VCT Game Changers is back for a second year, and the top eight teams from the open qualifier are gearing up to compete in the main event that begins today.
After the open qualifier, the VALORANT teams who made it through now move on to the main event. The format features a double-elimination bracket to crown a winner. Whoever takes the crown will win points to qualify for the championship, as well as a piece of the $50,000 prize pool.
Teams will be looking to take down three-peat champions Cloud9 White, who dominated the competition last year, destroying every team that dared stand in their path. This year, the team easily qualified for the event without dropping a single map as they head into the main event.
Each of these teams have proven they are not to be underestimated, especially because the competition was so strong that not even XSET’s female team made it into the top eight. Some teams are expected to do well, others have the potential to upset the top teams, and a few are considered underdogs.
The obvious favorites for winning the tournament are Cloud9 White. They only dropped one map in the main events for all three tournaments last year and took the crown in every single one of the three 2021 tournaments.
This year, the org kept the faith in its members, retaining the same lineup. IGL Melanie “meL” Capone and her team are looking to secure their fourth Game Changers win, and they certainly have a big target on their backs. Teams will be chomping at the bit to get their chance to challenge the three-peat champions in the first tournament of the 2022 season.
The one map Cloud9 dropped in the main events last year was at the hands of Shopify Rebellion. The roster remains relatively unchanged and is opting for a five-person roster instead of six this year after they released Han “it not han” Nguyen from the roster.
Shopify Rebellion will be looking to take more than just a map off of Cloud9 White if the two meet in the upper bracket final, and it will certainly be a match to watch as they are both expected to stay in the upper bracket for the majority of the tournament.
Gen.G Black have had a little trouble in the past trying to qualify for the main events, but they seemed to have improved quite a bit since last year. They had to get through CLG Red and Dart Monkeys, two teams who also qualified for the main event, before they could claim their spot.
The roster had a bit of movement since its inception in 2021, with the addition of Lynn Clarke and head coach Jackson “Jaxsen” Popelka, and the synergy is clearly showing. Their first match pits them against Dignitas, who have been together a long time, so it will be a testament to Gen.G’s ability to improve and synergize.
Benita “bENITA” Novshadian was an integral part of CLG Red, but behind her was an incredible team of professional VALORANT players that constantly held their own in the 2021 season.
Shopify Rebellion’s it not han moved over to CLG Red to replace bENITA, and their journey to qualification for the main event was probably one of the toughest out of all the other qualifying teams. They had to fight through Gen.G Black and XSET to get through to the main event, and will start the tournament with one of the most challenging matchups playing Cloud9 White.
The Dignitas core roster has been together for a long time, with the newest player being Stefanie Jones, who joined in May 2021. Now that Dignitas have had some ample time with coach David “Xp3” Garrido, they have significant upset potential.
They also didn’t have an easy run through qualifiers, since they had to compete against Misfits Black, TSM X, and Immortals to claim their spot in the main event. This team has grit and fights to the very end, as evidenced by their two overtime maps against Immortals where they ended strong with the main event spot.
After failing to qualify for the third tournament of 2021, many wrote off TSM X in this tournament. Armed with a new coach, TSM X qualified in the upper bracket of the open qualifier after beating AIMPUNCH and Dignitas.
Their qualifying matches weren’t close, either. Each match was won decisively by TSM X, and fans will be waiting to see how they do against teams like Cloud9 White and Shopify Rebellion.
The road to qualifying was rocky for VersionX, who won in a match against Immortals but lost decisively to Cloud9 White. When they got to the lower bracket, they stomped Misfits Black out of the tournament to secure their spot in the main event.
VersionX is a newer team to the scene, and even newer to the main event of a VCT Game Changers tournament. Last year after forming, they failed to qualify after losing to Dignitas and team NOTHING2LOSE, the team picked up by XSET. They’ll have a tough road ahead of them this tournament, but perhaps new coach Martin “Anderzz” Schelasin will be the secret behind their success.
Any team that doesn’t have an org backing it is going to be an underdog in the main event. Dart Monkeys beat Immortals to qualify for the main event, but that is the only signed team they encountered on their way out of qualifiers.
Just because they are orgless, fans shouldn’t count them out. With a talented roster and an impressive showing so far, Dart Monkeys have the resolve and the grit to surprise their opponents.