Gambit and Envy Valorant teams meet on stage ahead of Masters Berlin tournament final
Gambit and Envy Valorant teams meet on stage ahead of Masters Berlin tournament final

Meet the teams qualified for VALORANT Champions

by Jessica Scharnagle

The year-long VALORANT Champions Tour will have its finale soon, and teams have already begun qualifying for spots at the year-end championship tournament: Champions.

The world championship will feature 16 of the world’s best VALORANT teams facing off in a two-week-long tournament to determine the 2021 champion.

All but four teams have been slotted into Champions spots following the conclusion of Masters: Berlin. The champion of Masters: Berlin automatically qualifies, and the qualifiers via regional circuit points break down this way: North America gets two spots, EMEA gets two spots, Brazil gets two spots, Latin America gets on spot, Korea gets one spot, Japan gets one spot and Southeast Asia gets two spots.

The last four teams will be determined at the conclusion of each region’s Last Chance Qualifier, which takes place mid-October. The four regions competing for one spot each are North America, EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa), South America (Brazil and Latin America), and APAC (Asia-Pacific).

For now, meet all of the teams who have qualified for Champions so far.

North America

Sentinels

Photo credit: Riot Games

Sentinels qualified for Champions during the Masters: Reykjavík tournament where they won first place and picked up 400 points, placing them well beyond what any other North American team could reach.

Before Masters: Berlin, many would have said that this team is favored to win Champions, but after their performance there, people are no longer as confident in them.

They were ousted in the quarterfinals by fellow NA team Envy 2-0. Their performance started slipping in their first match against G2, who became the first team to take a map off of them in international play. Then they lost to G2 2-0 in their round-robin match.

Although many are saying that a lack of coach is what caused the team to lose, Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan has already taken to his stream to say that adding a coach is not going to magically fix all of their problems.

The team will be working during the next few months to fix their problems and come back to Champions as the team that sits on top of the throne.

Envy

Photo credit: Riot Games

Envy qualified via circuit points after beating 100 Thieves in the Masters: Berlin semifinals. They reached the grand final with the highest amount of points behind Sentinels and with no other NA team able to pass them.

Very few were expecting Envy to beat out Sentinels in the quarterfinals, but they did so 2-0 and didn’t drop an entire map until the grand final. Their performance at Masters: Berlin was impressive, and there are plenty of stars on their roster, in particular Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, also known as El Diablo.

Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen is on loan from FaZe Clan, but Marved told Nerd Street that he was 99% sure that he would be a permanent member of Envy after his loan.

This team is stacked with talent, and with the addition of yay, they are finally getting their best results after consistently finishing among the top teams in NA tournaments but never quite breaking through. Austin “crashies” Roberts is now considered one of the best Sovas in the world, and Pujan “FNS” Mehta is getting a ton of recognition for his IGL abilities.

Regardless of losing to Gambit Esports in the Masters: Berlin finals, Envy wear the NA crown now, and there will be a target on their backs as they head into Champions.

A third team will qualify via the NA Last Chance Qualifier.

EMEA

Gambit Esports

Photo credit: Riot Games

The team that won EMEA its fourth spot after finishing in first place at Masters: Berlin is Gambit Esports. Their circuit points are irrelevant since they won the tournament and automatically qualified for Champions (but they did amass enough circuit points beforehand to qualify that way too). They are looking incredibly nasty after their encounter with Envy, and they are the team that everyone will be watching going into Champions.

Everyone on Gambit are incredibly talented players who are able to adapt at a moment’s notice. They admitted they didn’t practice Haven for nine months but took it from Envy anyway in the final.

IGL Igor “Redgar” Vlasov also admitted in a press conference after the Masters: Berlin grand final that the team is only performing at about 60% of the team’s potential. If that is truly where the team is performance-wise, then the rest of the competitors in Champions are in for a hard time.

Gambit know they now have a target on their backs, same as Envy, and will be preparing more surprises for their competitors during the break.

Acend

Photo credit: Riot Games

Although their Masters: Berlin performance left much to be desired for the EU team, Acend still solidified their spot in Champions just by making it to the bracket stage.

Acend were knocked out of the tournament by 100 Thieves, but they made it through a tough group, which pitted them against Korea’s top-rated Vision Strikers, fellow EMEA team SuperMassive Blaze and Southeast Asia’s Paper Rex. The only loss they suffered in groups was to Vision Strikers.

Although Acend didn’t make it far in Masters: Berlin, no team can be counted out in a tournament like Champions. They’ll have a hunger for revenge the next time they step foot in Berlin.

