It’s time to find out which two teams will represent North America in Iceland for Masters Reykjavik, the first international VALORANT LAN tournament. Eight teams will battle it out this weekend in Challengers Finals, a double-elimination tournament to sort things out.
So, how do the teams stack up against each other? We know you have thoughts, and so we here at Nerd Street Gamers, so here are our Power Rankings for these eight.
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 6-4 | map record 13-11
Andbox were just on the outside looking in during Stage 1 Masters. They almost qualified for Challengers Finals out of Challengers 1, and then they finally secured top-eight status following Challengers 2. They pulled off a huge upset last weekend when they beat Sentinels 2-0 in Challengers 2. Of course, Sentinels then beat them in their rematch in the lower bracket, which proved that there is a lot of parity among the top teams in NA VALORANT.
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 10-3 | map record 20-8
Like Andbox, NRG are another team that was hovering on the periphery of top-eight status in NA VALORANT during Stage 1. The biggest difference for them from Stage 1 to Stage 2 has been the addition of Bradley “ANDROID” Fodor, who left Andbox and joined NRG toward the end of Stage 1. They beat Immortals, one of NA’s top eight in Stage 1, to qualify for Challengers Finals.
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 6-2 | map record 14-7
Version1 are the newest team on this list in terms of fielding a roster. The org jumped into VALORANT earlier this year. During Stage 1, FaZe Clan ended two of their Challengers runs, so it’s fitting that they knocked FaZe out during Stage 2 Challengers 1. Their roster consists of former CS:GO players Anthony “vanity” Malaspina, Loic “effys” Sauvageau, Erik “penny” Penny and Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro. The biggest question for them entering Challengers Finals will be who replaces Keven "PLAYER1" Champagne, who left the team on April 16.
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 8-2 | map record 17-8
After being one of the most surprising teams to qualify for Stage 1 Masters, XSET’s performance during Stage 2 proved that they belong among the top NA teams. They were one of the first four teams to qualify for Challengers Finals out of Challengers 1. They proved their resiliency by beating Envy in the Challengers 1 lower bracket after initially losing to Envy in the upper bracket. They made it all the way to the grand final before losing to 100 Thieves.
Floppy was on C9's CS:GO team and is now on their VALORANT squad. Photo credit: DreamHack
4. Cloud9 Blue
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 8-3 | map record 17-9
Despite loaning out superstar Tyson “TenZ” Ngo to fellow NA rival Sentinels, Cloud9 Blue have looked dangerous as of late. After winning Nerd Street Gamers’ March Monthly, they have put together a strong performance in Stage 2. They were one win short of qualifying for Challengers Finals during Challengers 1, but they ensured their qualification with a strong upper-bracket run in Challengers 2, where their only loss was to Sentinels. Since TenZ has been out on loan, nearly the entire roster has turned over, with Mitch “mitch” Semago being the only holdover from last year. Their most recent additions have been two of the org’s former CS:GO players: Ricky "floppy" Kemery and Erick "Xeppaa" Bach.
3. Team Envy
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 6-2 | map record 14-6
Envy have arguably been the most consistent of all the teams since Stage 1. They were among the top eight NA teams in Stage 1 and finished fourth at Masters, and they are once again among the top eight in Stage 2 and a favorite to finish among the top four. They’ve been one of the more experimental teams in Stage 2, with Envy running Astra comps with Anthony “mummAy” DiPaolo finding a lot of success playing VALORANT’s newest agent.
2. 100 Thieves
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 8-0 | map record 17-2
After falling short of the grand finals at Stage 1 Masters, 100 Thieves came out strong in Stage 2 and qualified for Challengers Finals by winning Challengers 1. They didn’t drop a single match along the way, beating other top teams on this list, including Envy, C9 Blue and XSET. The one top-tier team on this list that they didn’t face? The team just ahead of them: Sentinels. They’ll likely have to face Sentinels at least once this weekend, potentially in the upper bracket semifinals if both teams win their opening matches, and/or in the grand finals.
VCT Stage 2 W-L record 13-2 | map record 27-6
By a narrow margin, our staff still thinks Sentinels are the best team in NA. Despite getting knocked out during the Challengers 1 open qualifiers and getting knocked into the lower bracket in Challengers 2, Sentinels might still be the team to beat. Outside of those two losses, their record speaks for itself.
For a while it looked like the Stage 1 Masters defending champs wouldn’t get a chance to go to Iceland, but they did just enough to qualify for Challengers Finals and will open their run against Andbox on Thursday. TenZ and Sens will be hard to beat and are a strong contender to be one of two teams that will represent North America at IceLAN.