OpTic Gaming vs. LOUD: The best VCT international rivalry

by Brian Bencomo

No two teams from different regions have met more times on the international stage than Brazil’s LOUD and North America’s OpTic Gaming. They met six times this year, twice in a grand final and three times at Champions 2022. After six meetings this year, the teams are probably a little bit tired of constantly facing each other, but there is a mutual respect and admiration between the North and South American rivals.

“It’s definitely cool because every matchup has been so important,” OpTic in-game leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta told reporters in a postgame press conference earlier at VALORANT Champions. “It’s definitely been quite a show playing against them every time, so I think there is definitely a bit of a rivalry there.”

Next year, there will be three international leagues, and OpTic and LOUD will potentially both be in the Americas league where their rivalry should continue. Also, the first event of the 2023 VCT season will be in Brazil. Before then, here’s a look back at their six meetings.

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April 22, 2022

Masters: Reykjavík upper bracket final

Photo credit: Riot Games

The first ever matchup between these two teams came in the upper final of the first international tournament of the year. The Brazilian Stage 1 champions started Masters: Reykjavík in the playoffs and beat European squads Team Liquid and G2 Esports. OpTic had made it out of groups and beaten North America’s The Guard and Korea’s DRX. Brazilian teams generally did poorly in 2021, so there were doubts about LOUD’s dominance heading into Reykjavík. After they beat OpTic, there were no doubts that this might be the best team in the world. Felipe “Less” de Loyola led all players with a +18 kill/death differential and had a monstrous Map 3 in which he had 33 kills and only 13 deaths and five 3Ks.

Read more: LOUD statement: Brazilian team reaches Masters: Reykjavík grand final

April 24, 2022

Masters: Reykjavík grand final

Photo credit: Riot Games

The rematch. LOUD hadn’t lost all year and had just beaten OpTic. Frankly, the expectation was that LOUD would roll to victory. Instead, OpTic won a dominant 3-0 to become champions of the first VALORANT international tournament of the year. Not only was it sweet redemption for OpTic over LOUD, but it also was vindication for this roster that finished second to Gambit at Masters: Berlin 2021 when they played under the Envy banner. Both the second and third maps went to overtime as OpTic grinded out the win. This victory really was the beginning of the OpTic revenge narrative as the team has become well known for winning rematches.

Read more: OpTic finally break through, win VALORANT Masters: Reykjavík

July 12, 2022

Masters: Copenhagen group elimination match

When OpTic and LOUD were placed in the same group in Copenhagen, the expectation was that the two teams would face off in the group winner’s match. Instead, both lost their opening matchups and met in an elimination match. Despite Erick “aspas” Santos leading all players with a +20 kill/death differential, OpTic took this match 2-1 to eliminate LOUD from the tournament. It was a shocking outcome for LOUD, who went 0-2 after finishing second in Reykjavík. OpTic would go on to beat KRÜ in the group’s elimination match and advance to the playoffs where they would capture another top three finish.

Read more: Backs against the wall, OpTic Gaming win rematch against LOUD Esport

September 2, 2022

VALORANT Champions group winner’s match

Photo credit: Riot Games

At Champions, OpTic and LOUD were once again placed in the same group after a “random” draw. This time, both teams won their opening matchups and met in the group’s winner’s match. Once again, OpTic triumphed in this matchup with Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker leading both sides with a +23 kill/death differential and a particularly strong Map 2 in which he picked up 29 kills, including an ace. The loss was only LOUD’s fourth this year -- three to OpTic. Unlike in Copenhagen, this loss didn’t eliminate LOUD, and they won their next match to advance to the playoffs. That playoff berth has led to LOUD vs. OpTic Part V.

Read more: OpTic reach VALORANT Champions playoffs after beating Brazilian rival LOUD

Sept. 16, 2022

VALORANT Champions upper bracket final

Photo credit: Riot Games

It seems like upper bracket finals are the key for LOUD to beat OpTic. Just like when LOUD beat OpTic in the Masters: Reykjavík upper final, they did so once again in the Champions 2022 upper final. It made their series record 3-2 in favor of OpTic. After taking a close 13-10 Map 1, LOUD looked absolutely dominant on the second map, which they won 13-3 with a 9-3 attacking half and then four straight rounds on defense. Bryan “pancada” Luna led both sides with a +15 kill/death differential. Of course, OpTic Gaming won the lower final to set up a rematch in the grand final.

Sept. 18, 2022

VALORANT Champions grand final

Photo credit: Riot Games

The sixth meeting between OpTic and LOUD ended with LOUD winning VALORANT Champions 2022. LOUD entered with the advantage of being able to ban two maps, and they banned Pearl and Fracture and won Ascent, Bind and Haven while only losing Breeze to take the match 3-1. All five LOUD players ended the match with a positive kill/death differential, and Less had a dominant deciding map, with a +10 kill/death differential and an ace. It was a fitting end for the 2022 VCT season, which was defined by the OpTic vs. LOUD rivalry. The two teams met six times, including in the grand final of Masters: Reykjavík and Champions. Each team won three matches and one championship.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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