VCT Stage 3: North America Challengers 1 – The First Day is Over

Posted on July 9, 2021

After the roller coaster that was the VCT Stage 3: EU Challengers 1 so far, we finally got the chance to see the first wave of matches finish in North America.

Sentinels won against Gen.G Esports, but they faced an unexpected shock in map 1. 100 Thieves are looking in great shape after beating Version1, and perhaps this would finally be the comeback the fans were waiting for quite some time. Team Envy took a confident win versus Pioneers, sending them down to the Lower Bracket. Lastly, XSET knocked down Rise and Gen.G Esports finished the job.

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Image Credits | Riot Games

The main surprise this time was Version1, who had already been eliminated from the event. They were one of the two teams to represent NA in Stage 2 Masters – Reykjavík, but this time they dropped the ball. After losing in their opening match, they followed up with another loss against Pioneers and went home empty-handed.

Gen.G lost their opportunity to take down Sentinels, but they did manage to eliminate Rise in the second match of the Lower Bracket, which lessened the blow they suffered previously.

Sentinels’ sloppy win

The LA squad has scored yet another win in Valorant Champions Tour. They took down Gen.G Esports with a 2-1 result, but the match was quite strange.

Sentinels were either overconfident or simply messing around, since they opened up on Bind with a massive 8-0 lead, but ended up losing the map. So what happened here?

Well, TenZ decided to go with Yoru on Bind, which was later revealed to be something he was testing. However, after Sentinels lost the first map, TenZ got serious and instantly swapped to Raze on Icebox, and finished the match with his Jett on Haven.

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Image Credits | Riot Games

While we could attribute the loss on Bind to Sentinels just not being serious, we must acknowledge how good Gen.G were actually playing. Remember, this was the team that eliminated 100 Thieves during Stage 1 Masters, so they shouldn’t be underestimated.

All in all, this was an interesting match. While Sentinels are the top NA team right now, they shouldn’t let their guard down. Version1 is also one of the top NA teams, and look how things turned out for them in this event.

Is it finally time for 100 Thieves to shine?

100 Thieves are one of the strongest Valorant teams in North America, and yet somehow success keeps eluding them in Valorant Champions Tour. Hiko leads an incredible squad, but they haven’t really been on top since the day they won First Strike North America in 2020.

Yes, they did win the Stage 2 Challengers 1, but do keep in mind that Sentinels weren’t playing in this event since they had already qualified for the Challengers Finals. Had they been here, it’s questionable whether 100 Thieves would’ve finished first.

In any case, 100 Thieves are looking in good shape. Version1 is out, and that just leaves Team Envy. If they can take them down, they’ll most likely face Sentinels next, or XSET if they win against Sentinels by some miracle.

Hiko and the squad are more than capable of winning Challengers 1. They’ve had ample time to study the other NA teams, especially Sentinels. The esports odds favor 100 Thieves, but competitive Valorant can be so unpredictable, so we’ll see whether 100 Thieves can tackle the challenges ahead.

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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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