NSG Winter Championship Finals – Teams, Schedule & Favorites

The long awaited NSG Winter Championship Final is finally here.

All participants have earned their qualification through competing in prior event, demonstrating their strength in the region. We finally have the entire field of contestants filled out, and can break out some narratives going forward.

Watch Nerd Street Gamers Winter Championship Live:

NSG Winter Championship Finals Breakdown

Finals will take place between February 7-9 and features 24 teams, qualifying through either Circuit Points, Direct Invites or Last Chance Qualifier.

Qualification Process

To qualify for the NSG Winter Championship, teams could have competed a multitude of NSG events. These include 15 separate NSG Winter Championship Open events, or the regional Philadelphia or Denver NSG Winter Championship. Competing in such events would earn teams circuit points depending on their standing, with Open events offering up to 800 points for first place, while the two regional events offering 1600 to winners.

The top 16 teams with the highest amount of circuit points would be invited to compete in the final NSG Winter Championship. However, given the commitment of some top teams who may not be able to compete at certain times thus missing the chance to earn enough circuit points, there is still the Last Chance Qualifier. NSG organizers make it possible for these top teams to compete in the final NSG Winter Championship by offering 8 spots in the NSG Winter Last Chance Qualifier, a massive amount compared to other last chance qualifiers.

Circuit Points Qualified Teams

Akrew was without a doubt the competitor with the highest amount of circuit points. The team sits on 21000 circuit points, almost double that of their closest competitor. Being one of the teams that are not competing in the VCT, they were able to compete in a large amount of NSG events, ranging from the weeklies, locals and regional events. However, while they earned more points due to competing in more events compared to other big teams, they cannot be discredited, earning 3 back-to-back wins in the Open events. Akrew had only formed their Valorant division in October of 2021, with their overwhelming lead being a great achievement. Being so new, the roster has shown a large amount of promise.

Here’s the rest of the lineup earning their way to the final through points:

  • Akrew
  • Radiance
  • BBG Academy
  • Team Assent
  • Knights
  • TSM FTX Academy
  • Renegades
  • The Mafia
  • Luminosity Gaming
  • Pioneers
  • The Guard
  • 303 Esports
  • Third Impact
  • Knights Academy
  • XSET

Last Chance Qualifier Teams

The last chance qualifier was played this past weekend. Eight bo3 series decided the final eight joining the rest in the finals. The following teams won their series and earned a spot into the Winter Championship final: Complexity, Evil Geniuses, NRG Esports, Moon Raccoons, Andbox, Version1, Zero Marksmen Black and Built by Gamers.

NSG Winter Championship Favorites

Version1 had previously been a top force in the North American scene. While the team had recently struggled in the VCT Stage 3 of 2021, their ability to place just behind Sentinels in the NA VCT Stage 2 Challenger Finals, and middle amongst top teams globally in the VCT 2021 Masters Reyjavik cannot be overlooked. Having newly signed Zander, a highly promising rookie as the team’s new in game leader, Version 1 is primed in a strong position to not only compete for the top spot in the NSG Winter Championship, but the upcoming NA VCT Challengers Stage 1.

XSET are no strangers to the scene and have competed heavily among the best in 2021. They have always been considered a top five team in NA next to Sentinels, Envy, 100T and Version1. Coming into the NerdSt Winter Finals they are one of the top three contenders to win the trophy. Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban is the latest addition to the team and hopefully the golden ticket for the team to start 2022 off with a bang.

NRG is yet another high profile contender from the 2021 VCT season. They are not as high profile as XSET and Version1, but have managed to win maps off both and have held their own versus the best in NA for the past 12 months. They should make it into the Top3 with ease if they keep their current form.

Prelude to the NA VCT Challengers Stage 1

Gearing up for the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: North America Stage 1 Challengers, the NSG Winter Championship will bring good insight to many of the top teams following their various roster changes at the end of 2021. The NSG Winter Championship features many big names, including XSET, Renegades, BBG, NRG, Evil Geniuses and Version 1. While teams who have competed in the VCT, North America’s highest level of competition undoubtably have the advantage, the event is set to bring spot light to many smaller teams, and ultimately their players. It will act as a good scouting grounds for emerging talent that could be picked up in the future, especially considering the VCT season has still yet to begin.

The NSG Winter Championship is set to conclude on the 9th of February, only two days before the start of VCT on the 11th of February.