VCT Stage 2 Masters Recap: FunPlus Phoenix rise from the ashes

Jul 27, 2022

Missing out on Stage 1 Masters due to travel restrictions, the squad started their Copenhagen journey with a mismatched roster that was missing star player Dmitry ‘SUYGETSU’ Ilyushin. Returning to the fray in force, the 20-year-old superstar popped off throughout the tournament, playing an integral part in securing the team’s finals win.

With VCT Champions on the horizon and the end of the 2022 circuit in sight, here’s our recap of everything that happened during Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen.

VCT Stage 2 Masters: Final Placements


VCT Points




FunPlus Phoenix



Paper Rex



OpTic Gaming




5 - 6




7 - 8




9 - 10


KRÜ Esports


11 - 12




Toppling Titans: FPX’s meteoric rise

Stage 2 Masters didn’t quite start out as planned for the squad. Emerging from Group B with one win and one loss, they were quickly beaten by fellow EMEA team, Fnatic, in the playoffs and sent into the lower bracket. There, they beat out EMEA’s third representatives in GUILD, before moving on to take down the team who bested them in the group stage, Korea’s DRX.

From here, they met Fnatic once more, who had been swept aside by APAC’s Paper Rex in a back-and-forth series. Determined to show the boys in black and orange who was boss, they snatched the win from the Stage 2 EMEA Challengers champions; a defeat that was likely bittersweet.

Reigning champs OpTic Gaming were next, but NA’s finest struggled to take a game off of the well-oiled FPX machine. While they kept the series going by convincingly winning the third map, Bind, they simply couldn’t best Andrey ‘Shao’ Kiprsky, who evolved into an absolute behemoth as the tournament went on.

All that was left were Paper Rex, the underdog squad who had so easily felled Fnatic, GUILD, and OpTic.

Given that all Western teams had fallen before them, could FPX switch up that narrative? Easily beating the APAC squad on Bind (initially it looked to be a 13-0 despite Jason ‘f0rsakeN’ Susanto’s fancy footwork on his signature Yoru), the series went the whole way, characterized by five chaotic maps. As they met on Breeze for the final time, FPX’s regimented style got the better of Paper Rex, who fell at the final hurdle.

After a turbulent year, FPX finally found their footing, taking down some of the best VALORANT teams. As we come into VCT Champions, it’ll be interesting to see whether the phoenix can rise once again to take a new crown, after an impressive showing here in Masters 2. 

Stage 2 Masters: Vods

If you missed out on any of the action, you can check out vods of the event on!