The groups for Valorant’s first big esports event of the year in North America have been revealed in VCT Challengers NA.

The groups for Valorant Challengers 1 NA have been revealed.

According to a report from Dot Esports' George Geddes, the groups for the upcoming event are as follows. Riot has yet to confirm these groups from Geddes' report, but his track record has been stellar in this regard.

Valorant Challengers 1: North America Groups

Group A
Group B
100 Thieves
Cloud9 Blue
The Guard
Evil Geniuses

The Group Stage for the 2022 NA Valorant Champions Tour Challengers One is set to run from February 11 through March 27. This event will in turn seed the first Masters event, alongside Challengers events from each region.

Already, Group B looks to be a group of death. Sentinels and Envy, widely considered to be the two best teams in North America last year, are in the same group. Meanwhile, Cloud9 (who are gaining a reputation of efficiency all their own) is on the other side in Group A with 100 Thieves and XSET. Both groups have rising stars, including Rise in Group B - that team impressed despite missing out on Masters Berlin last season.

North American teams are going to be on the hunt for redemption this year, especially after losing out on a Champions victory. While many considered it to be "in the bag" for NA before Masters Berlin, both Gambit and Acend took that assumption to task, bringing home victories for EMEA.

VCT NA Challengers Open Qualifiers were a "bloodbath" for teams

The NA Challengers event was hard fought for slots. Open qualifiers saw Version1, XSET, The Guard, NRG, Evil Geniuses, Knights, Luminosity Gaming, and Rise all go through an absolute bloodbath to get into the event. To put it in perspective, while these 12 teams did qualify, there were a number of top teams who did not make the cut in North America.

Chief among these misses were Team SoloMid, who fans roasted for missing the event's qualifier. This miss was so big that Team SoloMid management actually had to come out and say that they would be putting faith in their General Manager to restructure the team.

Also missing the grade: T1. They struggled to show up at open qualifiers, especially after T1 was disqualified from the first round of the open. This event caused not only a mid-series DQ, but also drama as the team was forced to suspend their coach for the second open qualifier.

For the second qualifier alone, there were 20 salaried teams vying to grab only the four remaining slots. This scarcity, over the long term, could result in some teams that consistently fail to qualify reevaluating either their roster or commitment to Valorant as a whole. It also begs the question if Riot is doing enough to keep these teams engaged on an amateur level throughout the course of the year.

While true, these open qualifiers do guarantee that teams will have another shot to qualify later in the year. They are thrown into the same pool as teams that already qualified this phase. This means they will have yet another painstaking try at getting into the next Challengers, and are sidelined til then.

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