Valorant Masters Europe Stage 1 Breakdown and Event Predictions

Valorant Masters Europe is about to kick off the long awaited 2021 Valorant Champions Tour season. Three Challenger events determined the eight participants that will battle for the first set of VCT points towards VALORANT Champions 2021.

It’s been a messy road for many teams, as the unstable EU scene is yet to define a meta and the best players on the market. Pre-event favorites did not even qualify, leaving a full set of unknowns for the inaugural Masters.

Here’s how everything went down thus far, and what we can expect moving forward.

ANGE1 Fun Plus Phoenix Valorant

Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow

Valorant Masters Europe Teams & Format

This is one of the inaugural events for Valorant, launching the competitive scene to a new level. Most of the data thus far was from third-party events and tournaments part of the Ignition Series last year. Valorant Masters Stage 1 will define the meta, picks and favorites coming into the second Challengers season and ultimately Valorant Masters Reykjavik, the first international Valorant LAN event.

In order to kickstart their season, Riot Games ran a series of regional qualifying events that would ultimately decide the Masters teams in each region. Three such events were held in Europe, and the last one concluded on the 7th of March. Pre-event predictions had teams G2, Fnatic and OG as the favorites to qualify for the Masters. By the end of it, all three were eliminated by DfuseTeam, Ballista Esports and Raise Your Edge respectively. The same three “favorites” were eliminated in the previous qualifier as well by Ninjas in Pyjamas, FunPlus Phoenix and Team Heretics. Finally, Guild Esports and Alliance secured their spot in Valorant Masters by eliminating Wave Esports in previous qualifier events.

The 12 teams you see bolded out above are the cream of the crop in EU Valorant, and should be your main favorites for Valorant betting throughout the season.

The 8 teams that qualified for the main event will be seeded into two double-elimination GSL groups. The top two teams in each group will advance into single elimination Playoffs. All matches leading up to the final will be best-of-three. The Final will be played in a best-of-five format.  All five Valorant maps (Bind, Haven, Split, Ascent and Icebox) are in play for the event with teams pick/banning their desired map.

The event will give out the first set of VCT 2021 points. The point system tallies points between the Europe, Turkey and CIS regions and will rank the best teams in the joined EMEA Region. We do not currently know how much points will the 2nd and 3rd masters event give and if the inaugural Valorant Masters will have a huge impact on the year-end standings.

Outside of the team themselves, there have been some problems with sportsmanship in the EU server. It was requested that players refrain from tea-bagging or shooting dead players during the games. This was ignored, and seemed to actually encourage the behavior! The players involved probably won’t see any punishment though. It isn’t currently clear if that was an official rule, or just a request for that set of matches.

Valorant Masters Europe Predictions

Predicting the best performing teams in the inaugural Masters event is becoming a nightmare for both tipsters and esports bookmakers. Ignition Series and First Strike favorites were eliminated leaving us with a fresh batch of teams that are hard to match head2head.

Two main favorites are known however. Fun Plus Phoenix and Team Heretics have consistently performed in the European battleground for almost a year and have maintained consistency throughout. Be it them ending up in the same group or different groups, they are the two teams expected to make it into Playoffs with relative ease. The tricky part is figuring out which two other teams will be joining them into Playoffs.

A case can be built for almost every other teams on the list. Be it Guild Esports who consistently fought and improved over the past 6 months, or NiP and Ex6TenZ consistently over-performing in 2021. We even have Raise Your Edge and Ballista Esports, relative unknowns who took the qualifiers by storm and stomped over the best of them.

The overall narrative of this event will be figuring out who beats who and by how much.

If you are seeking to place bets on matches, your best option is to chose Map Score picks and always play for “Over 2.5 maps played” in your selections.

Odds are already available at mainstream providers like GG.BET and Unikrn with somewhat limited markets. We can expect more exotic bets to be available in Playoffs or during Stage 2.

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