TSM-Gen.G and Version1-T1 will kick things off next week Thursday. Cloud9 Blue failing to qualify is a huge surprise. The top four advance to Challengers Finals while the top 3 from that represent NA at the next LAN in Berlin.
Another week of VCT NA open qualifiers is in the books. We saw some very interesting results come through. NRG's struggles continue with yet another loss to an unsigned squad. TSM look tremendously improved with new addition Aleko "Leviathan" Gabuniya. And Cloud9 Blue fell in a big upset to Luminosity.
With all this over, the bracket is set for next week's closed qualifier, Challengers 2. It's a big one: if teams fall out here, their shot at representing the region at VCT Masters in Berlin, Germany, are over. The top four will join Sentinels, XSET, 100 Thieves, and Envy in Challengers Finals. From that big event, the top three qualify for the LAN. But it all starts here. So who has made it, and who has a good chance to progress?
The first opening match might also be the biggest: Gen.G vs. TSM. Gen.G have been looking quite good lately, and should be favourites to make top four. But up against the fan favourites TSM, will they be able to hold their ground?
Version1 vs. T1 is the other opening match. Another tight clash, V1 are coming off a disappointing Challengers 1 but will have Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro back in the lineup with his suspension served. T1, on the other hand, have managed to make it this far with tight open qualifier games. Will Braxton "brax" Pierce and co. be able to topple the VCT Masters Reykjavik representatives?
Kansas City Pioneers vs. Luminosity is an underrated match. KCP came out of nowhere to put up a good showing in Challengers 1; meanwhile, LG are coming off a big upset against Cloud9 Blue. Both teams are very on form and have a chance to surprise in this event, if they can beat the other first.
Lastly, FaZe Clan vs. Rise is a battle of two powerful teams. FaZe look to have regained some of their form, while Rise can never be counted out.
VCT NA Challengers 2 Favourites
Any team in this event can come out in any position, they're very evenly matched. If I had to predict a top four, I'd go with Gen.G, V1, KCP, and TSM. Gen.G have been very solid lately, and have shown a lot of potential. I think they're the best team in this pool. V1 should improve with Zellsis back, while KCP could surprise again. Lastly, TSM look reinvigorated with the addition of Leviathan, and will certainly have their big fanbase behind them as they look to grab top 8.