lost three maps total across all matches before their grand final defeat.

Still, LOUD hopes to turn their runner-up finish into fuel for further improvement.

"So we actually learned a lot here," saadhak said. "We are trying to bring all that we learned here to Brazil. For example, the routine or day-by-day — the preparations. We learned a lot here and we're going to try to train that as much as we possibly can."

After coming so close for so long, but ultimately falling short every time, OpTic earned their first LAN trophy. At times during their press conference, the players sounded relieved to finally win. No one can question OpTic's right to that feeling after today's dominant performance.

"All our hard work paid off," Marved said. "And we finally have the trophy that was long overdue."

(Feature photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)