NRG and FaZe Soar Through the VCT NA Challengers Lower Bracket

Published: Jun 21, 2022

The VCT NA Challengers 2 Playoffs are already in full swing and we’re almost at the grand final.

OpTiC proved to be the toughest challenger so far and easily overpowered Evil Geniuses in the Semi-Finals match. The only thing standing between them and the grand final is XSET, who defeated 100 Thieves and sent them into the lower bracket. These two teams will clash in the upper bracket final and the winner will proceed into the grand final.

The lower bracket was even more exciting, where NRG and FaZe have been dominating. The two teams now have to face each other in the lower bracket Semi-Final where their battle for survival will take place.

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Image Credits | Riot Games

The Upper Bracket

XSET and OpTiC both finished first in their respective groups, so they had a slight head start by directly landing into the Semi-Finals. As such, their playoff runs so far consisted of only a single match where both secured decisive victories. Other teams had to work a bit harder.

100 Thieves and Evil Geniuses won their Quarter-Final matches, but their victories were short-lived as both immediately got stomped by XSET and OpTiC. The lower bracket wasn’t much different for these two, as once again, both got eliminated at the same time.

While this is the end of the road for these two squads, it’s not all that bad as it might seem. Both 100 Thieves and EG secured the 5th-6th spot in the tournament and left home with an extra $14,000 chunk of change. More importantly, they earned a solid amount of VCT Circuit Points, which will help them in the later stages of the Valorant Champions Tour season.

NRG’s Lower Bracket Run

NRG and FaZe Clan have been dominating the lower bracket, but will now have to fight each other to decide which team will proceed into the lower bracket final.

They joined the esports tournament as the main underdogs. Aside from the 5th place in the VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers group stage, they haven’t really accomplished much this season, so the expectations for NRG were quite low. However, they somehow managed to land the 4th spot in group A and found themselves in the playoffs.

This is where things started clicking for NRG. They first beat Ghost Gaming, another underdog team the fans saw huge potential in. Ghost Gaming ended up losing 2-0 to Evil Geniuses in the upper bracket, and NRG finished the job by defeating them in the lower bracket round 1. Soon after, they defeated Evil Geniuses, and proceeded into the lower bracket Semi-Finals.

Overall, quite an impressive run so far, but it remains to be seen if NRG can keep up the pace or if this next match against FaZe will be their end.

FaZe Gunning for the Top

FaZe has been quite impressive in this esports tournament, finishing second in group B with some heavy competition and currently steamrolling through the lower bracket.

They initially encountered 100 Thieves in the upper bracket and lost 2-1. The unfortunate defeat led them to the lower bracket where they first fought and eliminated Luminosity Gaming by 2-1, and then defeated 100 Thieves by 2-1 in an exciting rematch.

FaZe now has to fight NRG in the lower bracket Semi-Finals. This would usually be an auto-win for FaZe, but the circumstances are different now and the stakes are much higher. NRG will be fighting an uphill battle, but that will make them even more dangerous as they have nothing left to lose. FaZe should approach this battle cautiously, but we do believe they have this one in the bag.

Overall, it has been an incredibly fun journey watching these teams fight in the VCT NA Challengers 2 Playoffs, and we can’t wait to see more.

Denis Alihodzic

Since: March 1, 2021

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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