Road to Masters Reykjavik — X10 Esports
Naim "EnKay" Rosinski
5/21/2021, 10:41:46 AM
Hailing from the Southeast Asia (SEA) region, Masters Reykjavik welcomes a team from Thailand, X10 Esports. Made up entirely of Thai staff and players, X10 joined the Valorant fight in late 2020 — December 16 — to shake things up in the SEA Valorant region. Ever since their appearance, the team led by Nutchapon “sScary” Matarat was a force to be dealt with. They have proven that with their past resume, as well as with their entry into Masters Reykjavik. Let’s have a look at X10’s extensive journey to Iceland.
X10 Esports commenced their journey to VCT Stage 1: Masters via an open qualifier in Thailand. There, things went smoothly for X10 as they dealt swiftly with their opposition with a smooth run through the upper bracket. However, in the end, X10 failed to get the best seed as they were bested by Foxy Araikordai in a double overtime matchup that went 14:12 in favor of the Foxy team. Nevertheless, X10 pressed on with the second best possible seed.
In the Main Event of Challengers 1 Thailand, X10 returned to their winning ways. Although Aricat — their quarterfinal matchup — went all the way to map 3 in the BO3, it was smooth 2-0 victories for X10 from there. In the grand final they met Foxy Araikordai yet again. This time around, however, they made sure to close out the deal smoothly, and so they did with a blowout 2-0 victory. The entry to the semifinals was then already enough to enter Challengers 2.
At Challengers 2, X10 dealt swiftly with Overtime Esports, and moved on to battle Full Sense, a matchup that could have gone either way. In the end X10 prevailed once again, after three tight maps in the BO3. X10’s victory run ended there, as in the grand final, they were bested by NG. Black in a blowout 2-0 loss. Nevertheless, their entry to the grand final was enough to guarantee themselves a spot in the VCT Stage 1 Masters: Southeast Asia.
The Southeast Asia Masters saw teams from various countries come together. Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia & Singapore, and Hong Kong & Taiwan, saw representation by at least one team. X10 was initially pitted against nxl ligagame, an Indonesian squad. The BO3 ended up being a rather short affair as X10 closed it out at 2-0 in maps and moved on to the semis.
There, KPC awaited, a team from Hong Kong & Taiwan. sScary and co. found the semifinals to be an even easier ride, dealing with KPC 13:5 on Split, followed by an equally smooth Bind at 13:7. And just like that, X10 found themselves in the grand final where finally, a more potent opponent awaited.
Team SMG was the other grand finalist at the event. Though the team did not have a very smooth ride through the bracket, they proved to be an equally powerful opponent. The best-of-five finale went to the last map in a nail-biting, back-and-forth thriller series. However, it was the team from Thailand that prevailed in the end. X10 Esports took home the trophy of VCT Masters 1 champion in the SEA region.
X10’s entry to Masters 1 guaranteed them a fast-pass to the VCT Stage 2: Challengers 1 Main Event. That is where the chase for a ticket to Reykjavik started, at least for X10.
A quick series of 2-0 sweeps against Suradech Gaming and then Full SENSE, saw X10 smoothly enter the grand finale of Stage 2: Challengers 1. Sharper Esport was their opponent, though the series only saw X10 drop one map in the BO5. The rest was all X10 as they claimed yet another victory and with that, another fast-pass. This time, all the way to VCT 2021: Southeast Asia Stage 2 Challengers Finals.
With just one ticket to Masters Reykjavik granted to Southeast Asia, the stakes were higher than ever. X10 Esports was surely one of the favorites after their showing in the region at Masters 1. Though it was a gamble whether the Thai team could replicate their victory for the second time.
X10 kicked things off at their final qualifier at the Upper Bracket Quarterfinals. There, they had to go through CBT Gaming, a team from the Hong Kong & Taiwan region. At once, trouble started, as CBT gave X10 a run for their money. The best-of-three reached the last map, Split, where X10 eventually closed things out, but with a tight 13:11 scoreline. Nevertheless, X10 lived on, and entered the Upper Bracket Semifinals.
6045Pirates was the name of their next rival, this time from the Philippines. Once more X10 would run into trouble. After a clean win on Ascent, the Thai side got battered on Icebox with a 1:13 score deficit. Luckily, X10 pulled it all back on Haven with a 13:5 win to live another day in the Upper Bracket.
The Upper Bracket Final saw X10 face their last opponent before finally entering the Grand FInal, where it would be decided who goes to Reykjavik. Paper Rex was the team to overcome. X10 did they homework on Icebox to steal the first map for themselves. Paper Rex got to work on Split to take it home and make the BO3 all even at 1-1 in maps. Ascent saw a nail-biting contest unravel. A triple overtime was needed to settle who was moving on. X10 finally ended the affair with a favorable score of 15:13 in the tight contest.
Still alive, X10 entered the Grand FInals the fastes route possible without falling to the Lower Bracket. There, their final opponent stood between them and Masters Reykjavik; Full Sense. Another Thai team as the two knew each other very well having matched up in the past. It was X10 that kicked off the series in their favor by taking the first two maps, leaving Full Sense well in the dust in the best-of-five. Full Sense attempted to put together a comeback by taking Bind in overtime. Yet, in the very end, Haven was destined to go X10’s way.
X10 Esports won the Grand FInale 3-1 and received the only available ticket to Masters Reykjavik in Southeast Asia in Valorant. After being the champions of Masters 1 in the region, X10 deserves nothing but respect for replicating their unimaginable run to represent the region at the first international Valorant LAN event.
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Naim "EnKay" Rosinski
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