The Guard and OpTic Gaming’s match at Valorant Masters was their third matchup in three weeks and both sides expressed frustration in playing each other at an international tournament.
OpTic took down The Guard 2-1 in their playoff stage match at VALORANT Champion Tour Stage 1 Masters: Reykjavík.
The two teams have a budding rivalry, OpTic met the young Valorant squad in the North American qualifier tournament for the event in the upper bracket final and in the grand final.
The Guard took down OpTic in both matchups to take the top seed for the region. OpTic, as the second seed, had to play through a short group stage at VALORANT Masters before they could join The Guard.
After the Green Wall made their way to the main stage of the event, they were seeded into the bracket with The Guard once again as their opponents.
The Guard played OpTic in three of their last four matches
The seeding was met with memes from the community about North America automatically qualifying for the Valorant Masters semifinals, but both teams expressed a slight frustration after playing each other for a third time at an international LAN event.
“I would rather play any of the other six teams, even if it was another first seed in the tournament, just because they’re an NA team… We played them three out of our last four matches, which is just too much in my opinion.” The Guard’s Trent ‘trent’ Cairns said after the match.
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OpTic’s star player Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker expressed a similar sentiment. While yay and his team did get a reprieve from The Guard in the Masters group stage, playing against a team from Asia Pacific and Latin America, he did say that he would like to play competition from other regions at an international tournament.
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“I don’t know if I’m tired of it because you always learn something when you play them because they pushed us to the limits like multiple times. Especially in the grand final and even now, they forced us to get really creative and go outside our prep,” Yay said with a laugh in a post-match interview.
“So, on one hand, you get a good experience, I think you really get valuable experience. On the other hand, though, I guess it is an international tournament. I would like to maybe play some of the EMEA teams and other different styles too.”
For now, both squads will get a reprieve from facing off against one another as OpTic continues in the upper bracket to face DRX on Sunday and The Guard will fight for their tournament lives on Saturday against Paper Rex. But, they could still face each other in the lower bracket, or the grand final.