An update from Riot on the bracket has caused widespread criticism, as teams will be travelling to Los Angeles – some having to quarantine – just to play a single best-of-3.
VALORANT coverage site VLR.gg has had it confirmed that the NA Last Chance Qualifier bracket will run an unusual format. The event - being held on LAN - will be single-elimination until the top four.
The revelation has seen criticism for a number of different reasons. Players will be flying to Los Angeles for possibly just two maps of VALORANT. By far the worst situation in this regard is that of the Oceanic teams, ORDER and Chiefs. They're flying across an ocean, and facing quarantines there and back, just for possibly two maps. While this is bad enough, many see the bracket as heavily weighted. To see two of 100 Thieves, XSET, Gen.G, and Cloud9 Blue go out without a shot at redemption would be disappointing.
Pros offer widespread criticism
Professional players have been almost unanimous in their dissatisfaction. 100 Thieves' Spencer "Hiko" Martin was maybe the most high-profile. Teammates Ethan "Ethan" Arnold, Aaron "b0i" Thao, Peter "Asuna" Mazuryk, and Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella all agreed.
Predictably, Oceanic players were upset about the Last Chance Qualifier announcement. "What do you mean bro?" ORDER coach Ollie "DickStacy" Tierney replied to Hiko. "I reckon both Aussie teams are stoked to fly from beautiful Kangaroo land 16 hours + 21 days in quarantine for a potential single bo3 after 9 months of qualifiers.." Chiefs' Michael "WRONSKI" Wronski echoed the sentiment. "First LAN, first international event for me. Single elimination. 2 days of travel (for me) to get to LA. 2 weeks quarantine when we get back. AWESOME!!!!"
North America is not the only Last Chance Qualifier to face issues
North America is not the only Last Chance Qualifier to have faced problems. Asia's LCQ was originally supposed to feature Chinese teams, in that region's VCT debut. However, they were forced to pull out due to ping. Combine that with Japan's ZETA DIVISION pulling out, and 3 of the 8 teams in that event were not originally qualified. This has also upset the South Asian community, who have been arguing for one of those empty spots to go to a team from their region. They currently only have one representative at the Asian Last Chance Qualifier, Global Esports, while Korea, Southeast Asia, and Japan each have 3.
The North American Last Chance Qualifier kicks off on October 12th. Stay tuned to Esports.gg for the latest VALORANT news and coverage.