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VCT 2022: Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen – Paper Rex Are Looking Dangerous

Southeast Asian pride skyrockets as Paper Rex advance into the upper bracket semi-finals as they defeat Guild Esports in a somewhat convincing 2–0.

If you haven’t already check out our STAGE 2 MASTERS SCHEDULE

What a way to kick off the playoff bracket, a highly anticipated matchup between Guild Esports and Paper Rex representing Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia-Pacific (APAC) respectively. Going into this game, many believed it could have gone either way, with Guild having played for the past couple of days in contrast to Paper Rex who received a bye sending them straight to the bracket stage.

Paper Rex ultimately won the series 2–0 but the scoreline doesn’t show just how dominant the Southeast Asian side was during the first map, and how nail-bitingly close the second was.

Prior to the match, it come to light that one of Paper Rex’s key players, Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto had tested positive for COVID and was still experiencing symptoms. As a result f0rsakeN played from a room separate from the stage where the both teams were playing.

Paper Tigers?

To rub salt in the wound, besides having a player not in peak condition, Paper Rex were also going up against Guild who, although were considered ot be the weakest of the EMEA teams attending Masters Copenhagen, had been on a phenomenal run from the Group Stage. It was expected that the European side were going to use that momentum to overcome the obstical that was Paper Rex.

Going into Map 1, Guild chose Ascent as their map pick. It was blatant from the start that Guild were planning on abusing their “retaking” prowess that they used to shut down OpTic Gaming on Day 1. Despite being able to take the third round after Paper Rex won the initial two, it just wasn’t enough for the Europeans to halt Paper Rex’s momentum as they went on to take the next six rounds consecutively.

By the end of the first half, the score was 8–4 but for f0rsakeN, regardless of his condition, didn’t seem to be having any issues in performing on Chamber as he usually does. As for the rest of Paper Rex, they were all pulling their weight with kills evenly distributed across the scoreboard.

Paper Rex closed out the second half while not conceding a single round to Guild, with the final score being 13–4.

Map 2 would be played on Fracture with Paper Rex starting on the attacking side. Initally Guild started off with the same strategy in mind as Map 1, play it slow and use their ability to retake sites. After failing to execute as efficiently as they wanted, Guild decided to shift their tempo as began to play a lot more aggressively.

Having changed strategy, Guild were able to execute more retakes successfully. But it didn’t take long for Paper Rex to adapt, namely Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart who was able to read Guild’s plays and concluded the first half evenly at 6–6.

With the second half underway, neither team were able to maintain momentum from their round wins, resulting and a constant back a forth throughout the tail-end of the map. Although something that deserves to be mentioned is Wang “Jinggg” Jing Jie’s knife in the second pistol round.

Guild’s End?

Eventually Guild took the advantage and made it to match point at 12–11 and the 24th round resulted in both teams flipping the map and Paper Rex being able to get a defuse without much contest from Guild. Fracture was sent into overtime.

Overtime was short-lived though as Paper Rex prevailed in winning the two rounds they need to win the series as a whole. And with that said Paper Rex have now moved on to the upper bracket semi-finals where they are to face EMEA’s top seed, Fnatic on 17 July at 11:00 PM (GMT+8).

As for Guild Esports, this isn’t the end of the road. The team has a second chance to make a run in the lower bracket but they will have to overcome fellow Europeans in FunPlus Phoenix — a team who swept them 3–0 when they met in Challengers. They will play 16 July at 11:00 PM (GMT+8).

For more VCT 2022 action, head over to our full schedule and livestream feature page.

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