The Guard outlasts OpTic in 5-map grand final to win NA VCT Challengers One, clinch prime spot at Masters Reykjavík

Champions of North America.

Images via The Guard and Riot Games | Remix by Scott Robertson

The Guard emerged victorious in a marathon NA VCT Challengers One grand final against OpTic Gaming today, securing first in the main event and an illustrious playoff starting spot at the Masters Reykjavík international VALORANT event.

The series stuck to a relatively normal script to start, with both OpTic and The Guard taking care of business on their respective map picks of Ascent and Icebox, respectively.

But, things took a turn when The Guard unleashed a suffocating first-half defense on OpTic’s pick of Breeze, taking the first half 10-2 en route to a 13-2 romp. OpTic then bounced back on Split, thanks to a splendid Chamber performance out of yay.

This set the stage for a dramatic finish on the fifth and final map of Haven. OpTic produced a stellar first half on attack, but The Guard would produce an even more proficient attack side, which included a six-round streak to take a 12-11 lead. In the final round of regulation, it was The Guard’s Jett star Sayaplayer delivering a crushing ace to secure the win on Haven and the 3-2 series victory.

Today’s victory was the cherry on top of a magical run for this relatively new roster playing under The Guard. They went 4-1 in groups, demolished Sentinels in round one of playoffs, got revenge against Cloud9 to secure a Masters spot, and now get the sought-after first seed out of North America, ensuring a spot in playoffs in Iceland.

The Guard will have a headstart at Masters Reykjavk, which officially begins on Sunday, April 10. The official VALORANT event format has not been revealed yet.