VALORANT Champions Group C Preview
11/29/2021, 5:27:52 PM
The final major event for the entirety of the VCT Pro Circuit has finally arrived. Sixteen teams are facing off against one another for the chance to become Champions. It’s going to be messy, it’s going to be desperate, it’s going to be a true spectacle. Whoever wins will go down in history as the first world champions in VALORANT. It’s all on the line. One full year of work will either bear fruit or completely go down the drain.
Within Group C are four teams hungry to prove themselves. The question is: Who will rise to the occasion and who will fall?
If you missed out on our previous comprehensive previews then don’t worry! We’ve got the links for them down below:
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the teams in Group C!
The winners of Masters Berlin are back and you can be sure that they’ll be back hungry for more international glory. During that last international LAN, the EMEA team made a near perfect run in the playoffs to the trophy. They only lost one map to Vision Strikers in the single elimination portion of the event and swept everyone else in a rather clean and tidy manner including NA representatives Team Envy in the Grand Final. There was no question in anyone’s mind that Gambit Esports was simply the best team in the world at the time.
However, despite the path they had forged, questions still remain. Will the team be as good as they were in Berlin? After all, two months have passed. That’s plenty of time for other teams to scrutinize and learn to counter Gambit’s default heavy playstyle. Recently, the team had a bit of a poor showing at the Red Bull Homeground #2 tournament where plenty of Tier 1 EMEA teams came to test the waters. Players like Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin and Bogdan “Sheydos” Naumov have proven themselves to be some of the best in the world, but the whole team will have to step up to show that they aren’t just a one hit wonder.
Returning to international competition is Team Vikings, the second of the three Brazilian squads in the tournament.
Team Vikings played in VALORANT’s first international LAN at Masters Reykjavik, but were only able to get a single series win against Thai representatives X10 Crit. They were then sent to the lower bracket by Sentinels before ultimately getting eliminated by Team Liquid. A fourth place finish in VCT Stage three destroyed their hopes for a chance to play in Masters Berlin, but gave them enough points to ensure the team’s inclusion in Champions. Now with an opportunity to redeem themselves, you can bet that Team Vikings will want nothing more than to show the world what they’re truly made of.
As a bit of extra preparation, the team recently added a new coach Matheus “bzkA” Tarasconi to help with their preparations for the tournament. Him with the team and alongside Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi should prove to be a deadly combination indeed.
Speaking of missing out, the newly acquired roster of Team Secret will finally be able to play on the international stage after unfortunate circumstances forced them to miss out on Masters Berlin. It’s been a long time coming for the Filipino team who have been eager for the chance to play against the best of the best around the world.
Under the banner of Bren Esports for most of the year, the Secret roster proved to be utterly dominant winning local competitions left and right. Then when the time came to represent the Philippines in VCT SEA, they did not disappoint either. They ran rampant through the Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs, dropping only two maps to Paper Rex in the Upper Bracket Final. The team then managed to take revenge against their Singaporean opponents in the Grand Final by sweeping Paper Rex 3-0. Since then the team has been playing in several online competitions in the Philippines. Most recently, they achieved a second place finish in the Mineski VxV 2021 – Invitational Playoffs.
Jayvee “DubsteP” Paguirigan is the player to watch out for on this team. This Jett main will leave opponents dazed and confused if given the chance to run amok.
Japanese team Crazy Raccoon is one of the teams in Champions that has attended every major international LAN VALORANT tournament so far. They played in Reykjavik, Berlin, and now have returned to compete at Champions in Berlin once more. They are also notable for being the first Japanese team to win an International series on LAN by taking down Havan Liberty during Masters 3 Berlin. Despite the team’s early exit from the tournament at the hands of Gambit, they showed remarkable improvement throughout the Group Stage. In their final series, they even gave Gambit a run for their money despite the 0-2 loss. Now that more time has passed, perhaps the team has gotten even better.
Boasting a 7-man roster, the team will certainly not be left wanting more when it comes to strategies and compositions. The trick will be execution. If the team manages to continue their positive uptake from Berlin, then there’s certainly a very good chance for them to make it to the knock-out stage. Team captain Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom will be right up there leading the charge for his team along with duelist Hideki “Fisker” Sasaki.
Let’s take a quick look at Group C’s star players from each team and see how they fare against one another.
We decided to use lifetime statistics due to some teams playing more tournaments than others. When considering the amount of games all of these players have played then Sheydos and DubsteP seem to stand ahead of the others. Now, we will say that it’s hard to compare these players because they more or less have different roles within their team. DubsteP is of course a well known Jett main along with Fisker. Meanwhile, Sheydos and Sacy are more often than not on clean up duty once the entry fragger makes contact. The First Death percentage really emphasizes this as Jett players are often given the task of dashing straight into a site with little regard for safety. With star players in different positions, Group C feels like it will end up being a clash of styles with each team fielding their own unique sets of strengths and weaknesses.
Of course, Gambit is still probably the favorite to get out of this group as the first seed with the other three scrambling for the second slot. For Team Secret, this will be their first international test. Many in South East Asia have been hyping them up as possible contenders for a deep run. For Team Vikings and Crazy Raccoon, it’s about washing away what happened in the past and starting anew.
With all these exciting storylines converging, Group C will definitely be an interesting group to watch. Make sure you don’t miss out because Champions will be starting on Dec. 1, 2021. So mark your calendars and get ready for a good show! Which of these teams are you cheering for?
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David "Miles David" Josiah
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