VCT Champions Group A & B Opening Matches Breakdown
The first set of matches in the Valorant Champions 2022 is soon set to begin at the end of August. The first two days of the biggest Valorant event this year will begin with the opening matches for Group A and Group B. Victors of the first few opening matches will advance to the Winner’s match, leaving them only a single victory off qualifying for the playoffs stage.
Find out more about the Champions 2022 format and schedule in our complete event breakdown.
Paper Rex vs. Edward Gaming
Paper Rex are the undisputed kings of the Asia Pacific region (APAC), securing first place in both the VCT 2022 APAC Stage 1 and Stage 2 Challengers. They have also cemented their position as a top team through their second-place finish in the recent 2022 VCT Stage 2 Masters in Copenhagen, only narrowly missing the top spot. In comparison, while Edward Gaming is a big name in China, the FGC is ultimately a smaller domestic series with less competition. Paper Rex have a good track record on the global stage, giving them a strong advantage over Edward Gaming whose players have yet to even compete against the top foreign teams.
Prediction: Paper Rex 80% l Edward Gaming 20%
Leviathan vs. Team Liquid
Leviathan had only created their Valorant division at the end of 2021. However, despite being a new team, Leviathan displayed great promise as a top force in LATAM. The team had consistently performed as a top 2 team across VCT LAS and LATAM events across 2022. Levithan most recently finished in first place in the VCT 2022 LATAM Stage 2 Challenger Playoffs with a decisive 3-0 victory in the finals. On the other hand, Team Liquid had been one of the strongest teams across the world, with top 4 finishes in both the 2021 VCT Stage 2 Masters and the previous Valorant Champions 2021. Unfortunately, Team Liquid failed to live up to expectations despite signing on some new talent. The team placed 5-6th place in the VCT EMEA Stage 2 Challengers event, narrowly qualifying for Champions through the EMEA Last Chance Qualifier. Given Leviathan’s consistently strong performance as opposed to Team Liquid’s gradual decline, Leviathan are poised to advance to Winner’s match.
Prediction: Leviathan 63% l Team Liquid 37%
Optic Gaming vs. Boom Esports
Optic Gaming signed the full Team Envy roster at the start of 2022, one of North America’s strongest rosters in 2021. While Envy fell early in Champions 2021 with a 9-12th place finish, the roster bounced back strong under the new Optic Gaming tag. They claimed the top spot in the VCT Masters 1 in Reykjavik with a strong 3-0 win against LOUD at the finals. Most recently, Optic Gaming cemented their position as one of the top Valorant teams worldwide through their top 3 finish in the VCT Masters 2 at Copenhagen. BOOM Esports have consistently been a top force in the Indonesian VCT, but have struggled to compete against other APAC teams as seen in their 7-8th place finish in the VCT APAC Stage 2 Challengers. While Boom Esports were able to qualify for Champions through the APAC Last Chance Qualifier, they are at a disadvantage given their lack of experience competing against top teams on the big stage. Optic Gaming’s highly consistent performance, being able to prove themselves both domestically and internationally, paired with the Champions format almost assures their success in this event.
Prediction: Optic Gaming 88% l Boom Esports 12%
Zeta Division vs. Loud
Zeta Division has long been a top force in the Japanese Valorant scene. Zeta Division has only improved throughout the years, rising from their 13-15th place in the 2021 Stage 3 Masters Berlin, to a top 3 finish in the 2022 Stage 1 Masters in Reykjavik. While Zeta had unfortunately failed to qualify for the recent Masters 2 event, the team remains as one of the most consistent performers with proven success on the global stage. LOUD only entered Valorant at the start of 2022, immediately dominating the VCT Brazil scene. Following a spectacular second place finish in the 2022 VCT Masters 1, the team had been hyped as one of the most promising teams. Unfortunately, LOUD were unable to carry this same strength through, failing to win a single match in Masters 2 and ultimately placing last in the event. While both teams are fairly evenly matched, Zeta Division’s consistency gives them the advantage over LOUD.
Prediction: Zeta Division 57% l Loud 43%