Paper Rex vs Zeta Division Prediction
Zeta Division tournament run at Masters Reykjavík 2022 is one of the best Cinderella stories on Esports.
As for Paper Rex, the APAC champions have defeated the North American champions The Guard, and the EMEA one seed G2 Esports.
It will for sure be a very entertaining and close match but let's see what are the X factors that can swing the series either way.
Both teams have a very distinct map pool and this can have a big impact on how the series unfolds.
Zeta Division permanent ban is Breeze which is also Paper Rex worst map in terms of win rate, so this actually favors Paper Rex since they will not have to spend a ban on their worst map since their opponents already ban it every time.
Paper Rex will probably ban either Icebox or Fracture. The APAC champions only have three games on Fracture since the beginning of the year while Zeta Division is undefeated on the map and has already defeated some of the best teams in the world on Fracture.
Icebox is less likely to be banned, and I even think it will be picked as map one, since Paper Rex is comfortable on the map, and Zeta Division is undefeated on Icebox at this event so it's also a map they are comfortable playing.
Now the map veto gets a little tricky for Zeta Division. Haven will most likely be Paper Rex pick, the team is undefeated on Haven, and has already defeated DRX and The Guard on the map.
While Zeta Division was stomped on both times they played Haven at Masters Reykjavík 2022 13-4 versus team Liquid and 13-3 against DRX.
So Haven should be a clear-cut choice by Paper Rex unless the scrims versus Zeta Division on Haven have shown the Japanese side as dramatically improved on the map.
Ascent will most likely be banned by Zeta Divisions since it's their least played map with only one game since the beginning of the year, and that game also ended in a defeat to the Japanese squad.
This is where the most important decision of the series can be made. Paper Rex can either ban SPlit, Zeta Division best map at this moment, and also one where the Japanese side is very confident.
Or the APAC champions can opt to ban Bind, which is unlikely after their great performance versus G2 Esports.
Zeta Division can try to shuffle things a bit by baning Bind and leaving Ascent open but I don't think that will happen.
It will also be a contrast in terms of playstyle. Both teams have different ways of approaching the game starting with their compositions.
Paper Rex runs double duelists on all the maps, and they have found a lot of success like that.
They are a very aggressive team, that wants to fight you and force aim duels.
However, they use their utility real well in order to put their duelist in a position to find success.
As for Zeta Division, their gameplay is heavily teamwork-oriented.
They are always looking to pair up utility to support a teammate, and like to run a double controller in most maps since it makes it easier for them to take map control.
In some maps like Haven and Breeze, they also like to play with a double initiator or double sentinel on Icebox.
Zeta Divison is more flexible in a way, on their composition and depending on the map they will adapt it.
While Paper Rex will always run the double duelist and then complete the composition depending on the map.
Despite having a great run so far, and pouting Japanese Valorant on the map I see Paper Rex as the favorite in this match.
The APAC champions have won both series on the lower bracket 2-0, defeating G2 Esports in a very dominant fashion, while Zeta Division had more difficulties against their opponents.
I also think Paper Rex has the advantage on the map veto and that is something that can be very important.
Individually both teams are very talented but f0rsakeN has been on a different level, and if he continues to play this way he will probably take home the MVP trophy.
One thing is for sure, we are going to experience some quality Valorant, and if there is one thing we should have learned by now is that everything is possible at Masters Reykjavík 2022.