Version1 and XSET qualify for the North American Stage 1: Challengers group stages, remaining unscathed in the open qualifier bracket, barely being tested by their North American completion.

Version1 and XSET qualify for the North American Stage 1: Challengers group stages, remaining unscathed in the open qualifier bracket, barely being tested by their North American completion.

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – MAY 24: Version1’s Erik “penny” Penny speaks at the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: VCT Masters Reykjavík on May 24, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

The two qualifiers join the four automatic invite bids, based on VCT 2021 seeding: Sentinels, Team Envy, 100 Thieves, and Cloud 9 . The two teams can rest easy as the remaining teams will have to fight it out for the last two spots. Four additional teams will qualify next week with the second open qualifier, bringing the total teams to 12.

QUALIFIED: Version1

Version1 has gone through a minor roster retool over the late stages of 2021. After taking the world by storm at Masters Reykjavik, the org never reached that level of success again and went through identity shifting roster moves. 

Entering the 2022 VCT season, V1 released stand-in Jamal “jammyz” Bangash, Sentinel player Chad “Oderus” Miller, and prior to stage 3, IGL Anthony “vanity” Malaspina. The new roster was unveiled at Knights VALORAMPAGE, showing promise but losing to Cloud9.

Focusing on the open qualifiers, V1 looked a step above the rest of the competition. The new additions have been outstanding. Alexander “Zander” Dituri from SoaR and Maxim “Wippie” Shepelev, showed excellent form and the team cohesion looked its best since Reykjavík. V1 finished undefeated against borderline tier-one teams Rise, Akrew and Complexity.

QUALIFIED: XSET

XSET, similarly to V1, had a successful run through 2021. The team didn’t get all the way to champions, but they were generally considered one of the best NA teams. Thus, only minor roster moves were required in the brief offseason. Recently signed former SoaR Operator main, Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban, has already proven to be a major difference-maker. He finished first in overall Attack Combat Score in the round of 32.

Despite the early map loss to Radiance, XSET ran through the bracket with relative ease. In the final series against the underdog The Guard squad, the two teams barely looked comparable skill-wise. The 26-9 round differential shows that XSET is back and one of the scarier teams entering group stages.

The final six

The final six North American teams remaining will be vying for the final two spots. The Guard awaits the winner of Akrew, T1, and TSM. While Rise will play the winner of Knights, Soniq, NRG and Pioneers.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Valorant news and updates.

Filed Under
Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022