After several delays in their match due to a series of unfortunate health issues that even hospitalized players from FPX, the two teams finally were able to meet each other in the Group C winner’s match with a possible playoff spot at the next VALORANT Champions stage up for grabs.
Pearl started out as a very even match to the surprise of everybody, with both sides taking trades of rounds back and forth. BcJ and Zekken were the leaders for XSET on the attack side, with Zekken showcasing Neon to almost perfection and closing the distance while BcJ looked for an aggressive kill focused playstyle on Fade. Nevertheless FPX was quite proficient on their retakes, most notably on the A site defense, finishing with a 6-6 tie after the first half finished.
XSET was able to start an early lead on the defense side thanks to a bonus round retake which provided economic stability, thanks to another huge play from BcJ. The Zekken/BcJ dynamic duo continued to pressure the map for information on FPX attackers, giving the previous Copenhagen champions almost no chance to safely push into the site. Cryo came in clutch in the final round of regulation, pinning down the A site with his Agent to finish a dominant defense side play, finishing Pearl 13-7.
FPX looked absolutely more comfortable on the attack side going into their own map pick, Fracture. FPX was seamlessly entering and pushing sides this time around, with ardiis constantly killing off plenty of XSET players on Chamber mainly via isolated picks. XSET was able to claim a couple of late rounds via retakes, and almost finished with five first half rounds after FPX’s onslaught, had it not been for an incredible ardiis post plant play. FPX achieved an 8-4 lead going into half time.
FPX’s dominant play on Fracture carried over to defense, with ardiis continuing his incredible performance on Chamber showing his utility to the maximum, including an incredible triple kill with his ultimate to secure the bonus round on the map. Ardiis was the key behind a stable defense for FPX, who absolutely demolished XSET on Fracture 13-4 putting both teams with 1 win each.
XSET started with full confidence on defense within Breeze, the young stars from NA punished FPX all the way through, finishing 11-1 in the first half. A consecutive attacking pistol round for XSET, made by some accurate shots from Cryo, placed XSET up on a secure 12-1 lead. FPX managed to grow together through some defensive rounds while facing a possible loss, but at last a Viper and Cypher ultimate combo secured the final round for XSET, with a 13-5 win on Breeze and the upset complete with a 2-1 series win.
After this series, all four top seeds out of groups have now been closed. It’s an incredible time for the Americas region, with OpTic, Leviatan, and XSET all through to playoffs by this point. All three EMEA teams will play their own respective win or go home decider match, set to start on Wednesday, September 7th.