Valorant Champions Tour is in full swing, as the regional Challenger 1 round slowly comes to an end. Riot’s year-long tournament is segmented in three parts consisting of the current Challengers stages, followed by the Masters stages, and finally concluding with the Champions stage, where the top 16 teams from around the world will compete for the title.
Yesterday, we saw four regions conclude their first Challenger round – namely Europe, North America, Korea, and Brazil. Each region featured 8 teams, with 4 top teams from each region directly qualifying for the upcoming Challengers 2.
Ninjas in Pyjamas, Monkey Business, Wave Esports, and FunPlus Phoenix Move Forward
The eight European teams fought in a single-elimination bracket that lasted two days. Day 1 came with the first surprise when Ninjas in Pyjamas faced off against G2 and defeated the EU giants with a 2:1 score in a Bo3 match. G2 came out of the qualifiers without an issue, taking down Rix.GG and unsigned with decisive 2:0 victories. However, Ninjas in Pyjamas proved to be the first major obstacle they would face in the tournament.
Monkey Business took down Guild Esports, continuing their 2:0 victory streak from the qualifiers, where they won against roughtimes and the newly-formed Team Vitality.
The match between Wave Esports and Fnatic was an interesting one. Fnatic took the lead and shut down Wave on the first map. However, the tide turned and Wave pressed on, claiming the next two maps and placing into the Challengers 2.
The final match was between FunPlus Phoenix and Team Liquid, with both teams taking clean victories in the qualifiers leading up to this point. Both maps played were incredibly intense, where we saw the teams go into overtime on each one. In the end, FunPlus Phoenix proved better and claimed a 2:0 victory over Team Liquid.
Sentinels take the lead in NA
The North American Challengers 1 round was a sight to behold. Eight teams competed in a double-elimination bracket, culminating in a Bo5 grand final between Immortals and Sentinels. The road that led to this was rocky and full of ups and downs.
Sentinels started off strong in the qualifiers, going all the way up to the semifinals, where they were stopped in their tracks by Immortals. Despite the loss, the team managed to directly qualify into the first round of Challengers 1 where they would start off in the upper bracket quarterfinals. However, as luck would have it, they ended up facing Luminosity Gaming and suffered a devastating 2:0 loss.
Now, being dropped down all the way into the lower bracket, the team had to fight for survival.
To everyone’s surprise, Sentinels started soaring up, taking down teams one by one. They beat XSET in the lower bracket round 3 and proceeded into the lower bracket finals, to once again face off against Luminosity. This time around, Sentinels proved to be a stronger team and overwhelmed their opponents in a 2:1 victory, leading them directly to the grand finals where Immortals awaited.
Once again, Sentinels would have to face another team that beat them previously in the qualifiers. Immortals won the qualifiers, and being the top seed team, now also had 1 map advantage.
This, however, would not stop Sentinels as they pushed forward against the odds. Three maps in a row, Sentinels would go on to dominate Immortals and finish the finals with an impressive 3:1 result.
Championship 𝑴𝒐𝒐𝒅. 🏆 pic.twitter.com/skpaRGwUG7
— Sentinels (@Sentinels) February 8, 2021
Finally, the four teams that ended up proceeding into Challengers 2 are Sentinels at the first spot, who won a solid $20.000, followed by Immortals with $10.000, Luminosity Gaming at the 3rd spot with $7.000, and lastly XSET who claimed $5.000.
Read Also: Valorant NA Power Rankings
Challengers 2 Starting Soon
After an incredible week of Challenger 1 matches, we’re now looking forward to round 2 of the event. The teams that placed directly into Challengers 2 will now have to wait for the qualifiers to finish before they’ll know who they’ll have to face there.
Challenger 1 stage is not yet fully complete, as there are still three regions that are scheduled to compete in the upcoming days and weeks – CIS, Turkey, and Japan Stage 1 Challengers 1.
All in all, this is still just the beginning of the journey and we still have an entire year of Valorant goodness ahead of us. Riot really struck gold with their tournament plan by allowing fans of the esport to follow and participate in the scene almost every day, but also providing an all year round competitive scene for new and existing teams to compete in.