Nothing beats seeing an underdog climb to the top, and that’s exactly what XSET has done in the VCT Stage 3: Challengers 1. The squad that came seemingly out of nowhere just one short year ago, is now taking down the NA Valorant giants one by one. They finished second after losing to Sentinels in the grand final, but that was enough to secure them a spot at the upcoming VCT Stage 3: NA Challengers Playoffs.
Sentinels win once again, but not without struggles. They didn’t have much to lose here, but all Valorant bets were pointed at them. We saw the team experimenting a lot and just taking it easy, until they lost to XSET in the upper bracket semifinals. Once they were forced to climb the lower bracket, the team got serious and finished the event with yet another win.
An Epic Grand Final
This match was the perfect ending to a perfect Valorant tournament. All the ups and downs have led to this moment, and both XSET and Sentinels were ready for it.
XSET came from the upper bracket, and they also took down Sentinels as well as 100 Thieves while climbing there, so they were feeling very confident. Sentinels have been kind of messing around during some of the early matches, even getting defeated by XSET, so they were aiming to settle the score.
The match began with XSET taking an early lead, and ultimately winning map 1 on Haven with a 13-9 score. This was a strange coincidence as this was the first map during upper bracket semifinals, and the exact same scenario occurred there.
Sentinels, now seeing history repeat itself before their very eyes, picked up the pace and started turning things around. The new map Breeze was next on the table, and the boys from LA quickly evened the score. It was now 1-1 and the match was heading into map 3 on Icebox.
Icebox is where Sentinels feel at home, and while they did win and turned the match into their favor, XSET were constantly applying pressure. The match went into overtime, but Sentinels finally emerged victorious and ended with a 14-12 score.
Finally, it was time for Ascent, the map that would decide it all. Sentinels pushed on and created a solid 7-5 lead. XSET were on their toes at all times, but sadly it wasn’t enough. Sentinels finished the series with a 3-1 win, taking the first place and winning the Valorant Champions Tour NA Challengers 1.
XSET Looking Great
This team has succeeded where others have failed. We’ve seen many teams in Valorant constantly shift team rosters in hopes of striking gold, but failing. XSET, with some minor changes, have been one of the most consistent teams in NA Valorant, and have proven once and for all that they can compete with the best.
Nobody expected Sentinels to fall in the upper bracket semifinals, but they did. 100 Thieves tried their luck shortly after, and lost. XSET simply exceeded all expectations. They are one of the main candidates for the upcoming Challengers Playoffs in August.
If they can land one of the first three spots there, which is very likely, they’ll secure a trip to Berlin. This would take XSET to a new level.
If these guys continue playing like they’ve been so far, the sky’s the limit. It’s sad there won’t be any XSET action during Challengers 2, but we’re looking forward to seeing them play during the Challengers Playoffs.