Their victory came on the heels of OpTic Gaming’s 2-1 win over Team Liquid, sending all three EMEA squads to the lower bracket.
Toward the end of the match, XSET’s flex player Brendan “BcJ” Jensen pulled off an incredible counterplay on Omen, nullifying heavy ultimate investment from Fnatic to give his team the momentum they needed to find victory.
The North American squad looked impressive, despite playing against the backdrop of a crowd comprised mainly of Fnatic fans who came to support Turkish compatriot Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder.
XSET BcJ counters Fnatic’s Breach Rolling Thunder ultimate with Omen’s teleport
The stakes were high for both teams at the start of Round 23 on the second map, Fracture. With the score tied at 11-11, XSET started the round with four players on Attacker Side Bridge, while Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban’s Chamber stayed behind at Attacker Side Spawn.
Meanwhile, Fnatic decided to go for a slow push through A Hall with Alfajer’s Neon and James “Mistic” Orfila’s KAY/O moving toward the Attacker Side Spawn.
By the time Fnatic made the call to push into Attacker Side Spawn, XSET members had already taken the zipline and rejoined Cryocells.
Despite a well-coordinated peek with Alfajer sprinting out just as Mistic threw a pop flash, Cryocells’ Chamber was still able to dodge the incoming flash and land a quick Tour De Force shot. BcJ followed up with a quick Vandal headshot on Alfajer, which meant Fnatic came away empty-handed and unable to trade.
After their unsuccessful A Hall push, Fnatic doubled down on their aggressive play with Enzo “Enzo” Mestari casting Breach’s Rolling Thunder ultimate toward five XSET players at Attacker Side Spawn.
However, since Breach’s Rolling Thunder ultimate is a cascading quake, BcJ was able to perfectly time Omen’s Shrouded Step teleport to dodge the incoming shockwaves.
Fnatic’s Jake “Boaster” Howlett looked to capitalize on the Breach ultimate, throwing Brimstone’s Stim Beacon for increased movement speed. However, he was hit with a Relay Bolt stun from Zachary “zekken” Patrone’s Neon.
Instead of chasing down stunned opponents, Boaster’s Brimstone was the one who was now concussed and facing a locked and loaded BcJ on Omen. Enzo attempted to trade, but was taken down by BcJ instead.
XSET then took control of the A site and the round, eventually pushing themselves to match point. Going into the final round of the match, Fnatic could only afford one Vandal and an Operator, while the rest of the team was forced to use a Judge, Spectre, and a Frenzy.
The North American squad rushed through B Main and planted the spike completely uncontested. Instead of pushing into B Tower, XSET used Sage’s Barrier Orb wall, limiting Fnatic’s path to the spike.
XSET would eventually pick off the remaining Fnatic players as they scrambled to retake the site and break the wall.
With the 2-0 win, XSET advance to the upper bracket semifinal, where they will face regional rival OpTic Gaming.
They will play OpTic on September 13, at 1:00 a.m. GMT+8 | September 12, 10:00 a.m. PT | September 12, 5:00 p.m. GMT. The match will be broadcast live on the official Valorant Twitch and YouTube channels.