Two North American teams, Sentinels and Version1, will represent the region at the VALORANT Champions Tour Stage Two Masters event in Reykjavík, Iceland later this month. Several other talented North American teams, however, will have to watch the event from home after failing to qualify at the Challengers Finals.
Here are some of the best North American teams not going to VCT Masters: Iceland.
Cloud9 Blue struggled after losing TenZ earlier this year, but the team recently made a respectable comeback with a deep run in the Challengers Finals.
The team made it to the Challengers Two grand finals before being eliminated by Sentinels, but they still defeated NRG, Andbox, and T1. The addition of Floppy to the roster made C9 a dangerous team to play and many believed they could make it to Iceland.
But after two wins in the Challengers Finals upper bracket, Sentinels defeated C9 again and sent them to the lower bracket to face Version1. Version1 weren’t the favorite in this matchup but surprised the world with a 2-1 win against C9.
C9 Blue might not be competing in Iceland, but they’ve shown incredible improvement throughout the last few months and will likely be a dominant team in the region going forward.
Envy has maintained one of the most consistent VALORANT rosters in North America and is considered one of the best teams in the region. But Envy has yet to win a significant tournament and always seems to fall short of its goal.
Envy made it to the Challengers Finals but were immediately beaten by C9 Blue. The team did bounce back against XSET to stay alive, but 100 Thieves sent them home for good in the second round of the lower bracket.
Despite not making it to Iceland, Envy are still confident that they can fix their small mistakes and finally earn a win in a big tournament later this year.
100 Thieves qualified for the Stage Two Challengers Finals but couldn’t secure a spot in Masters Two. The team won the first major VALORANT event in December, First Strike, but hasn’t won a major tournament since.
The team qualified for Masters One and defeated Immortals in the first round. But they ran into trouble against Sentinels in the upper semifinals and met an untimely end in the lower round against Gen.G.
100T appeared to bounce back after having a few weeks to practice with Ethan, the former CS:GO player who replaced Dicey. They then qualified for the Stage Two Challengers Finals by winning the Challengers One event.
Once again, 100 Thieves started strong by beating Andbox but couldn’t defeat Sentinels, who sent them to the lower bracket. This time, it was Envy who sent 100 Thieves home early without securing a spot in Iceland. The 100 Thieves roster is still one of the best in North America, but they need to adapt if they plan on winning another major event.
Andbox haven’t made it into a significant tournament so far, but they did get into the Stage Two Challengers Finals. The team secured their spot in the Challengers Finals in the Challengers Two event, where they started with an incredible victory over Sentinels.
But Andbox were sent to the lower bracket by C9 Blue and needed to beat TSM for a chance to qualify for the finals. They swept TSM in a close series, however, and moved on to face Sentinels, who got their revenge for the earlier defeat.
Regardless, Andbox qualified for the Challengers Finals. They won a match and were swiftly eliminated. But Andbox have beaten other talented teams in the region and could be a strong squad in the future.
FaZe Clan made a name for itself in VALORANT during VCT Stage One with an unorthodox playstyle that was tough to counter. The team tore through opponents in Masters One but failed in the grand finals against Sentinels.
Stage Two was rough for FaZe, however. They failed to qualify for the Challengers Finals and didn’t make the main event of either of the Challengers tournaments. Their aggressive style might not be sustainable, but FaZe still have some of the best talent in North America and can easily make a comeback.
NRG are another team that have shown a lot of improvement in Stage Two and were always just slightly behind in Stage One. The team just missed qualifying for Masters One and earned a top-six placing at the Challengers Three main event.
NRG managed to make it into the Stage Two Challengers Finals and beat notable teams like Immortals and Built By Games along the way. But they were sent to the lower bracket by C9 Blue in their first match in the finals and couldn’t regroup against Version1.
Fans shouldn’t overlook NRG moving forward. The org recently added tex to its roster, and if the team can just slightly improve, they’ll be a powerful squad.
XSET bowed out of the Stage Two Challengers Finals without winning a match, just like they did during the Stage One Masters event. But consistently qualifying for major tournaments is a good sign for the team and they just need to learn how to finish the job.
XSET qualified for the finals in Challengers Two, where they faced 100 Thieves in the grand finals. Both teams were well matched and XSET kept each map within a respectable score. It was the same story in both matches in the finals against Envy and NRG, where XSET won at least 10 rounds on every map.
Although they aren’t be going to Iceland, XSET are one of the best teams in North America and on the cusp of breaking into the top tier.
TSM has struggled since last year. On paper, it has a team full of talented former CS:GO players, but the roster hasn’t qualified for a significant event since First Strike. TSM almost made it into Masters One but they were knocked out by 100 Thieves in the lower bracket.
The team didn’t qualify for the Stage Two Challengers Finals and will once again watch an event from the sidelines. But TSM has a stacked roster after signing brax in March and has all the pieces needed for success. There’s still plenty of time for redemption, but TSM needs to revamp and refocus.
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