This article is part of our VALORANT series.
VCT Masters Reykjavik is in full flow with upsets galore and surprises everywhere. Fnatic and KRU Esports, two quarter finalists, have already been eliminated, and North American giants OpTic are in an elimination match against XERXIA, the same team who eliminated them in 2021, and who knocked them down to the lower bracket in 2022. With that in mind here are some players to target and fade for VCT Masters Reykjavik.
Players to Target
Since it's Week 2 the teams that qualified at the top of their region and got to skip group play are back in the tournament for the knockout stage, and we can't overlook LOUD. For many, Ninjas in Pyjamas have been the surprise of the tournament with some brilliant play, including a 2-0 win over Fnatic. LOUD beat Ninjas in Pyjamas 3-0 and 3-0 again in VCT Challengers Brazil. Leading the charge for LOUD is aspas who has stats that sound like something out of a fantasy manager's wish list –- 1.45 rating, a 1.81 K/D (no this is not a typo, a 1.81 K/D), 288 ACS. If you're looking for the best player outside of Europe, it's aspas.
Jamppi is back in blue! It makes me so happy to type that sentence. The Finnish wunderkind is back and he looks DOMINANT. It turns out taking Jamppi off of Jett may have been a mistake, but it's one that Team Liquid have rectified. Keep in mind, Team Liquid did not qualify for VCT Masters. Due to sanctions against the Russian Federation, FunPlus Phoenix were not able to attend, giving a spot to Team Liquid. Jamppi and co. took that opportunity and embraced it, earning the right to become the first team to qualify for the knockout stage, and Jamppi in particular has been fantastic. With a 1.26 rating and 169.0 ADR he looks to be right back at his best. The only concern for Team Liquid is a quarterfinal against LOUD, who look like one of the best teams in the world.
Last week I had BuZz in the Players to Target section, and he was brilliant Week 1, but this week we're going with his teammate, and perhaps the best player in the world at VCT Masters, MaKo. With a 1.49 rating, and simply unbelievable 2.34 K/D, (yes 2.34, I double-checked the numbers because I'm confused too) MaKo is looking unstoppable. Many have wondered when Korea and Brazil would arrive onto the international scene in VALORANT and with DRX VS and LOUD it looks like that time has come. Don't be late to the MaKo train, this is one of the best players in the world, and he's looking for an international title.
Players to Fade
Ah FNS... What an awful event for the in-game leader of OpTic Gaming. A match one loss to XERXIA before a comfortable win over KRU, only to earn the reward of... playing XERXIA again. FNS has been one of the worst five players at VCT Masters, and is the worst player still alive in the event, statistically. OpTic have looked like a mess on the map, and FNS' personal numbers have been awful. His K/D sits at 0.51, while he has less than 150 ADR.
If you want to be a sniper in VCT Masters and want to fill your team's Jett role, you have to be one of the best players on the team. With that in mind you could make the argument that Dep has been the worst player in VCT Masters. Despite filling the most valuable role on the team, he sits with a 0.67 K/D and a 0.70 rating. In recent matches Dep has even been pushed onto Viper duty to try and give some playmaking to a struggling ZETA DIVISION. Dep simply has shown nothing to make him a strong fantasy play in VCT Masters.
bezn1 hasn't been bad by any means, at least not based off what is expected of him in this Ninjas in Pyjamas roster. That said, his fantasy numbers haven't been good. The Sentinel player excels at locking sites down and is a tough kill with a 0.68 K/D on one of the hardest roles in VALORANT. bezn1 finds himself in the 'Players to Fade' section because the superstar talent on NiP doesn't necessitate any sort of big rounds from him, and fantasy managers don't get points for "held the bombsite and got information while staying alive." bezn1 will also be tested if he can lead his team past ZETA DIVISION and into the knockout stage, with better teams likely to punish his more passive style.
Stats courtesy of TheSpike.gg