Team Secret started strong but ran out of steam against Thailand’s Xerxia, 2-1, in the lower bracket final as it ended its VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) 2022: APAC Stage 2 Challengers campaign Sunday, June 26.
The Thais, who climbed their way from the lower bracket, exacted revenge against the Filipinos since absorbing a 2-1 defeat in the upper bracket quarterfinal last June 24.
Thanachart “Surf” Rungapajaratkul on his Jett led the Thais with a total of 65 kills and five assist as Xerxia sets up a grand final showdown against VCT-APAC Stage 1 champion Paper Rex of Malaysia-Singapore.
Xerxia and Paper Rex not only meet at the grand final anew since Stage 1 last March but also booked their respective tickets to the penultimate tournament VCT-Masters in Copenhagen, Denmark and the finale VCT-Champions in Turkey, Istanbul.
Team Secret, for its part, earlier made quick work of Xerxia in Haven, 13-3, before the latter eked out a 13-10 victory in Ascent.
It all boiled down to Icebox where Surf exploded with 26 kills while Panyawat “Sushiboys” Subsiriroj on his Killjoy and Nutchapon “sScary” Matarat on his Viper had 16 frags apiece.
Itthirit “foxz” Ngamsaard was also phenomenal on his Sova and contributed 15 kills.
Xerxia created a comfortable 8-4 cushion at the end of the first half before unloading a 4-2 run in the switch en route to match point, 12-6.
Team Secret fought for dear life in the next two rounds but Round 20 saw the Filipinos in pinch during a two-versus-two situation at B site.
Jayvee “DubsteP” Paguirigan and Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, however, all had it under control and secured the round before Surf spoiled the party and went berserk with his sniping prowess at A site to punish Team Secret and get the victory.
DubsteP on his Jett and BORKUM on his Viper paced the Filipinos with 19 kills each.
Team Secret has its final chance of qualifying for the VCT-Champions when it competes against nine other teams in the VCT-APAC Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) slated August.
Only one squad will get the last APAC slot and join Paper Rex and Xerxia in Istanbul in September.