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VCT NA Challengers 1 Qualifier: Playoff Preview

VCT NA Challengers 1 Qualifier: Playoff Preview

Brandon "Mothman" Moore

1/29/2021, 5:53:01 PM


The VCT NA Challengers 1 Qualifier started with 128 teams. From there, it fell to 64, 32, 16, and now only 8 remain. The Playoff Bracket for the final rounds of the Qualifier is set. The opening portion of the event saw some incredible matches, what some could consider upsets, and an overall wonderful experience in terms of competitive Valorant.

VCT NA Challengers 1 Qualifier: Playoff Preview

Image via Nerd Street Gamers

NRG

Matches:

  • NRG 2:0 VIRTUOSO
  • NRG 2:0 BLAHAJ
  • NRG 2:1 Dignitas
  • NRG 2:0 Carpe Noctem

NRG absolutely wiped the floor with their first two opponents in the VCT NA Challengers 1 Qualifier. They then faced a tough Dignitas squad, coming down to the third map, ending in a massive overtime period 20:18. In order to qualify, they would have to defeat Carpe Noctem. All eyes were on that series as CN had just sent 100 Thieves packing. NRG dominated them, only giving up seven total rounds throughout the two maps.

Gen.G Esports

Matches:

  • Gen.G 2:0 Deadlife
  • Gen.G 2:0 Fluid Gaming
  • Gen.G 2:0 Pittsburgh Knights
  • Gen.G 2:0 Renegades

Gen.G Esports had a similar experience in the open qualifier rounds. They completely decimated their first two matches. PK gave them a run for their money on Haven, but Bind was more of the same for Gen.G. Renegades had a chance to steal the spotlight and put their name back on the map. That effort fell short as Gen.G had no problems advancing to the closed Playoff rounds.

Team Envy

Matches:

  • Envy 2:0 Sac State Hornets
  • Envy 2:0 Take Flyte
  • Envy 2:0 Roosters
  • Envy 2:0 Equinox Esports

To no one’s surprise, Team Envy advanced with a clean sweep of the entire bracket. Take Flyte pushed them to overtime on Ascent in their match up, but ultimately lost the battle. Roosters and Equinox would prove to be no threat to one of the best teams North America has to offer. Envy were in no position to lose a single map against either of their lost two opponents.

Luminosity Gaming

Matches:

  • Luminosity 2:0 Elevation
  • Luminosity 2:0 VT Valorant
  • Luminosity 2:0 Penguin Sledding
  • Luminosity 2:1 FaZe Clan

Luminosity Gaming is coming off a huge win in the Nerd Street Gamers Winter Championship. They still had plenty to prove in the VCT NA Challengers 1 Qualifier, though. After quickly dominating their first three matches, even blanking VT Valorant on one map, it was time to take on FaZe Clan. No doubt, they had something to prove, as well. Icebox and Ascent were both tight 13:10 victories for FaZe Clan and LG, respectively. Split was everything but that as LG sent FaZe Clan packing 13:2.

XSET

Matches:

  • XSET 2:0 Primeval
  • XSET 2:0 down bad
  • XSET 2:0 Cloud9 White
  • XSET 2:1 TSM

XSET has been on a roll recently. They are really trying to push their way into the NA Valorant Tier 1 conversation. The effort in this event and onward could very well do that. XSET versus Primeval ended via forfeit. XSET versus down bad had two close maps that went in favor of the former. In the match against C9 W, XSET dominated the first map and prevented any sort of rally in the second. Finally, TSM awaited them. Naturally, the third map went to overtime. XSET gave it their all and sent TSM packing in what could be considered a solid upset victory.

Immortals

Matches:

  • Immortals 2:0 Aqua
  • Immortals 2:0 Elevate
  • Immortals 2:0 Big Frames
  • Immortals 2:1 Cloud9 Blue

Like a lot of the qualifying teams, Immortals had zero issues with their first couple of matches. Against Big Frames, Haven went to overtime, but Ascent was easily won by Immortals. The big challenge came in the form of Cloud9 Blue. Split was won by C9 B and Ascent went to IMT, both 13:10. Icebox ended up being even closer with Immortals edging it out 13:11. That victory was on the back of Andrew “ShoT_UP” Orlowski and his insane fragging with Reyna.

Sentinels

Matches:

  • Sentinels 2:0 EthanK Fan Club
  • Sentinels 2:0 Techno Monks
  • Sentinels 2:1 Serenity
  • Sentinels 2:0 Built By Gamers

Sentinels have advanced, as expected, but not without a fight. Their first match was a breeze, but Techno Monks put the pressure on with an overtime scenario on Ascent. Haven was no trouble, though. Things looked a bit grim against Serenity as the first match was lost 13:5. They bounced back with hard fought victories on Haven and Icebox in order to continue their run. Sentinels then made quick work on Built By Gamers to head to the 8-team Playoff stage.

Andbox

Matches:

  • Andbox 2:0 Dallas Vandetta
  • Andbox 2:0 Swagoi
  • Andbox 2:0 FUNSNATCHERS
  • Andbox 2:1 T1

Keeping up the trend, Andbox dominated their first three matches. Those three may have been the easiest challenge for any team in the event, minus the forfeit that XSET had been given. Andbox only gave up 31 total rounds in the first three matches. That number could have been even less if they didn’t allow 10 rounds on Bind to Swagoi. Even though it went to a third map, the contest against T1 didn’t seem particularly difficult when looking at the numbers. Split was the closest map. T1 dominated Bind. Then Andbox took Ascent in even less time.

Playoff Bracket

The 8-team closed Playoff bracket is set and ready. All teams have a tough task ahead and it is truly anyone’s event to win. The VCT NA Challengers 1 Qualifier will determine seedings for the main event taking place February 4-7.

There is not a single bad match up to watch. NRG vs. Gen.G, Envy vs. Luminosity, XSET vs. Immortals, and Sentinels vs. Andbox are all going to bring down the house.

Stay tuned to Run It Back for more coverage of the Valorant Champions Tour, comprehensive guides, breaking news, and more!


1/29/2021

Brandon "Mothman" Moore

Brandon is a long time gamer with a passion for writing. Combining the two has been a dream come true. He was Run It Back's official correspondent for First Strike NA and looks forward to covering the North American Valorant scene for a long time.