The EU VCT Stage Three: Challengers Two main event is here and the top eight VALORANT teams have one more chance to qualify for the EMEA Challengers Playoffs. This will be their final shot at making it to Masters Three Berlin and the losing teams will watch another international LAN event from the sidelines.
Some teams have already appeared in a Masters event, while others are smaller organizations looking to earn their spot in the top echelon of European VALORANT. Here are our power rankings of the top eight teams competing in the Challengers Two main event.
Alliance secured a spot in the Challengers Two main event, but the team has a lot of work ahead of them if they want to make it to the Playoffs. Their first match is against Fnatic, who are still one of the top teams in the region. Alliance did beat BIG in their most recent match, giving the team a slight morale boost going into the main event. But Alliance will most likely drop to the lower bracket relatively soon.
7) Rix.GG Thunder
Rix.GG Thunder made it into the Stage Three: Challengers One main event but failed to win a single map. The team lost against Acend and G2 Esports but still earned a spot in the Challengers Two main event. Rix.GG Thunder aren’t facing a top-three team in their first match this time, but they still have to take on Giants Gaming, who are on a seven-game win streak. Giants Gaming previously defeated Rix.GG Thunder in the Challengers One round-of-16 open qualifier, meaning the team needs to perform better this time if they want to avoid the lower bracket.
TENSTAR didn’t qualify for the Challengers One main event, but they’ve put on an impressive performance leading up to Challengers Two. They most recently swept Team Heretics in the closed qualifier upper semifinals, a squad that’s still ranked as a top-10 team in Europe, according to VLR.gg.
TENSTAR are playing Team BDS in their first match, a squad that managed to make it into Challengers One. But there’s a decent chance that TENSTAR might move on to the upper semifinals.
5) Team BDS
Team BDS made it into the Challengers One main event but didn’t make it very far. They managed to take a map against Guild Esports but were knocked down to the lower bracket to face Team Liquid, who sent them home.
Team BDS have a second chance in the Challengers Two main event, however, and will face TENSTAR in their first match.
4) Team Vitality
Team Vitality are on a decent streak entering the Challengers Two main event. They beat Team Heretics and Ninjas in Pyjamas in the closed qualifier and were one match away from making it into the Challengers One main event.
Despite the team’s recent performance, they have a significant challenge in the form of Liquid in their first match of the event. It’s unclear if Vitality have what it takes to beat one of the best teams in Europe, but they always have the chance to fight their way out of the lower bracket.
3) Giants Gaming
Giants Gaming are on a seven-game win streak and most recently defeated Alliance in the Challengers Two closed qualifiers. They haven’t dropped a map since the round-of-128 in the open qualifiers against ATRAVS and have defeated notable teams like Vitality and BIG.
But Giants Gaming are facing Rix.GG Thunder in their first match, the team that defeated them in the Challengers One open qualifier. If they can get past the first round successfully, however, Giants Gaming have a real shot at making it to the EMEA Challengers Playoffs.
2) Team Liquid
Liquid were one of the two teams that represented Europe in Iceland but were defeated by Fnatic in the lower bracket. They’ve performed relatively well in Stage Three so far, though, only losing to Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix in the Challengers main event.
It’d be surprising for Liquid to not make a decent run in Challengers Two, but they’ll need to smooth out their strategy to secure one of the two spots in the EMEA Challengers Playoffs.
Fnatic represented Europe in the Masters Two Reykjavik tournament and made a decent run. They fought their way through the lower bracket, defeating teams from multiple regions to earn a spot in the grand finals against Sentinels. Fnatic didn’t win a map against the North American juggernaut, but they still made one of the best runs in the tournament.
Fnatic earned a spot in the Challengers One main event but finished in the bottom four, meaning they need to fight through another Challengers event if they want to make it to Berlin.
Luckily, Fnatic are easily one of the best teams in the tournament and should have no trouble getting through Alliance in their first match. The top four teams in Europe already qualified for the playoffs, meaning Fnatic just need to fight through these last few teams for another chance at an international event.
The EU VCT Stage Three: Challengers Two main event kicks off on July 28 at 7am CT.
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