Valorant Esports is again in full swing, with VCT Champions set to take place in Los Angeles on August 6th. This tournament has become a hot topic of conversation due to the intense anticipation and hype surrounding it. Following the conclusion of the VCT America LCQ, which saw KRU Esports qualify for the VCT Champions tournament, the focus shifted to the draw for the group stage. With a total of $2.250,000 in prize money, the tournament will feature the top teams from all three leagues and a pair of teams from China. This article will provide an overview of the upcoming VCT Champions tournament and what to look for.
How Did The Top 16 Teams Qualify?
Before our prediction of the tournament winner, we will look at the respective journeys of the teams from each of the leagues. Firstly, we will look at the teams from VCT League America, which consist of Loud, NRG Esports, and Evil Geniuses. It has been widely speculated that Evil Geniuses will be the American league team to be wary of, as they achieved a third-place finish in VCT Masters Tokyo. They qualified for the Grand Final. However, they lost 3-0 to Fnatic. Kru Esports also qualified for champions from VCT Americas. However, it is noteworthy that they lost every game they played during the league, ending the season with a 0-9 record. However, their run in the LCQ was nothing short of remarkable, as they secured qualification with a 5-0 record.
The VCT EMEA League has been characterized by some highly improbable outcomes, leaving many to question the level of competition within the league. Teams who have qualified from the regular season include Team Liquid, FNATIC, and FUT Esports. FNATIC is a team to keep an eye on in Valorant this year and, in the eyes of many, the best team in the world. They are the first team to have won consecutive international tournaments (VCT Lock In and VCT Masters Tokyo). As a result of their victory at VCT Master's Tokyo, EMEA was granted an additional spot of qualification during EMEA's LCQ. After Team Vitality withdrew from the league, only six teams vied for the remaining two spots, with Giants Gaming and NAVI ( Natus Vincere) qualifying via LCQ for VCT Champions.
Lastly, we have the VCT Pacific League, which has been key in showing the passion of the Asian fans of Valorant. We could hear their cheers loud and clear, so VCT Masters Tokyo was quite successful. We saw Paper Rex, DRX, and T1 qualify for VCT Champions from the regular league. During the league, Paper Rex was playing with Ilya "Something" Petrov in their lineup. During VCT Masters, Tokyo, Something couldn't play due to visa issues and, as such, resulted in Patiphan "cgrs" Porsi, who is a content creator being the 5th player. The commendable fact is that Paper Rex finished the tournament in third place. Zeta Division qualified for VCT Champions LA by winning the Pacific Last Chance Qualifier in a thrilling final against Team Secret. Finally, we have the three teams from China who qualified from the China Qualifiers. The two teams are Edward Gaming, FunPlus Pheonix (FPX) and Bilibili Gaming.
What Can One Expect From VCT Champions?
VCT Champions LA is the final stage for all the top teams to show their potential and game styles. As such, with the draw being announced, these are the following teams in each group.
- Paper Rex
- KRÜ Esports
- Evil Geniuses
- FUT Esports
- ZETA DIVISION
- Team Liquid
The group to watch, in our opinion, is Group D. Consisting of teams that have either won their respective league or are in the Grand Final of their league. The game to watch within this group will be DRX vs. Loud. Due to both the teams not having the best run during VCT Masters Tokyo, it would be quite the redemption for either team to win their first game. From Group A, the game to watch would be the match between Edward Gaming and Giants Gaming. Having qualified from the LCQ, Giants can prove their doubters wrong if they can shut down the rising star in Zheng "KangKang" Yongkang. Group A seems to be the group that will outshine the rest and have multiple memorable moments.
The match to look out for from Group B is Evil Geniuses vs. FPX. Due to their history run during VCT Master Tokyo, they now have a lot of eyes and expectations on their shoulders. If Evil Geniuses can be consistent and make it to their playoffs, they are quite the favorites to win the tournament. Finally, Group C consists of the reining Champions in Valorant Fnatic, and a must-watch will be their game against Zeta Division. It isn't because you might be thinking, but instead, as Zeta Division could provide the biggest upset of the year. Ushida "Laz" Koji has been incredible on Chamber and a hard carry for his team.
It does feel like Zeta Division will surely have Laz on Chamber and cause chaos on the server. If they do so, they will be the second team this year to defeat Fnatic. VCT Champions LA is right around the corner now, with all the teams already landing in North America. Only time will tell which team will be the best and win.