DRX’s 5th-6th place curse has finally been lifted, following their impressive 2-1 win over Fnatic at Valorant Champions 2022.
Their victory over Fnatic also marks the first time they have won an elimination match at a LAN event this year.
The Korean powerhouse suffered the exact same fate at the Reykjavik Masters and the Copenhagen Masters, emerging in the quarter-finals of the bottom bracket.
DRX’s Kim “stax” Gu-taek seemed determined to go even further in the post-match press conference, having recently returned to the lead role in the game for Champions.
“As long as I make the decisions, there’s no way we’ll stay 5th-6th,” he said. “I will take full responsibility and try to take my team as far as possible.”
DRX breaks LAN curse with impressive win over Fnatic
DRX was initially stunned by Fnatic’s strong start on Icebox. Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev had an incredible performance on Chamber, finishing with a KDA of 31/10/0 and an Average Combat Score (ACS) of 408 that earned Fnatic a 13-7 win on their map pick. .
At the start of the second map, Ascent, DRX started again. Fnatic took an 8-4 halftime lead, preventing their opponents from taking control of key parts of the map and successfully executing site replays with four spike defuses.
However, the momentum swung in DRX’s favor in Round 21, after Fnatic failed to plant the spike as time ticked away. With 20 seconds to go, Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder’s Killjoy, James “Mistic” Orfila’s KAY/O and Enzo “Enzo” Mestari’s Fade entered site B after crossing the Mid Market.
Unfortunately, Fnatic couldn’t clear B’s backsite where stax was waiting. As the clock ticked, Enzo tried to plant the spike while Alfajer covered him. But in flashbacks from Copenhagen where Jake “Boaster” Howlett didn’t seem to trust his teammate and failed to defuse, he dropped the plant when stax glanced up, and DRX took the turn .
In the next round, Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan pulled off a devastating 1v2 clutch that erased Fnatic’s lead.
Although Mistic and Enzo were both there, MaKo was able to pick them up separately. Spotting the barrel of Enzo’s gun behind the boxes, MaKo picked up a wall shot, before swinging up and down Mistic.
The ascent would ultimately be decided in overtime, with DRX winning 14-12. The series then shifted to Fracture, where DRX switched roles yet again, putting Yu “BuZz” Byung-chul on Chamber and Goo “Rb” Sang-min on Neon.
The switch paid off, with Rb and BuZz combining for 40 kills and 11 first kills in the series finale card.
With the score tied at 6-6 after the first half, DRX kicked into high gear on the attacking side, finding seven rounds to Fnatic’s three.
DRX is now set for a rematch with FunPlus Phoenix on September 17 at 1:00 GMT+8 | September 13, 10:00 a.m. PT | September 13, 5:00 p.m. GMT. The match will be broadcast live on the official Valorant Twitch and YouTube channels.
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