VALORANT esports continues to shine, with a great Day 1 for the play-offs of the VALORANT Champions Tour: Challengers 2. The Challengers 2 tournament, features 8 top European teams, 4 of which qualify from the previous Challenger tournament, whilst the other 4 qualify from an online open qualifier. The make up of the teams is as shown:
- Team Heretics
all coming from the Online Open Qualifiers, whereas:
- Ninjas in Pyjamas
- FunPlus Phoenix
- Wave Esports
- OG Esports
All come through the automatic qualification quota of the Top 4 of the Challenger Series 1.
The Battle is on:
The 8 teams fight in single bracket, knockout style, Play-in and Play-offs stage. The 8 Teams from the open qualifier battle it out in a Best of 3 Series, to fight for a chance to go to EU Masters, for which they will have to beat the top 4 teams from Challengers Series 1, in a single elimination BO-3, in the play-offs stage. Losing in the play-offs stage will grant them an automatic qualification for the next Challenger Series, whereas winning gives them a free ticket to EU Masters along with a decent €8,750!
Wave Esports V/S Alliance (0-2;- 9-13, 15-17)
The game between Wave Esports and Alliance was closer than it looked, with the 2-0 scoreline not at all being representative of how the game went. The match stretched out for 54 round haul!
Alliance started out on their own map pick, Icebox with a decent 13-9 scoreline. The former Ninjas In Pyjamas core, showed up and took the game, with Wave Esports having a decent showing.
Both teams choosing to run Viper is a clear indication of things to come, with Viper starting to be chosen on Icebox fairly often now. The former NIP man hype, put in a solid 1.35 rating, with a 261 ACS.
Moving on to Haven, definitely one of the most interesting games all tournament! A butt-clenching 15-17 in favour of Alliance, with a massive performance from all the players on Alliance, with only krea6on, their Omen going negative, albeit only very slightly (-4). Wave Eports on the other hand clearly setup for Carcass, and he put in the performance he needed to on that Jett, with the highest ACS on the server! (255). The series ended with a 4 on 4, with both hype and xTribune taken out respectively, which went in Alliance’s favour, quite cleanly.
Ninjas In Pyjamas V/S G2 Esports:
A fairly professional performance for the Ninjas leading to a clean sweep over one of Europe’s top teams G2 Esports. Both teams coming off roster changes, lead to a slightly shaky game in terms of quality, but a clean one in terms of results for the Ninjas!
The Ninjas started out on G2’s map pick, Ascent with both teams choosing to run the Standard Omen + Jett + Sova core, along with Skye and Killjoy for G2. Skye is clearly slowly moving into the meta with multiple teams starting to run it, but this really didnt seem like the game to prove it. A fairly even first half for both teams (5-7 in favour of G2), and then a very strong Defending half (8-2) from the Ninjas to take the game, and G2’s map pick. Rhyme was the standout performer, with a 318 ACS on the Sova, along with 6 Entries!
Haven proved to be tougher ground for the Ninjas, with G2 taking one round more than they did on Ascent! The Sova for NiP was the standout performer again, but this time on Jady. The rest of the team had a great showing aswell, leading to a 13-10, 2-0, sweep against on the best sides in Europe. G2 chose to run Skye again on zeek, and he didn’t have the best performance to show for it, but it clearly shows G2 is willing to experiment with the newer comps that are being thrown out, and it may just be a matter of time and experience till G2 figures out how exactly they can win with the so-claimed fresher, soon to be meta comps.
What’s coming up:
Day 2 will feature BIG games like the Fnatic vs FPX game, which has a massive history to it, with them meeting in First Strike EU aswell under the brand of SUMN FC, previously. OG Esports vs Team Heretics is also looking to be an interesting one, with the defending First Strike champions looking to secure their seat in VCT Masters EU.
Ninjas in Pyjamas and Alliance already having qualified has set quite the storyline already, and we just cant wait to see what's in store tomorrow. Tune in for Day 2 of VCT: Challenger Series 2, Day 2!
*Screenshots courtesy of thespike.gg