Fnatic

Photo credit: Riot Games

Fnatic didn’t qualify for Masters: Berlin, but their performance at Masters: Reykjavík put them in a good enough spot to secure EMEA’s third spot with Acend and G2 getting eliminated before the final and Gambit winning the tournament.

At Masters: Reykjavík, Fnatic were not only known for their hilarious celebrations but they also made it to the grand final. They were given the beat down by Sentinels in the last match of the series, but the points that they accrued were enough to carry them through to Champions.

If Gambit had lost in the grand final at Masters: Berlin, Fnatic wouldn’t have qualified for Champions. Because Gambit freed up an extra slot for the region, FNATIC can start preparing for Champions instead of EMEA’s Last Chance Qualifier.

A fourth team will qualify via the Last Chance Qualifier.

Brazil

Photo credit: Riot Games

Team Vikings

One of the most consistent teams across the year was Team Vikings, who scored 100 points at Stage 1 Masters, 200 points at Masters: Reykjavík and 50 points at their Challengers 3 regional playoff.

They finished in Brazil’s top spot via circuit points. They did fairly well in Masters: Reykjavík but missed out on Masters: Berlin, so teams will have to study some older VODs to get intel on them.

Vivo Keyd

Photo credit: Riot Games

The second Brazilian team to qualify is Vivo Keyd. They earned enough circuit points in Berlin to surpass Sharks Esports, who were at Masters: Reykajvík, and Havan Liberty, who didn’t do as well at Masters: Berlin. The difference between Vivo Keyd and Havan Liberty was that Vivo picked up a win against ZETA DIVISION, while Havan Liberty could not beat Crazy Raccoon.

A third Brazilian team might qualify via the South American Last Chance Qualifier.

Latin America

Photo credit: Riot Games

KRÜ Esports

KRÜ are another team who have put up some points consistently across the board that led to their qualification to Champions. They made it to both Masters: Reykjavík and the bracket stage of Masters: Berlin to earn enough points to qualify.

They were ultimately ousted by G2 Esports, but they’ll have their chance to come back and show the world how good LATAM is when they return to Berlin to compete at Champions.

A second team from Latin America might qualify via the South American Last Chance Qualifier.

Japan

Crazy Raccoon

Photo credit: Riot Games

The only team from Japan that we know for sure is going to Champions right now is Crazy Raccoon. They competed at both international Masters events this year and accrued enough points to finish at the circuit point standings in Japan. After not getting a win in Reykjavík, they beat Brazilian team Havan Liberty in Berlin.

A second team from Japan might qualify via the APAC Last Chance Qualifier.

Korea

Vision Strikers

Photo credit: Riot Games

Although fans quite enjoyed NUTURN Gaming’s antics at Reykjavík, Vision Strikers are currently the only Korean team definitely headed to Champions. Vision Strikers came into Masters: Berlin as one of the favorites, and they performed fairly well. They just barely qualified over NUTURN by getting into the knockout round in Berlin.

Their success at Masters: Berlin plus their win at Korea’s Stage 1 Masters put them over NUTURN (by just five points!) in order to clinch Korea’s spot at Champions.

A second team from Korea might qualify via the APAC Last Chance Qualifier.

Southeast Asia

Photo credit: Riot Games

X10 Esports

X10 didn’t make it to Masters: Berlin, but they top the charts in SEA due to the points they’ve earned in previous Masters tournaments and in their regional Challengers tournaments. They finished 7th-8th at Masters: Reykjavík, giving them enough points to top the region.

Team Secret

Formerly Bren Esports, Team Secret qualified even though they didn’t go to Masters: Berlin due to visa issues. They scored enough points just for qualifying for the tournament, which is the same amount of points they would have received if they had finished in last place.

Because the points follow the players and not the team, Team Secret will be eligible to compete in Masters: Berlin if they can be cleared for travel to the venue. Although Paper Rex technically tied with Team Secret in terms of circuit points, a tiebreaker favored Team Secret to move on.

A third team from Southeast Asia might qualify via the APAC Last Chance Qualifier.

When do Last Chance Qualifiers and Champions start?

Last Chance Qualifiers will take place in mid-October for all four regions. NA’s competition is Oct. 12-17, EMEA’s is Oct 10-17, APAC’s is Oct. 13-17 and South America’s is Oct. 11-17.

The conclusion to the exciting year of the VALORANT Champions Tour takes place Dec. 2-12. One team will be crowned the world’s best team in the inaugural year of the VCT.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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