NRG, Cloud9, Evil Geniuses Survive First Round of VCT LOCK//IN

The first round of the Alpha Group bracket was completed in the VCT LOCK//IN. We break down the action and preview the next round.

The first round of play in the Alpha Group bracket has been completed giving fans some great Valorant action. North American fan favorites Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses both won their matches, making them two of the eight teams moving on in the Alpha Group bracket. North America’s chances look good, but you definitely can’t overlook any of the other teams, as Giants, Karmine Corp, LOUD, DRX, and Talon Esports all looked very good in their wins as well.

NRG vs. Giants, Feb. 17 – 12:00 PM ET

The first match of round two is between North America’s NRG and Spain’s Giants. Both teams are coming off of 2-0s and looked in great form in their previous round. Will NRG be able to find their second win over a European squad, or will the Giants be able to avenge their fallen European brothers? 

After falling 9-3 to KOI on Icebox, NRG was able to turn it around, only allowing KOI to get 2 rounds in the second half on their way to a 13-11 Game 1 win. The second map saw NRG control the flow more in the beginning finishing the first half 8-4 before closing out the 13-9 win in the second half. 

Meanwhile, the Giants had an easy time dealing with Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe. DFM never stood a shot on the first map losing on Haven in an embarrassing 13-4. Giants then dismantled the Japanese squad on Icebox 7-13. 

DRX vs. Cloud9, Feb. 18 – 12:00 PM ET

DRX vs. Cloud9 could be a really fun and close match, or it could end up being a one-sided affair. It all comes down to what the DRX team shows up on Saturday. 

DRX is coming off a close match where they showed a little bit of everything in their 2-1 win over EMEA’s BBL Esports. In the first map, DRX showed pure domination, winning Pearl 13-3. DRX started Game 2 with the same dominance winning the first half 8-4 before having a horrible second half and ultimately losing Ascent 13-11. DRX then put up an 11-1 first half on Haven before closing the map out 13-7 in an exciting series. 

Cloud9 is coming off a 2-0 win over the fan-favorite Singapore squad Paper Rex. Cloud9 had no problems easily winning their first map Lotus 13-8, before putting on an absolute clinic on Pearl winning the second map 13-4. If both teams show up in their top form, we could see an instant classic in these early days of competitive Valorant

Evil Geniuses vs. Talon Esports, Feb 18. – 3:00 PM ET

This matchup will see Thailand’s Talon Esports take on North America’s Evil Geniuses. Talon Esports showed their grit in their 2-0 win. They won their first map off the momentum of an 8-4 first half securing the Haven 13-8. The second map showed that Talon is capable of being a clutch team, winning a back-and-forth second map 13-11 on Fracture. 

Evil Geniuses were consistent, to say the least, winning both maps 13-8 in their 2-0 victory. They showed great poise as Team Heretics stayed on their heels throughout the series. Could consistency and poise bring Evil Geniuses to the finals of the Alpha Group? Only time will tell.