The 2021 VALORANT Champions Tour may have come to a close, but the results of the circuit’s inaugural year will still impact where several prominent European teams start in 2022.
Year one concluded with the EMEA region on top. All four representing teams topped their groups at Champions, with Acend eventually claiming the trophy after a five-map series win in the grand finals.
Heading into 2022, all four of the teams that reached the playoffs of Champions (Acend, Gambit, Team Liquid, and Fnatic) have been directly invited to the first Challengers main event. But four more teams have been invited to that main event’s closed qualifier based on their performances late last year.
Here are the four teams that get to skip the first EMEA open qualifier and will play in the EMEA VCT Challengers One closed qualifier.
Anyone with a pulse who’s aware of esports knows about the G2 organization. It’s one of the biggest organizations in the world led by an enigmatic founder with a massive trophy case filled with hardware earned by competitive teams in CS:GO, League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, and Rocket League, among other titles.
When it comes to VALORANT, it took G2 a while to find their footing in 2021, with a big midseason roster swap that fueled a deep run at Masters Berlin. But the team fell short of their aspirations when they just missed out on Champions. Now, G2 has made more moves, bringing in both hoody and Meddo while keeping expectations high.
The French organization has found a great deal of success with its primarily French lineups, particularly in the aforementioned Siege and Rocket League. Now, it’s set to join the LEC for the start of the 2022 Spring Split. BDS saw an opportunity to jump into VALORANT and took it, signing the Opportunists lineup in April 2021 after they qualified for EU Stage Two Challengers Two.
They fell just a few rounds short of reaching the Challengers Finals and just couldn’t overcome some of the dominant EU Stage Three teams in Liquid and Fnatic, though. Prior to 2022, the French roster brought in an all-time French CS:GO legend in Happy and hope to have his championship pedigree be a catalyst for success this year.
Alliance is a historic name in esports, with the founding Dota 2 roster claiming the $1.4 million prize at TI3 in 2013, just months after coming together under the new banner. In the early days of EU League of Legends, the org won an EU LCS title in 2014. It’s also been the home of one of the Melee GOATs in Adam “Armada” Lindgren.
Alliance entered VALORANT in January 2021 and reached EU Masters One but failed to find much success throughout the year with the team switching out their fifth for players on short trials on multiple occasions. Prior to the end of last year, the org brought on two new additions in Danish players Zik and SEIDER from Wave Esports, and the squad got off to a promising start in some of its smaller event performances before 2022.
A relatively newer face to esports, the TENSTAR organization is just over a year old, with only aspiring teams in Siege and Halo competing alongside its men’s and women’s VALORANT roster. The women’s French roster, TENSTAR Nova, is considered one of the best in the world in the growing scene, with two EMEA Game Changers victories already under their belts.
The men’s team got involved in the VCT later than most when the Tarren Mill roster was picked up in late May 2021. They had an impressive qualifier run late in the year but fell to Fnatic, like so many other teams, missing out on both the Challengers Playoffs and the EMEA LCQ. But now, TENSTAR has taken something from Fnatic with the big acquisition of young playmaker Doma ahead of the 2022 VCT campaign.