Although Valorant is still in its infancy when it comes to competitive esports, the game has slowly gained ground and established itself. Seeing an opportunity to push the envelope and test new ideas, Riot came out with news on November 24th last year, announcing their first official tournament circuit – Valorant Champions Tour.
The general idea behind the tournament was to provide competitive Valorant action all year round. Separated in three distinct stages, the tournament offers a progression system where teams first have to go through the Challengers, in hopes to proceed further into Masters, and then to ultimately land themselves a spot in the Champions stage.
Valorant Champions Tour 2021 features teams from all around the world, but more precisely from seven unique regions: North America, EMEA, Brazil, Latin America, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Korea.
We would like to go over some of the most promising teams participating in the tournament, analyse their performance, and offer some possible predictions and point out potential betting opportunities. But first, we’ll cover the Valorant Champions Tour format and schedule.
Valorant Champions Tour Format
The timeline of the tournament is well thought out, and pretty straight forward. The three main stages are spread out throughout the year, with most of the year being filled out by Challengers and Masters, layered one after the other. Champions, being the final stage, is the apex of the event and will last for two weeks.
There will be a total of three Masters events throughout the course of the year, scheduled for March, June, and September, and three Challengers events to fill the void between. Also, the tournament will have a Last Chance Qualifier, which will be held in October. Finally, the event will conclude in December when the final, and most important Champions stage will commence.
Challengers – this is a system with three tournaments scheduled over 6 weeks. Each tournament has its own Open Qualifier. The top four teams from the previous tournament qualify directly to the next one, and bypass the next series of Open Qualifiers.
Finally, only a set number of slots are reserved for teams that will proceed into the Masters.
- North America – 3 slots
- EMEA – 4 slots
- Brazil – 2 slots
- Korea – 2 slots
- Japan – 2 slots
- Southeast Asia – 2 slots
- Latin America – 1 slot
Masters – a total of 16 teams will compete in the Masters tournament and battle for points to qualify for the final Champions stage of the event. Only 12 of those teams will qualify directly, while the remaining 4 teams proceed into the Last Chance Qualifier. The winner of the Masters 3 event qualifies directly into Champions and earns an additional team spot for their region.
- North America – 2 slots
- EMEA – 2 slots
- Brazil – 2 slots
- Korea – 1 slot
- Japan – 1 slot
- Southeast Asia – 2 slots
- Latin America – 1 slot
- Masters 3 Winner – 1 spot for their region
Champions – the final two week long event featuring 16 teams in total, 12 qualifying directly from Masters and the last 4 coming from the Last Chance Qualifier. Only the best of the best will reach this point and duke it out for the title.
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Check Out The Teams
The Valorant Champions Tour is the place to be for any competitive team worth their salt. If you’re looking for a challenge, this is it. As such, the tournament will attract some of the most skilled teams and players worldwide, but also prove to be a chance for many up-and-coming young players to test their mettle and potentially make it big.
1. G2 Esports
G2 is currently one of the most dominant teams in the Valorant scene, ranking at the very top of the ladder, and with good reason. The giants from the EU have shown stellar performance throughout the previous season, winning six consecutive tournaments and consistently placing at the top. The first upset the team had ever faced was during the First Strike Europe, where they fought against another strong contender Team Heretics in the Semifinals, and finished 3rd-4th.
Valorant Champions Tour presents an opportunity for the crew to solidify themselves as the undisputed champions. They qualified for the Challengers 1 with flying colors, but faced a small hiccup in the first single elimination round where they lost to Ninjas in Pyjamas with a 2:1 result. Despite being forced to go through the second round of qualifiers, we’re certain they’ll be able to easily bounce back and continue forward.
This American squad has proven to be a force to be reckoned with, after finishing the previous season with very good results. With three professional former CS:GO players in their lineup, one of whom being the legendary ShahZaM, they are looking incredibly strong right now.
The team opened up the Challenger 1 round with a rocky first match, losing to Luminosity Gaming, and dropping down to the Lower Bracket. However, the loss just seemed to jolt the crew back up and they went on to win the tournament, climbing all the way to the Grand Final and beating Immortals with a 3:1 sweep.
Read Also: Valorant North America Power Rankings
3. Vision Strikers
While most of the attention is being directed towards the NA and EU scene in Valorant right now, many remain unaware of the incredible danger coming from Korea. Vision Strikers is a team that can only be described with one word – unstoppable. Rarely do we find a team so successful at what they’re doing, but here we’ve got one.
The crew from Korea is fully stacked with former professional CS:GO players, including both of the coaches. These guys mean business. If that’s not enough to convince you already, let’s take a look at their success so far. They have won almost every single tournament they attended, claiming 15 titles in total. With such unprecedented results, no other team comes even close.
The team shows no signs of slowing down, as they’ve already finished Challengers 1 with a clean sweep of 3-0-0 and finished at the top of Group B with a maximum of 9 points, leading them straight forward into Challengers 2.
4. FunPlus Phoenix
FunPlus Phoenix is a relatively young Valorant team composed of a mix of players coming from Europe and China. They stepped into the scene in August last year and already showed promising results, winning two tournaments and placing high on others. They displayed that they’re capable of taking on some of the best Valorant teams, when they appeared during First Strike Europe and finished 3rd-4th.
The team has done really well in Valorant Champions Tour so far, beating Team Liquid in a single elimination match of Challengers 1 and qualifying for Challengers 2, along with three other teams. The FunPlus crew has certainly shown to be capable and they might be one of the teams that will surprise us later down the road.
Fnatic has just made its first step into the Valorant scene when they announced their brand new roster just days ago, posing a question as to why they would find themselves on this list. The reason is twofold.
First, the team they signed was SUMN FC, a crew of talented players hungry for success. Without an organisation backing them up, and with just sheer will as the wind in their sails, the boys from SUMN FC would go on and win several tournaments and even place 2nd during the First Strike Europe.
The second reason is the fact Fnatic are now behind this team, with all the support and resources they possess. With a long year ahead of us, Fnatic will have ample time to flesh out their gameplay.
Valorant Champions Tour – Betting Predictions
Vision Strikers are looking incredible, and as such, they are currently our favorites. One can’t argue with facts, and the facts show that this team is heading for the very top. There will be hurdles along the way, that is certain, but if we take a look at their record and the incredible performance they’ve shown already in the Valorant Champions Tour, this seems like a safe bet.
G2 Esports have had a slight bump in the road, but we believe they’ll recover and push into the Champions. The European region has some great teams and the competition will be fierce, but that didn’t stop G2 in the past and it most likely won’t do now.
The American crew, Sentinels, should be able to secure themselves a spot at the Masters event. They’ve already taken the first spot during Challengers 1, and now all they have to do is continue on that same trajectory and the top 3 placement is almost guaranteed.
Both Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix could be considered as a dark horse, but that might just give them the edge they need to surpass all expectations and push far into the tournament. They proved it once during the First Strike Europe event, and they can do it again.