NA VCT 2022 Team of the Week: Challengers One, week one

The best of the best from week one.

Photo via Riot Games

There was a lot to be excited about in the debut week of the 2022 VALORANT Champions Tour in North America: a new format, a collection of hot teams from the open qualifiers, and a plethora of new rosters. And week one of Challengers One certainly didn’t disappoint, delivering some great matches across the three-day weekend.

Naturally, some performances stood out above the rest. Now each team has only played one series, with some squads only playing two maps, but we still wanted to put together a Team of the Week for the first week of NA action. We’ve filled out the roles of duelist, sentinel, controller, initiator, and a flex player.

Images via Riot Games | Remix by Tyler Esguerra and Scott Robertson

Here’s our Team of the Week for week one of 2022 NA VCT Challengers One.

Version1 wippie – Sentinel

No one had an opening weekend quite like Maxim “wippie” Shepelev, Version1’s sentinel anchor who led the entire field in numerous statistical categories after week one. He was the only player to achieve an ACS score of over 300 and finished first in ADR, K/D, and KPR, according to THESPIKE.GG. His 11 total multi-kill rounds weren’t the highest overall, but he was the only person to reach double digits in this figure in less than 40 total rounds played.

Together with Zellsis (who we’ll talk about later on), wippie was a massive factor in V1 ending week one with the highest round differential of any team at +20.

The Guard valyn – Controller

Having a player on controller who can reliably get kills and make plays on top of his map control duties is a tremendous buff to any contending team. After week one, The Guard sit atop Group A (based on round differential) and a huge contributor to their success has been Jacob “valyn” Batio.

Between play on Brimstone and Astra, valyn was the only controller player to finish in the top 10 in ACS, ADR, and multi-kills. In their blowout win on Haven against Luminosity, he made an impact in nine out of The Guard’s 11 victorious rounds in the first half. His huge triple in the second round of overtime on Fracture sent the map to a second OT period where his team eventually found the victory.

XSET Cryocells – Duelist

In a field stacked with star duelists playing Jett, it was the young gun just two months into his tenure with XSET who had the greatest impact. Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban pushed his team into the win column in week one.

He led almost all major statistical categories compared to other duelist players, including ACS, K/D, and ADR. He also finished in the top five in first kill success rate and total multi-kills. XSET’s first map against Evil Geniuses is where he shined the most, with three different 4K rounds on Breeze.

Cloud9 Xeppaa – Initiator

Erick “Xeppaa” Bach could have contended for the flex spot on this week’s team. But while his performance on Raze was by no means bad, it wasn’t a standout showing on the duelist. Xeppaa’s play on KAY/O, however, was spectacular, and that suppressive knife of his drove the dagger into 100T on Breeze.

Xeppaa’s KAY/O was part of a tremendous initiator duo alongside Xeta’s Sova, but the former Chaos CS:GO player stepped up early and late in pivotal rounds. He won all four of his first encounters and finished with a +10 K/D ratio, and had the most assists on his team.

Version1 Zellsis – Flex

No one else in the field had as stellar a performance as Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro on two drastically different agents. Zellsis popped off on both Sage and KAY/O in V1’s dismantling of the Pittsburgh Knights. He finished with the second-highest K/D of any player behind his own teammate wippie and put up untouchable assist numbers.

On Breeze, he notched a staggering 16 assists, flashing and suppressing while busting into sites and shutting down enemy pushes. He also picked up 18 kills and had the fewest deaths on the server with only seven. His healing prowess on Sage saw him collect another 12 assists on Icebox, alongside five different double-kill rounds.