The stage has been set for the Valorant 2021 Champions Tour.
First Strike truly began the era of Valorant esports. Regional champions have been decided, and overarching narratives have formed. Many teams exceeded expectations, while others didn’t quite live up to them.
The Champions Tour is allowing Valorant teams to set their eyes on a new prize - Global Champion. Who will reign supreme?
NA Valorant Teams to keep an eye on for Valorant 2021 Champions Tour
Honorable Mentions - FaZe, Envy, Cloud9 Blue, T1, Gen.G
#3 - 100 Thieves
The NA First Strike champs, 100 Thieves, are looking to continue their success in 2021.
100 Thieves’ roster changes seemed to have worked perfectly. The team consists of IGL Joushua “Steel” Nissan, along with Nicholas “Nitr0” Cannella Spencer “Hiko” Martin, Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk, and Quan “Dicey” Tran.
The team was able to claim 1st place in First Strike, despite only being together for such a short period. Once they begin to build more chemistry and strategy, there’s no telling how good these guys can be.
It helps having an x-factor like Hiko on the squad. Hiko lead First Strike’s main event in KD ratio (1.38) and kills-per map (18.3). His clutch performances make him an MVP caliber player. In the recently updated power rankings by THESPIKE.GG, 100 Thieves comes in at second. They may just shock the world.
#2 - TSM
Runner-Up is nothing to be ashamed about, but second place isn’t enough for TSM.
TSM is made up of IGL Stephen “reltuC” Cutler, along with James “Hazed” Cobb, Taylor “Drone” Johnson, Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik, and Matt “Wardell” Yu. The five have been together longer than almost every Valorant team. It’s no wonder they’ve been able to establish themselves as such a perennial contender.
Additionally, TSM has an x-factor that every opponent fears - Wardell. The Operator, when wielded by Wardell, is an absolute nightmare to deal with. As a Jett main, Wardell can take quick peaks, then dash away to deny trades. Enemies have to dedicate so much utility to deal with Wardell, making him TSM's largest threat.
Every member of TSM placed in the top ten for KD ratio in First Strike’s main event. Three members of the squad, Drone, Wardell, and Cutler, placed in the top five. With such impressive performances, it's surprising TSM didn't win it all.
Although they’ve dropped to fourth in the THESPIKE.GG’s power rankings, everyone still recognizes TSM’s prowess. The team has been one of the most successful since Valorant’s esports scene erupted. They’ve been able to exceed expectations in most major tourneys, and they’re looking to do so again. They can start by winning some pistol rounds.
#1 - Sentinels
Although Sentinels failed to make it to the First Strike Grand Final, they were still able to finish the year off strong.
In the most recent tourney, the JBL Quantum Cup, Sentinels defeated FaZe Clan to take home the first place trophy. The recent win propelled them back to first in THESPIKE.GG’s power rankings.
Sentinels are one of Valorant’s most winningest teams thus far. IGL Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan, along with Jared “Zombs” Gitlin, Michael “Dapr” Gulino, Hunter “Sick” Mims, and Jay “Sinatraa” Won make up the team. Together, the group has been able to place first in five events.
The Sentinels’ strength in Valorant is their balanced roster. There are no weak points on this team. In any given moment, a player on Sentinels may pop off to put their team in a favorable scenario.
- Related: Here are the predictions for Valorant 2021 Champions Tour MVP NA
- How TSM is shaping up for Valorant 2021 Champions Tour
- How Sentinels are shaping up for Valorant 2021 Champions Tour