Big events have been the scene of surprising results since esports’ birth, and this fact didn’t change in VALORANT. The game’s first global competition, VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) has started with unexpected outcomes in North America. The strongest teams of the region, such as First Strike champion 100 Thieves, TSM, and T1 got eliminated in the qualifiers of Challengers Stage 1.
Since VALORANT Champions Tour doesn’t have an invitational system, every team has to create its own path to the VALORANT Champions Stage. However, it’s a long road and as we saw here, even the strongest ones might struggle.
The first day of the tournament was smooth for those three teams, but everything changed on the second day. In round of 32, 100 Thieves was the team who hit the wall against Carpe Noctem. No. 32 of North America managed to beat the First Strike champion without dropping a single map. Thanks to the enormous performance of Teddy, the team punched its ticket into the next round, where Carpe Noctem got eliminated by NRG.
T1 must’ve wanted to join 100 Thieves badly. The result of T1 wasn’t too surprising since they played against Andbox, which is already top five in North America’s VALORANT scene. Spyder’s great performance wasn’t enough to get past the show of ANDROID and yay, and T1 said goodbye to Challengers 1.
The ending of the series between TSM and XSET was wild. Going into extra time, the last map on Split saw a huge comeback from XSET. After finishing the first half behind 9-3, XSET made TSM taste the same medicine on defense and defeated them in overtime.
VCT’s Stage 1 began with Challengers 1’s open qualifiers two days ago. Participants had to beat their opponents in best-of-three series to qualify for the main stage. The top four teams of Challengers 1 will move to the main stage of Challengers 2. This is important since the top four teams of Challengers 2 will qualify for the first Masters. However, there is still hope for eliminated teams. According to Riot’s rules, every team can participate in the next qualifier in VCT.