VCT NA Challengers 1: OpTic is in the Grand Final

Posted on March 26, 2022

Today we’ll be taking a look at the North American VCT Challengers 1 Playoffs where we had some interesting developments over the past couple of days.

OpTic Gaming had a smooth run through the upper bracket and they’re currently the only team sitting in the Grand Finals. They managed to beat The Guard with 2 – 0 in the upper bracket Final and dodged the bullet.

Cloud9’s defeat in the Semifinals brought them down into the lower bracket where they already eliminated two teams. They took down Version1 in Round 2, followed by another victory against XSET in Round 3.

The lower bracket Finals will be played later today where we’ll finally know which team will proceed into the Grand Finals to challenge OpTic.

optic-the-guard-win
Image Credits | Riot Games

Everyone Beating Everyone

The North American Valorant scene has become increasingly more difficult to predict. Yesterday’s winners could be today’s losers. There’s generally no consistency across the teams. And you’ll often see a team perform strong on one map, only to get utterly crushed on the next.

Despite all of this, we can still select a couple of VCT NA Challengers 1 teams that have been a cut above the rest.

OpTic is obviously the first one on the list. The ex-Envy squad has managed to take out all the top threats in this tournament. They beat Sentinels in Group Stage week 3, and took out XSET, Cloud9, and the Guard in the Playoffs. They have the highest Valorant betting odds right now.

Cloud9 is the second pick in this tournament. They beat The Guard once in the group stage and they’ll probably pull it off again in the lower bracket Finals. Their Semifinals match against OpTic was a really close one, so they have a realistic shot at beating them in the Grand Finals, if they get there.

The Guard has been one of the biggest surprises of this tournament. They went in as complete underdogs and slowly shifted towards being one of the fan favourites. If they finish third here, it will be a massive success for the team. But if they pull off a miracle and somehow win the tournament, they’ll be hailed as NA heroes.

And last but not least, there’s XSET. They have finished this tournament in fourth place, which is usually the exact spot they end up in at the end of almost any tournament. Sadly, their efforts were not enough to land them a slot in the Masters, but hopefully they’ll have more luck in the next Challengers.

c9-xset-victory-r3
Image Credits | Riot Games

Who’s Going to Win?

The straight answer to this would be OpTic Gaming. Statistically, they have the highest odds of winning the esports tournament. They also beat both Cloud9 and The Guard, so they’re already familiar with their tactics and style of play, which further solidifies their position as the favourites.

That being said, the threat of them losing is still very real. Both Cloud9 and The Guard have proven themselves to be exceptionally good this season. Neither of them plan on giving up without a fight.

We believe Cloud9 will prevail in the lower bracket Final, but we’re not ruling out The Guard just yet. If you’re interested to see which of these teams will end up in the Grand Final, make sure to tune in today at 21:00 CET and watch the teams live on the official Valorant Twitch stream.

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Denis Alihodzic

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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