VCT NA Challengers 1: OpTic and The Guard Advance to the Final

Posted on March 21, 2022

This past weekend in the VCT NA Challengers 1 has been an interesting one. The fans watched with bated breath as Version1 and Sentinels fought in a life-and-death battle. It was a real spectacle and probably one of the most intense matches we’ve seen so far in the tournament.

The two Semifinals matches also ended. Cloud9 suffered their first loss to OpTic Gaming and dropped down into the lower bracket. The Guard quickly dealt with Luminosity Gaming and secured yet another 2 – 0 victory. Both winners will face next in the upper bracket Final.

Last but not least, we had a match between the Knights and XSET. This was probably the least hyped match of the weekend, but still entertaining nonetheless. XSET pulled through and lived to see another day, while Knights were unfortunately sent home.

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Image Credits | Riot Games

Sentinels Missing the VCT Masters

Sentinels lost their lower bracket elimination match against Version1. Despite the loss, they earned the respect of their opponents and fans alike. They really had some great moments and a strong start, but it wasn’t enough against the superior Version1.

Last year, at this exact time, Sentinels were the top teams in North America and ended up winning the first VCT Stage 1 Masters. The Valorant Champions Tour landscape was quite different back then, and Sentinels were the reigning champions.

After yesterday’s match, it’s safe to say that Sentinels are not that team anymore. Although many of us would like to believe otherwise, it’s simply not true. They still have the same great fundamentals, and TenZ is still a beast when he unleashes his full potential, but something’s missing. It’s time to go back to the drawing board.

Can The Guard Win This Tournament?

Many Valorant fans had a lot of skepticism when The Guard first entered the VCT NA Challengers 1. The team climbed through the qualifiers where they didn’t really face the best of the best of NA Valorant. The expectations were initially low, but kept increasing as The Guard unexpectedly continued winning match after match. By the time group stage ended, The Guard were considered as one of the favourites.

They didn’t disappoint in the Playoffs either. Their first match was against Sentinels, which was a tough matchup by any Valorant standards. However, The Guard defeated Sentinels with 2 – 0 and made it look easy.

Yesterday’s match against Luminosity Gaming was no different. Just a straight 2 – 0 victory once again.

They’re one step away from the grand final, and the only opponent standing in their way is OpTic Gaming. Whether they’ll be successful or not still remains to be seen.

Cloud9 vs. Version1

In a crazy twist, the two group stage winners now find themselves fighting for survival in the lower bracket round 2. Both Cloud9 and Version1 unexpectedly landed into the lower bracket and now have to fight each other. This will be a match you don’t want to miss!

Valorant punters will probably be confused here as both teams were the favourites for this tournament, and having to pick one here will be a difficult choice. If you’re dead set on placing some Valorant bets on this match, then just follow your instincts. It’s an even 50/50 in this case and either team could take the win.

The match will be played on March 25th, 12 AM CET. Set an alarm, prepare some snacks, and get ready to enjoy the show!

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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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