VCT: North America Stage 1 Masters Primer

Published: Mar 8, 2021 - Last Updated: Jul 27, 2023

The stage is ready for the first round of VCT Masters in North America, now that Challengers 3 is over and the dust has settled. The event will kick off in just a few days, and we’ll have the pleasure of watching the cream of the crop of the NA Valorant power rankings competing for the Masters 1 Grand Final.

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VCT: North America Challengers 3 – Recap

The third round of NA Valorant Challengers was a roller coaster. After two unsuccessful Challenger stages, FaZe Clan was not on anyone’s radar and many already wrote them off, but the crew decided they had enough and won the event by a landslide. 100 Thieves stepped on the wrong foot, and at one point it seemed like the group’s morale was shattered, but the boys quickly picked themselves up and climbed all the way to the Grand Final. Luminosity was as confident as ever and secured themselves the 3rd spot and an entry into Masters 1. The last team to squeeze through was Gen.G Esports, who struggled in the first two Challengers but finally made it this time.

FaZe dominates the Upper Bracket

Faze completely dominated the Upper Bracket. They made quick work of T1, sending them straight down into the Lower Bracket, and proceeded to win against NRG, the same team that beat 100 Thieves in the previous round. Luminosity was no match either, and FaZe dismantled them with a clean 2:0 victory, getting payback for the defeat they suffered during the Challengers 1 Qualifier. With a map advantage, FaZe faced 100 Thieves, who managed to climb back up from the Lower Bracket, and took a decisive 3:0 victory.

100 Thieves’ ascent through the Lower Bracket

The guys from 100 Thieves started the event with an Upper Bracket match against NRG, but they were defeated. The team managed to win the first map through overtime, but it was all downhill afterward. Beaten and dropped down to the Lower Bracket, they now had to face a possible reality of losing to T1 and missing the Masters. 100 Thieves claimed the first win on Haven but ended up suffering a devastating 13:1 loss on Icebox. Luckily, they pulled themselves together and won the third map, and proceeded forward.

With renewed vigor, the crew pushed on and won three consecutive matches against TSM, Gen.G Esports, and finally Luminosity in the Lower Bracket Final. At last, it was time to face FaZe in the Grand Finals. The crew was ready and in good spirits, but the match opened up on the dreaded Icebox map and 100 Thieves were quickly overwhelmed. Asuna played his heart out, but it was not enough to stop babybay’s rampage. Although they lost to FaZe, they pulled off an incredible comeback after a rocky start and showed everyone they’re still one of the best teams in North America, if not the world.

VCT: North America Masters 1 – what can we expect?

Masters 1 will be one hell of an event. Sentinels are such a well-rounded team, and they’ve proven to be very consistent, showing great balance between individual play and team coordination. They are facing Luminosity in the first match of Masters so they have to be very careful. Luminosity beat them once, and they are capable of doing it again.

Team Envy is on the rise, especially after the spectacular performance in Challengers 2. If they can continue this tempo, they should have no trouble passing Gen.G Esports and moving all the way to the top.

FaZe clan are in great shape and will be looking to end things quickly with XSET. However, XSET is the biggest surprise of the year. They are the wild card in this group and should not be underestimated.

The match between 100 Thieves and Immortals will be an interesting one. Immortals have shown incredible results in the first two rounds of Challengers, and the only teams that posed a threat to them were Sentinels and Team Envy. 100 Thieves should not be discounted though. They might be a bit late to the party, but they are perfectly capable of taking a win here.

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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