NRG's first appearance at VCT LOCK/IN is a former OpTic core

NRG's first appearance at VCT LOCK/IN is a former OpTic core ...

The first match of the official 2023 VCT season began today in So Paulo, Brazil, where the best VALORANT players from the world have converged for the start of the franchised league.

The first matchup between two heavyweights was between NRG and KOI in North America. Both teams are players who have competed in previous Masters stages of the old VCT format.

Three former OpTic players have made their way onto the franchised North American roster, bringing s0m and former EMEA player ardiis to round out the five-man roster.

NRG made a tense start to their first big match of 2023, but ultimately won 2-0 over KOI.

Given the history of the previous OpTic team, NRG chose to start out on Icebox, which was far from a surprise map pick. This was a result of a changing meta that saw the French agent almost disappear from the agent roster.

NRG were still very aggressive when it came to defense, even when starting out on the defense. They pushed up on the B site to meet KOI, but this didn't quite work out as planned for the North American team.

KOI chose a composition that featured Jett in a fragging role, a conclusion that had been floated around in other camps prior to LOCK//IN. Wolfen, their Jett player, was making his international LAN debut today and overall performed admirably on a roster surrounded by former champions. Yet two of these former stars, sheydos and starxo, had not seen international LAN play since 2021.

The North American team finally got on the board after four rounds of KOI defying their way through a confused-looking NRG, though it wasn't the cleanest method.

S0m continued to hold his ground and was NRG's turning point for their comeback. Even on poor save rounds, s0m used a Marshal and his Viper utility to make the most of every chance his team got.

Round 10 marked the map's turning point.

NRG retaken a flawless round, which left even the casters surprised, since the round was far from clean and planned.

Once NRG settled on their attack, they were able to finish out Icebox with a close score of 13-11.

The two teams removed mirrored compositions from Haven, and it was time for NRG to demonstrate its expertise. ardiis

ardiis is under tremendous pressure to fill the position of LOCK//IN, as he is being viewed as the perfect replacement for former Chamber master yay. Despite a brief rest, ardiis came alive on Jett after some warm-up time.

After a tense Icebox, NRG took Haven 13-9.

KOI have dropped out of the tournament due to the LOCK/IN single-elimination bracket. We will see them again later in the VCT season.

NRG will face off against the winner of DetonatioN FM against the Giants, who will play later today.