Power rankings for VCT Champions

The biggest event of the year is almost here.

Image via Riot Games

VALORANT Champions, the final event in the first year of the VALORANT Champions Tour, is almost here. The top 16 teams in the world have fought all year for a spot in the biggest VALORANT event in history, and one team will walk away with the title. 

While each team has proven to be one of the top teams in their region, they still must face the best teams from around the world. Some have already proven themselves on the international stage, while others are wildcards that could pull off an upset. 

But some teams are more likely to advance to the playoffs and make a real run at the title, while others will bow out early. We’ve ranked all 16 teams competing in VALORANT Champions to give you a better understanding of what’s to come. Here are our VCT Champions power rankings. 

The leaders of the pack: Gambit, Sentinels, Team Liquid, Team Envy 

The top of the power rankings consists of strong North American and European teams that have proven themselves throughout the VALORANT Champions Tour. Two have won at least one Masters event, and the others have consistently dominated their respective regions. 

Gambit are the best European team competing in Champions and earned the title of one of the best teams in the world after winning Masters Berlin. They’re one of the two teams to win an international Masters event alongside Sentinels and had little trouble dealing with opponents from other regions. 

Gambit are currently the highest-ranked European team, according to stat-tracking site vlr.gg, although they’re only seven points ahead of Team Liquid. But they swept Envy in the Masters Berlin finals while Liquid watched the event from the sidelines. Gambit Chronicle had an incredible series against Envy, pulling off an impressive 4k and showing how deadly the individual players can be. 

Sentinels, the juggernaut from North America that seemed unstoppable for the majority of the VCT, are only slightly behind Gambit in our power rankings. The team won two Masters events but couldn’t complete the hat trick in Berlin, although they are undoubtedly the winningest team in NA. They might’ve slowed down the past few months, but considering they were the first team to qualify for Champions by a long shot, they’re North America’s best hope at bringing home the title. 

Liquid and Team Envy round out our top four rankings in third and fourth place, respectively. Liquid are currently ranked second in Europe and most recently won the Red Bull Home Ground 2021 event, beating Acend in the grand finals. They didn’t qualify for Masters Berlin, however, and are on the hunt for the elusive win in an international event. They recently added Nivera, ScreaM’s brother, who played a crucial role in helping the team qualify for Champions in the EMEA Last Chance event and might be the change needed for success. 

Envy are in a similar position; they qualified for the Masters One and Three and the Stage Two Challengers Finals. Their best performance was in Masters Berlin, but they were up against Gambit and were swiftly swept in the grand final. 

But Liquid and Envy both have the potential to walk away with the trophy, although they’ll need to make it through the best teams in their regions first. 

Strong contenders: Vision Strikers, Cloud9 Blue, Acend, Fnatic

The next four spots in our power rankings feature excellent teams that could win Champions but will have a harder time than the top four teams. 

In the fifth spot is Vision Strikers, the Korean team best known for their incredible 104-game winning streak in the early days of VALORANT. They’re undoubtedly the best Korean team around and won the first Masters event in Korea. They didn’t make it into Master Reykjavik, but they did make it to the quarterfinals in Berlin. Vision Strikers lost against Gambit in Berlin and haven’t faced any of the other international teams. If they can beat Fnatic and Cloud9 Blue in the group stage, however, there’s a solid chance they can go all the way. 

Cloud9 Blue are the third and final North American team competing in the Champions event and made quite a name for themselves in the VCT NA Last Chance event. They beat several notable North American teams like Rise, 100 Thieves, XSET, Gen.G, and Version1 to earn their spot in the biggest event of the year. 

Cloud9 also have an excellent roster and signed vanity before the start of the Last Chance event. Vanity played a crucial role in helping Version1 make it to Masters Two and is an excellent addition to the team. The team also has leaf, who proved himself as one of the best players in the Last Chance qualifier. 

Acend is one of the top teams in Europe and has beaten Gambit twice since August. They also have cNed, who is one of if not the best Jett player in the region. They didn’t perform as well as expected in Berlin, but they have another chance for success in Champs. Acend also is one of the best teams in Group A and will likely make it to the playoffs. 

