VCT NA Playoffs Match Breakdown
The intensity of the 2022 North American VCT Challengers 1 is kicking up, having narrowed down the region’s top 8 teams in the playoffs. The top two teams will earn a qualification to participate in the upcoming 2022 VCT Stage 1 Masters in Reykjavik. With playoffs being a double elimination, teams will get a second chance in the lower bracket even if they stumble once. With Sentinels and The Guard both considered one of the stronger teams facing off against each other so early on, it is highly likely the loser will progress far in the lower bracket.
Version 1 vs. Luminosity
Despite having an extremely close call in their set against NRG, they emerged as the undisputed top team in Group B with a perfect 5-0 run. V1 had most recently taken down Sentinels in a decisive fashion with a 2-0 victory. The team is considered one of the top three contenders as the champions of the NA VCT Challengers 1. Luminosity, on the other hand, had only barely qualified for playoffs with their 2-3 run, primarily due to the 100 Thieves’ fall from grace. This match is nearly guaranteed to fall towards V1 with little contest.
Prediction: Version 1 94% l Luminosity Gaming 6%
The Guard vs. Sentinels
The battle between the most promising upcoming team in 2022 and the kings of the 2021 North American Valorant scene. The Guard had finished 4-1 in the group stage, only taken down by Cloud 9 in the final week. Sentinels, while still one of the stronger teams in the tournament, have been widely inconsistent and lack much of the dominance seen last year. Sentinels had numerous hard-fought battles in the group stage, despite ending positive 3-2, the team had been forced to play the full best of 3 sets for all their wins. Given The Guard’s strong consistency and potential for improvement, they hold an advantage over The Sentinels who have clearly been struggling this year.
Prediction: The Guard 65% l Sentinels 35%
Cloud 9 vs. Optic Gaming
Cloud 9 came out on top of Group A with a perfect 5-0 run. However, in the quarterfinals, C9 had only narrowly clinched the victory over Knights. That said, C9 remains a favorite for taking out challengers given their undefeated streak. Optic Gaming on the other hand has been performing consistently as a strong mid-tier team. OG were able to take down XSET in the quarterfinals, one of the teams that had been a tough opponent for Cloud 9 in the group stage. While Cloud 9 are favored due to their undefeated streak, Optic Gaming cannot be counted out.
Prediction: Cloud 9 60% l Optic Gaming 40%