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VCT Masters Madrid Playoffs Day 1 Roundup: Gen.G Esports take down Paper Rex, narrow Sentinels victory over LOUD

The first day of the VCT Masters Madrid Playoffs is over.

Following the conclusion of the VCT Masters Madrid Swiss Stage, the best four teams qualified for the playoffs where they would face off in a double-elimination bracket.

Unfortunately for the fans, the Upper Bracket Semifinals saw two regional matches: the first seeds Gen.G Esports and Sentinels would play against Paper Rex and LOUD, respectively.

Here's how the first day of the playoffs went:

Gen.G Esports 2-0 Paper Rex

Results: 13-8 Split, 13-9 Lotus

The day began with a one-sided victory for the South Korean roster in what was a replay of the VCT 2024 Pacific Kickoff Grand Final.

Both Split and Lotus followed a similar script as Gen.G Esports had a better start on Split and Lotus, with the South Koreans winning eight of the first twelve rounds of both maps. With Gen.G Esports dominating the whole series, only a few individual plays from the Paper Rex players could hold down the South Koreans.

Gen.G Esports' victory over Paper Rex saw the golden roster moving to the Upper Bracket Finals while Paper Rex have been pushed to the Lower Bracket Semifinals.

The best player of the match was Byeon "Munchkin" Sang-beom with an ACS of 231 and 36 kills to his name after playing Viper on both maps.

Sentinels 2-1 LOUD

Results: 13-4 Split, 12-14 Icebox, 14-12 Sunset

Last but not least, Sentinels and LOUD faced off in an extremely tough series where two of the three maps played went to overtime.

However, the start of the series wasn't even at all. The red roster had a rock-solid start after completing a 9-3 attacking half on Split. Meanwhile, the Brazilians couldn't pick up the pace as they would only convert one of their five attacking rounds before heading to the second map.

With Icebox starting similarly, the fans started to wonder if Sentinels would close the series as quickly as Gen.G Esports did. It was then that LOUD woke up. After a 1-3 start, the Brazilians took full control of the map and converted their next six defenses. Although Sentinels clinched their final two offensive rounds, LOUD had already secured an advantage before halftime.

Eventually, the Brazilians would grab a four-round advantage as they headed to round 19 with an 11-7 on the scoreboard. Surprisingly enough, Sentinels won their next five rounds to reach matchpoint before the green roster. Fortunately for the Brazilians, a well-coordinated attack saw them forcing the overtime. Two rounds later, the appearance of the third map was confirmed.

Finally, Sunset was as even as Icebox. Both teams would exchange rounds as they swapped sides with another 7-5. Once again, the Brazilians forced overtime after winning the final three regulation rounds. However, Sentinels were the ones who came on top this time as they clinched the final spot in the Upper Bracket Finals.

Without a doubt, Amine "johnqt" Ouarid was the best player of the series with an ACS of 232 and 57 kills to his name. The Moroccan player was crucial in the team's victory as his clutch potential was extremely needed in some moments of the match, with his clutch on Split being one of the best plays of the game.

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