As the VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters: Reykjavik kicked off earlier this week, 8 out of the 12 participants have qualified for the tournament's playoff bracket.
G2 Esports, a European esports powerhouse, was one of the 4 teams to enter the double-elimination playoffs directly, based on their seeding. In their first match of the playoffs, G2 took on Zeta Division, a Japanese team who were in the process of writing their Cinderella story at this VCT event.
While G2 was observing its competition from a safe spot in the playoffs, Zeta Division fought their way through the Group Stage. The Japanese side enjoyed a remarkable run against teams like Fnatic and Ninjas in Pyjamas, falling only to DRX, the Korean giants.
Zeta Division even gave G2 Esports a run for their money, challenging them on both the maps they competed in. In the end, however, both outings went in favor of G2 as they claimed Split (13-7) and Bind (13-10) with their striking performances.
G2 Esports' IGL nukkye talks about their performance against Zeta Division at VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters: Reykjavik
In a conversation with Sportskeeda Esports' Adarsh J. Kumar, G2 Esports' in-game leader (IGL) Žygimantas "nukkye" Chmieliauskas commented on their victory against Zeta Division at the VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters: Reykjavik Upper Quarter-finals.
Q: Today was G2 Esports' first appearance in over two weeks. How do you think the team performed today?
nukkye: Overall, good. I wouldn't say we made that many mistakes. Of course, we made a few. It was also our first match on stage, considering which I would say we were confident and calm. We knew that we would win today, so I think it was perfect today.
Q: G2 was one of the 4 teams that were placed directly into the VCT Masters playoffs. How much of an impact did it have on the team to enter the playoffs directly, considering it was everyone's first LAN event in a while?
nukkye: Personally, it didn't affect me at all. I was completely fine, I don’t even have an adrenaline rush going right now. I think it was perfectly fine for me, but for my teammates who haven't played LAN in two years, it was maybe a slow start. As we said before, our nerves will act up for the first match, but then we can continue playing the way we were online.
Q: Zeta Division put up a great fight on both maps today, especially on Bind where they were an inch away from stealing the map from G2. How would you fare their performance today?
nukkye: We didn't prepare that much for them. We just knew that they currently have better individuals, with a completely better roster than the previous one. Kudos to them. They were hitting the shots, they had the gameplan. They're just better overall, compared to last year.
Q: The matchup against Zeta Division was G2's first official encounter against a Japanese side. Compared to the playstyle EMEA teams display, what do you find unique about teams from Japan?
nukkye: The only difference is that they're playing old comps. The comps that they played on certain maps was what we played last year. They were a bit slow to join the meta, at least in my opinion, from what I've seen them play. So, I think it's just the comp difference. Overall, they were slightly slower and less aggressive than European teams.
Q: Avova on Brimstone was something we’ve been used to seeing since the last patch update. What prompted G2 to switch up Brimstone with Omen today on Split?
nukkye: It just suits us and our playstyle in a better way, that's all.
Q: Chamber has been a driving force for many of the top teams here at VCT Masters Reykjavik. How important do you think Chamber is for teams at this tournament, particularly in this current meta?
nukkye: I think overall, Chamber is a very good Agent that lets you snowball economy. He has an Operator and a Sheriff. He doesn't buy much, he can drop guns and even has traps as utility. I feel like Chamber controls the game a lot better than most Duelists or Sentinels overall in all maps.
I think it's very important to run Chamber right now until it's nerfed, although there's no need for a nerf. He's a very useful Agent, especially for a guy that OPs. For example, we have Oscar (Mixwell) who plays the OP a lot, so it's the perfect Agent for him and fits his playstyle. I think teams should utilize Chamber a bit more in their Agent comps.
Q: In last year’s VCT events, teams had at least 3-4 weeks after Challengers to prepare for the Masters events. Here at the Masters: Reykjavik in VCT 2022, all the teams have had only two weeks of rest before the tournament. Do you think that affects the mentality of the competing teams?
nukkye: I wouldn't say so. It depends on the team and how motivated they are. I think you can prepare a very good plan or comp in just 2-3 days, so I don't think that affects things that much. It's all about motivation. The players you have can find the things you need to find for the comp to be useful.
Q: As G2 proceeds to the Upper Semifinals, the team will be facing the winner of LOUD vs Team Liquid. Who do you think G2 is more likely to play against and why?
nukkye: Just to see how they play, I'd like to face LOUD. But in reality, I think we will be playing against Team Liquid because they're more like a unit. Brazilian teams like NIP play loose; they play 1v1 a lot. They have individual firepower which may not always end well in a match.
Q: Which side out of the top 8 teams here at the VCT 2022 Masters: Reykjavik would you like to see G2 play against in the Grand Finals?
nukkye: That would be DRX. They have a unique playstyle. It's always fun to play against a team as structured as that.
Q: G2 Esports has kicked off their VCT Masters: Reykjavik run with an exceptional performance today. What can the fans expect from G2 for the remainder of the tournament?
nukkye: I would say more rounds that are clean. It was a bit shaky today since it was our first official game on LAN. In time, the nerves will go away and we will play a lot better. Hopefully, the scorelines won't be as close as the Bind game we had today against Zeta.