In VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik, ZETA DIVISION came, saw, and conquered. The team from Japan had never won a match on the international stage. However, with clean strategies and superior teamwork, they overcame every obstacle in their way.
ZETA Yuma “Dep” Hashimoto said in an interview that his team was only hoping to make the Top 8. In the end, operating on sheer will, they made it to the lower bracket finals and grabbed the Top 3 position.
How it Started
ZETA DIVISION started their series with a loss against the titans from Korea, DRX. The Korean team decimated ZETA DIVISION on every map with a 2-0 sweep. ZETA would then go on to face Fnatic, the fan-favorites from the EMEA region.
ZETA rolled over Fnatic with a 2-0 sweep, eliminating them from the group stages. This was their first-ever win on the international stage. This was the start of the fairy tale story for ZETA DIVISION as they went on to win their next match against Ninjas in Pyjamas (NIP) in a 2-1 series.
ZETA DIVISION started their playoffs against the seeded team from the EMEA region, G2 Esports. The Japanese team took a blow as G2 swept the series 2-0. ZETA dropped down into the lower brackets, where they would face off against Team Liquid.
ZETA made a statement by winning their match 2-1 against Team Liquid. They didn’t want to go home yet and kept the dream alive by staying humble and prepared for every match. ZETA would have to ready themselves in a revenge match against DRX in the lower brackets.
Facing elimination, ZETA dug deep and held its ground against the titans from Korea. ZETA won 2-1 in an intense match, with neither team giving any ground. DRX got eliminated and ZETA pushed forward, making it to the Top 4 position in VCT Masters Stage 1 Reykjavik.
However, ZETA would push through to play against the seeded team from their region: Paper Rex. Both teams went toe-to-toe and never gave any chance for either team to set the tempo.
Eventually, ZETA won against them in a 2-1 series, solidifying their place in the Top 3 for VCT Masters Reykjavik. In an interview, the coach from Paper Rex, Alexandre “alecks” Sallé, stating that ZETA destroyed their gameplan with precise teamplay.
Paper Rex gets eliminated, and ZETA DIVISION faced its biggest challenge. They move on to the lower bracket finals and face the strongest opponent of their series: OpTic Gaming.
The Lower Bracket Finals
It had been a long while since a Japanese team faced a North American team. This David and Goliath story unfolded on the international stage and gave goosebumps to everyone watching.
Going into a BO5, ZETA dug deep and held their breath as they took blow after blow from OpTic Gaming. In the end, their fairy tale came to an end as OpTic defeated them in a 3-0 sweep to face LOUD in the grand finals.
How It’s Going
ZETA DIVISION came, saw, and conquered. They came to the international stage looking to at least make it into the top 8 teams. They saw their opponents’ weaknesses and exploited them after every match.
On the biggest stage for VALORANT, they conquered the hearts of every underdog team. They removed the stigma of being a “minor region,” and set the bar for every team in the APAC region.
*Featured image credits to VALO2ASIA | @VALO2ASIA Twitter