VCT Stage 3 NA Challengers Playoffs – The Road to Berlin

Posted on August 9, 2021

The last stretch of the VCT Stage 3 NA Challengers Playoffs is here in just a few days. This is where the final eight qualified teams will battle for the opportunity to compete at the upcoming VCT Masters in Berlin. Even though each and every single one of these teams have earned their spot in this event, only three of them will be leaving victorious.

The VCT Stage 3 NA Challengers Playoffs starts on August 11th, and will last until August 15th. This gives us plenty of time to enjoy some quality Valorant action and even secure some potentially lucrative Valorant bets.

Who are the favorites?

It’s usually very hard to pick a clear favorite when it comes to such high level Valorant esports tournaments, but in this case we’ll have to go with Sentinels. Sentinels have been demolishing all competition up to this point, and while it’s almost certain they’ll manage to qualify for the VCT Masters in Berlin, it still remains to be seen whether they’ll struggle against some of the newcomers in this event.

Sentinels qualified through the VCT Stage 3 Challengers 1, but there were some ups and downs along the way. The team seemed to be experimenting with new Agents and strategies, almost looking as if they weren’t taking things seriously. Of course, they have been dominating the entire Valorant scene for quite a while, and perhaps they were starting to relax a bit too much.

Image Credits | Riot Games

XSET set them straight when they beat them with 2-1 Upper Bracket Semifinals, which forced Sentinels to snap out of their trance and push all the way into the Grand Finals where they would eventually beat XSET in a rematch.

Sentinels will be aiming for the top, as always, so we’re expecting to see them in the Challengers Playoffs Grand Finals. Of course, placing 3rd or 2nd wouldn’t really change much for them, as those spots would still ensure a placement in the upcoming VCT Masters in Berlin. Will Sentinels play seriously this time, or will their overconfidence get the better of them – we’ll have to wait and see.

The return of TSM

We have been following the top NA teams in Valorant for a long time. Many of them played incredibly well, but none have been able to dethrone Sentinels.

TSM were at the top of the world back in 2020, but then they simply disappeared. We saw very little for the entire duration of Valorant Champions Tour, and many wrote off TSM claiming that they were no longer the team they once were.

Image Credits | Riot Games

However, something unexpected happened during VCT Stage 3 NA Challengers 2. TSM emerged victorious and qualified for the Challengers Playoffs. This marked the return of TSM, and the fans of TSM couldn’t have been happier.

Now comes the next step, and that’s qualifying for VCT Masters Berlin. TSM has an opportunity to show what they’re made of and put their new lineup to the test. If they beat Team Envy in their opening match, they’ll most likely face Sentinels next. It will be rough, and both sides will be on edge, but if TSM does emerge victorious it will most certainly shake up the NA Valorant scene.

XSET looking confident

Sentinels are the favorites and TSM is slowly returning to their former glory, but what about XSET? This was the team that has constantly kept returning in almost every VCT tournament and achieving very solid results.

On top of that, they have some very interesting strategies and have proven to be capable of taking down even Sentinels. This will most likely motivate XSET even further, and we can expect some great matches from them in the VCT Stage 3 NA Challengers Playoffs.

Luminosity should be an easy prey for this squad, after which they’ll most likely end up fighting against 100 Thieves. FaZe Clan winning their match against 100 Thieves would probably work more into XSET’s favour, but whatever the case may be – they can win.

XSET just needs to play it safe, focus on winning the first match or two to gain that initial advantage, and then just keep their cool and focus on landing in one of those first three spots. We believe they’re perfectly capable of qualifying for VCT Masters in Berlin, and we expect these guys to pleasantly surprise us once again.

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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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