Now that Challengers is over, it’s time for VCT Stage 1 Masters to kick off on Thursday, March 11. Eight North American teams will be competing over the course of the following week to earn the title of the first VALORANT champions via multiple regional finals.
VALORANT Champions Tour Overview
For those new to VALORANT, the Champions Tour is a year-long, global competition with three levels: Challengers (which occurred last month), Masters, and then Champions. The international Masters throughout March will determine who gets to move on to Champions, where one team will eventually take the title of VALORANT Global Champion after a two-week-long tournament. The regions involved are North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Who will end up on top? Only time will tell.
Rules for North America’s Masters 1
The eight teams competing in North America Masters 1 are Immortals, Team Envy, Sentinels, XSET, 100 Thieves, Luminosity Gaming, Gen. G Esports and FaZe Clan. These teams will be competing in the double-elimination tournament featuring best-of-three matches. The Grand Final will be more grueling, with a best-of-five setup. The Winners Bracket finalist will be awarded a single map advantage.
Watch out for Team Envy
Team Envy walked away with first place in the VCT Challengers 2 tournament back in Feb. After giving Sentinels a run for their money in the upper bracket semifinals where they won 2-1 and then completely bulldozed them in the grand final with a win of 3-0, their past victories suggest that the second place Sentinels will not be a problem. If Victor “food” Wong is on point with his common aggressive duelist playstyle with either Phoenix or Raze, then Sentinels will have a big fire to put out.
On top of this match history, the Sentinels are now going into Masters with one man down. After allegations of sexual abuse came to surface regarding Jay “Sinatraa” Won, Riot has suspended Sinatraa from competing until the investigation is complete. With this last-minute alteration to their roster, Sentinels are most likely to be off-balance going into competition tomorrow. Sentinels have not been confirmed yet, but one of their stand-ins, Coby “dizzy” Meadows, would be a versatile choice for them.
100 Thieves as Potential Underdog Winner
Back in Dec. 2020, 100 Thieves took the title of the first VALORANT First Strike: North America champion. They beat TSM in the grand finals 3-1, a team that is surprisingly missing from the Masters’ list of contenders. More recently, going into Masters they are coming off a second-place finish (behind FaZe Clan) from VCT North America Stage 1 Challengers 3.
A possible challenge for Team Envy’s food, Peter “Asuna” Mazurk is their young fragger who is known to play a show-stopping Raze. 100 Thieves are also known to have even more firepower within their team captain, Spencer “Hiko” Martin. Hiko topped the First Strike series in kills with 73 kills. If their firepower is on point, Sentinels may be a weaker target to strike without Sinatraa, and they could even give Team Envy a run for the top spot.
Watch the Action
The Main Event Broadcast Schedule is as follows:
- Thursday, March 11 12:00PM PT WB Round 1
- Friday, March 12 12:00PM PT WB Round 1
- Saturday, March 13 12:00PM PT LB Round 1
- Sunday, March 14 12:00PM PT WB Round 2
- Friday, March 19 12:00PM PT LB Round 3 & WB Round 3
- Saturday, March 20 12:00PM PT LB Round 4 & LBF
- Sunday, March 21 12:00PM PT Finals
Check out VALORANT esports’ Twitch link to watch all of the action live: https://www.twitch.tv/valorant_esports_na
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