NA VCT 2022 power rankings: Challengers One, Week 2

NA VCT is heating up.

Photo via Cloud9

Week two of VALORANT Champions Tour North America Challengers One gave fans another round of six exciting matches. Some teams maintained their stellar records and are undefeated, while others are still trying to get their first win in the main event. 

There are only three series left for each team before the playoffs, meaning teams need to maintain their dominant performance or make substantial changes if they want to secure a spot. 

Here are Dot Esports’ power rankings for NA VCT 2022 Challengers One after two weeks of competition. 

RankTeamRank change
1Cloud9
2Sentinels
3Version1
4The Guard+1
5OpTic Gaming+1
6XSET-2
7Rise
8100 Thieves+1
9NRG Esports-1
10Luminosity+1
11Evil Geniuses-1
12Pittsburgh Knights

Another tough week, but signs of improvement: Knights, Evil Geniuses, Luminosity, NRG

Screengrab via NRG

The bottom-four teams in our power rankings are a mixed bag of squads still searching for their first main event win and teams that have shown clear signs of improvement. 

Knights failed to defeat Sentinels this week, but they did perform better than they did in their last match against Version1. This time around, they won a map after a back and forth battle, but they still lost the following two rounds. But this week, they’ll play Rise, who should be their easiest opponent so far. 

Evil Geniuses also had a better week but still failed to win. They lost their first map against Luminosity 13-2 but answered back with a 13-11 win on Split. The third game on Breeze was a nail-biter that ended in overtime and Luminosity narrowly escaped with a 14-12 win. EG will go up against Cloud9 this week and they’ll have to substantially improve their performance for a chance to beat one of the best teams in the region. 

Luminosity have consistently climbed our rankings and are sitting in the 10th spot this week. They won their first match against EG and have a decent chance against 100T in their next series. NRG couldn’t win a map against OpTic and have another tough week ahead since they face Version1 next. Another week without a win will significantly impact their chances of making the playoffs. 

The midrange teams: 100T, Rise, XSET, OpTic

Photo via OpTic Gaming

100 Thieves had one of the roughest weeks for multiple reasons. They lost against The Guard and the final map of the series ended in a 13-0 defeat on Ascent. The organization also released Hunter “BabyJ” Schline and Adam “ec1s” Eccles less than 40 days after they were signed, replacing them with Sean “bang” Bezerra and Noah “jcStani” Smith. 

This significant change has turned 100T into a wild card since they have two new members, Ethan is moving into the IGL role, and Hiko is moving away from Sova. The team is reportedly participating in a boot camp before their next match against Luminosity on Sunday, Feb 27, and fans everywhere are anxiously waiting to see if they can bounce back from their lackluster first two weeks. 

Rise maintained the same spot in our power rankings despite losing 2-0 against Version1. They’ll be more or less evenly matched against Knights this week, which will be a significant series for both teams. 

XSET didn’t beat C9, but they did win a map and only lost the final map by three rounds. Cryocells continued to prove his worth as a Jett player, securing 22 kills on Bind. OpTic had better luck against NRG, winning 2-0 with an impressive 13-5 victory on Fracture. Yay showed how deadly Chamber is on the map by securing 19 kills with the powerful controller. All four of these teams still have a chance to break into the upper echelon, but they’ll need to stay the course to avoid dropping any further in the rankings. 

Leaders of the pack: The Guard, Version1, Sentinels, Cloud9

Photo via Sentinels

It was another excellent week for C9, Sentinels, and Version1. And now, The Guard have joined them in our top four spots of the week. Each team is undefeated, although some squads fought tooth and nail to maintain their record. 

The Guard are enjoying a flawless record and had one of the strongest performances in week two against 100T. The team started by winning 10 rounds in the first half on Ascent, but 100T also had an incredible offensive run and brought the game back with a 12-11 lead. But Sayaplayer kept his team alive by clutching round 24 and winning a one-vs-one against Asuna. He continued to perform as needed, securing two kills in the following two overtime rounds to help his team secure a 1-0 lead in the series. 

100T stayed alive on Split, achieving a 6-6 score at the half but closed the game with seven straight round wins on defense to take the map. The momentum stopped there for 100T, however. The Guard won Ascent without dropping a round, adding another impressive win to their record. 

Version1 had less of an issue this week since they quickly beat Rise 2-0 in two 13-6 games. Penny dropped 29 kills with Chamber on Fracture and effys led the lobby with 19 kills on Breeze. This was an excellent follow-up to their strong performance against Knights last week and they’re on track to easily secure a spot in the playoffs. 

Sentinels beat Knights 2-1, although it was a closer match than expected. Knights narrowly defeated Sentinels 15-13 on Ascent, winning three straight rounds in overtime to take the lead. But Sentinels answered back on Bind, winning nine rounds on offense and only dropping the first two rounds in the second half. They finished the series 13-8 on Haven, but this match was probably a bit too close for comfort for Sentinels fans, especially since it was against our 12th-ranked team this week.

C9 beat XSET 2-1, but XSET put up a fight on Icebox and only lost by three rounds. C9’s retakes, however, were immaculate. They successfully defused the spike in three out of the four final rounds of the match. C9 are still sitting firmly in our top spot in the power rankings and should have little trouble against EG next week.