Gambit and Team Liquid in one group, while Fnatic and Acend will fight it out in another.

With the reveal of group seeding earlier today, and the conclusion of regional matches, everything is set for the first major VALORANT Champions Tour event in the west in 2022, Stage 1 EMEA Challengers.

EMEA's four teams from Champions - Gambit Esports, Team Liquid, Fnatic, and world champions Acend - are joined by eight newcomers. Four from Europe, and two each from the CIS and Turkey. The event begins February 11th and fans are eagerly awaiting a great showdown.

The participants and groups

The groups for Stage 1 EMEA Challengers. The final three teams have now been decided. Image via <a href="">VALORANT Esports EMEA.</a>
The groups for Stage 1 EMEA Challengers. The final three teams have now been decided. Image via VALORANT Esports EMEA.

The participants for the event are:

  • From Champions: Acend, Gambit Esports, Team Liquid, Fnatic.
  • From European qualifiers: Guild Esports, BIG, G2 Esports, LDN UTD.
  • CIS qualifiers: FunPlus Phoenix, Natus Vincere.
  • Turkish qualifiers: SuperMassive Blaze, BBL Esports.

Group A consists of Gambit, Team Liquid, BIG, FPX, LDN UTD, and Navi. Group B, meanwhile, features Fnatic, Acend, SMB, Guild, BBL, and G2. The top three teams in each group will progress to the playoffs, which will wrap up at the end of March and determine EMEA's teams for the first international event of 2022.

EMEA Challengers preview

The four teams that featured at Champions should be favorites here. Fnatic is the only one to have made a roster move, dropping Domagoj "Doma" Fancev in favor of former One Breath Gaming and Team Finest player Andrew "BraveAF" Gorchakov. BraveAF is new to such a high level of competition, so it will be interesting to see how he and Fnatic perform.

Of the new teams, Guild is probably the scariest. They made sweeping roster changes in the offseason. Nikita "trexx" Cherednichenko, Russel "Russ" Mendes, and Jose Luis "koldamenta" Aranguren joined Saif "Sayf" Jibraeel and Leo "Leo" Jannesson to form a very strong team. Guild won the first seed from Europe coming into this and should challenge the best.

FunPlus Phoenix and SuperMassive Blaze come in as the top representatives from the CIS and Turkey, respectively. Despite a shaky start, FPX managed to come out on top in CIS. Whether they've improved since the addition of Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks is yet unknown. SMB's roster, like Guild's, is has a new look compared to last year. They've brought together a squad of underrated Turkish talent, and a good performance would be great for the burgeoning Turkish scene.

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