It’s been a long time coming, but Japanese duelist Yoru may finally be about to get his moment in the spotlight.

Southeast Asian powerhouse Paper Rex proved that the agent could be viable in pro play at Masters Reykjavik 2022, and now champions OpTic Gaming have debuted the interdimensional duelist in VCT NA Stage 2 Challengers.

Against Cloud9, a team that placed in the top four in VCT NA Stage 1, OpTic’s Victor “Victor” Wong was his team’s sole duelist on Yoru. On Ascent, Victor used Yoru’s Gatecrash to create unexpected timings to catch opponents out, while OpTic deployed flashes and Fade’s recon abilities to ensure that it was safe for him to teleport.

OpTic eventually took the map 13-5 – and the series 2-1 – an impressive display for an agent that has traditionally been thought to be only feasible on Bind.

OpTic replaces Jett with Yoru on Ascent

OpTic Gaming at Masters Reykjavik 2022
Credit: Riot Games

The Yoru pick looks even bolder when you consider how dominant Jett has been on Ascent. At Masters Reykjavik 2022, Jett had a 100 percent pick rate on Ascent, alongside Sova.

During their match against Cloud9, OpTic also did not run the blue-eyed Russian initiator, instead choosing Fade. The nerfs to Sova and Jett, together with the buffs to Yoru, may have played a role in OpTic’s new agent composition.

OpTic’s Fade and Yoru combination proved potent. Austin “crashies” Roberts used Fade’s Prowler to clear angles for Victor’s Yoru, so he knew whether or not it was safe to teleport with Gatecrash.

When it was time to hit a site, Pujan “FNS” Mehta’s Breach came into play as well. Breach’s Flashpoint blind and Fault Line stun kept the defenders on the back foot, and the overwhelming utility allowed Victor to teleport onto site and catch Cloud9 off guard.

OpTic also relied on Yoru’s Dimensional Drift ultimate to gather information. The buffs to Dimensional Drift now give Yoru full vision, allowing him to scout areas with impunity and identify enemy locations at no risk to himself.

In Round 4, Victor was able to quickly pick apart Cloud9’s setup on A site, including Erick “Xeppaa” Bach’s location on A Tree. Victor could also confirm that the site itself was clear, which meant that OpTic could take the site earlier without wasting any additional utility to clear out common positions.

Just three rounds later in Round 7, Victor had his ultimate ready again because OpTic had been prioritizing the ultimate orb for him. Yoru’s ultimate allowed Victor to once again help his team pick out enemy locations on A site, enabling OpTic to adjust their execution accordingly.

The Japanese agent’s Fakeout decoy also played a role in disrupting Cloud9’s setups. When sent down Mid, the clone set off Cloud9’s Chamber Trademark trap while also providing information on a player at Mid when it was destroyed.

The Fakeout clone also served to draw Cloud9’s attention away in crucial moments, such as when OpTic was actually preparing to hit the opposite site.

With their victory on Ascent, OpTic have made an emphatic case for Yoru’s potential in coordinated team play. While his recent buff did not immediately result in an increase in his pick rate, he can hardly be considered a troll pick anymore, especially as more teams figure out how to maximize his kit.

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