Zeta Division continues to carry the weight of Japan on its shoulders, keeping the region’s aspirations alive with a stunning 2-1 victory over Team Liquid at Masters Reykjavik 2022.

Both teams were fighting for their tournament lives in the lower bracket, but Zeta looked like they had every right to be there.

The Japanese team had already suffered a playoffs loss to one EMEA squad in G2 Esports, and they weren’t about to let that happen again. Tomoaki “crow” Maruoka and his crew defied expectations, proving decisively that there is now no such thing as a “minor” region in Valorant.

On Fracture, Zeta looked absolutely dominant, running away to a commanding 8-0 lead before Liquid were able to answer back. Their Viper-Astra composition proved oppressive, giving the Japanese squad a ton of stopping power to stymie Liquid on attack.

Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe was a rock for his team on Astra, dropping 22 kills and a 298 Average Combat Score (ACS). He stamped his mark on B Tower with just a Shorty in hand, stopping three Liquid players from ever making it onto B site.

Fracture was Zeta Division’s playground against Team Liquid

Valorant Masters Reykjavik 2022 Zeta Division
Credit: Riot Games

Zeta opened Fracture with an insurmountable defense, with an excellent read on Liquid’s execution in every situation.

On Round 6, Liquid attempted to secure control of B Tower by using Breach’s Fault Line stun to set up Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom for a potential duel. The Fault Line stunned SugarZ3ro, but he held his ground with a Shorty and was fully prepared for ScreaM’s push.

The Shorty turned out to be a great answer to Breach’s stun. The Japanese player would likely have lost the fight against ScreaM had he been using his Vandal, but he opted to stick with the 150 credit sidearm instead.

Travis “L1NK” Mendoza attempted to trade ScreaM, but SugarZ3ro peeked around the corner at just the right moment to find the second kill. The Astra player was fully intent on showing what it means to be a controller, and he continued to stay in Tower, this time holding a close angle right in front of the ropes.

Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen was the next one to go down, taking the ropes up into SugarZ3ro’s crosshairs.

While Koji “Laz” Ushida was touted as the player to watch at Masters Reykjavik, SugarZ3ro has impressed throughout the tournament with his fragging power on controller agents like Astra and Viper and stellar clutch plays.

Throughout the series, the 19-year-old had a total of 10 rounds where he secured at least a double kill, and 16 multi-kill rounds in total, testament to how effective he was at holding down sites.

Zeta Division now await the loser of the match between G2 Esports and LOUD in the lower bracket.

You can view the full schedule for Masters Reykjavik 2022 here. All matches are broadcast live on the official Valorant Twitch and YouTube channels.

READ MORE: Paper Rex Benkai: ‘Jinggg is on the same level as f0rsaken’