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Group Alpha made its return at VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo in a grand way as America’s NRG took on EMEA’s Giants in a highly-anticipated matchup. Heading into this series both teams looked quite impressive in their first matches at VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo. While NRG was viewed as the favorite going into the matchup, many saw this newly-constructed Giants lineup as a team with the potential to make an upset happen over a tournament favorite.

Giants Fit1nho puts together dominant Raze performance on Lotus

Immediately, Giants made a statement on Lotus as they completely disrupted any plans from the side of NRG as longtime Giants duelist Adolfo “Fit1nho” Gallego’s Raze led the team to an 8-4 first half. Things on Lotus did get quite tricky for Giants in the second half of the map, however, as NRG’s infamous second-half uptick came into play as they began to claw the map back following clutch performances from Pujan “FNS” Mehta and Samuel “s0m” Oh.

 This second-half resurgence led to NRG bringing Lotus into overtime, though, the comeback was not meant to be as Giants ultimately secured game one in their favor.

Heaven or Haven NRG dismantle the Giants 13-1

After a close back-and-forth map on Lotus, NRG fired back against Giants on Haven, leaving zero opportunity for the EMEA team to gain any meaningful advantages. By the end of the first half, all that was left to the Giants was one singular-round win in the first half. But of course, NRG then proceeded to take every other round after that moment as the series moved towards a third and final map on Icebox.

NRG put Giants to rest on Icebox

2023 Icebox has inspired new changes and dominance for the former OpTic Gaming trio as the new meta has unlocked a new level of confidence on the map. While their Icebox performance in their matchup against KOI was off the back of an incredible comeback, today’s performance against Giants shows that NRG’s Icebox is a map to be feared in 2023. Immediately, NRG showcased a refined approach to Icebox as they soared to a 9-3 first-half lead over Giants. While Giants had a short four-round resurgence, it was not enough to turn around the series as NRG secured their 13th round and a spot in the top eight.

VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo, Group Alpha has resumed as the remaining Alpha teams look to secure a spot in the top eight. With NRG locked in, they will await the winner LOUD vs. Karmine Corp to see who will be their opponent in the top eight.