Rounding out the top eight teams is Fnatic. This popular team earned fans worldwide thanks to their charismatic presence in Iceland, although they owe much of this to their in-game leader, Boaster. They also fought their way out of the lower bracket in Iceland but were ultimately defeated by Sentinels in the grand final. While they didn’t qualify for Masters Berlin, they still earned enough circuit points to make it into Champs. Fnatic will have a tough time against Cloud9 Blue and Vision Strikers in Group D, but we hope they can survive so we can watch one of the most entertaining teams in the playoffs. 

Plenty to prove on the international stage: Crazy Raccoon, Kru, Keyd Stars, Team Secret

Crazy Raccoon are a perfect example of a team that has dominated its home region but struggled against international teams. Crazy Raccoon won the Japan Masters event, only dropping one series to Absolute JUPITER. They also made it to Masters Reykjavik but were swiftly eliminated without winning a single game. They made it into Masters Berlin and beat Havan Liberty, but they were sent home after Gambit beat them twice. Crazy Raccoon are facing Gambit again in Group C, but their other two opponents shouldn’t be much of an issue. They should be able to at least make it to the playoffs, but they’ll need to prove themselves at this point. 

KRU Esports have appeared in all three Masters events but have yet to bring home a title. They’re the best team in the Latin America region but have consistently failed to win a match against a European or North American team. Their first match is against Liquid, and they’ll likely face them or Sentinels in the Group B decider match. This is the final chance for them to break into the top VALORANT echelon. 

Keyd Stars found their stride in the Brazilian Challengers playoffs, winning five straight matches to earn their spot in Masters Berlin. They beat ZETA Division in the group stage but were ultimately sent home by KRU Esports. Keyd Stars will likely face either Acend or Envy in the Group A decider match, and beating either team is a tough challenge. 

Team Secret are a wildcard that has yet to appear in an international VALORANT event. The Phillipino team is currently ranked second in the Asia-Pacific region and could surprise the world in the Champions event. They’re facing Gambit in their first match of the event, which should be a baptism-by-fire scenario. 

The potential Cinderella story teams: FULL SENSE, X10 CRIT, Team Vikings, FURIA

Rounding out the VCT Champions power rankings are four teams we don’t expect to make it far into the tournament, but we’d love to see them prove us wrong. 

FULL SENSE earned their spot in Champions by winning the Asia-Pacific Last Chance Qualifier. They only lost one series in the event and beat other notable teams like NUTURN and DAMNWON Gaming. They have yet to play against international teams, however, and are in one of the hardest groups in Champions. The odds are stacked against them as they’ll have to play Cloud9 Blue, Fnatic, and Vision Strikers—but everyone loves an underdog story. 

X10 CRIT should be familiar to VALORANT fans. They appeared in Masters Reykjavik and even beat Crazy Raccoon in the lower bracket. Fnatic ultimately sent them home, and they haven’t made an appearance in an international event since. X10 CRIT’s first match is against Envy, and Acend are the other dominant team in Group A. Keyd Stars are also a decent team from Brazil, so they’ll need these teams to have a bad game, or they’ll need to shatter all expectations to make it to the playoffs. 

Team Vikings are another strong Brazilian team that won the region’s Masters event and appeared in Masters Reykjavik. They could potentially survive in Group C against Crazy Raccoon and Secret, but they’ll also face Gambit. The top seed in group play is almost out of the question, but Vikings might be able to hold onto the second spot.

Our final team in our power rankings is FURIA, the Brazilian team that earned their spot in Champs by winning the South American Last Chance Qualifier. This team will face Sentinels in their first match and either KRU Esports or Liquid in the elimination round. We don’t have high hopes in this scenario, but an upset against Sentinels would make an excellent storyline. 

VALORANT Champions starts Dec. 1, and Visions Strikers and FULL SENSE will kick off the exciting event at 8am CT.

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