Valorant has gifted its North American audience with over a month of exciting fixtures featuring 12 of the best teams from the region in the upcoming VCT 2022 Stage 1: NA Challengers.
Riot Games have released the schedule for the tournament, which will see teams from Open Qualifiers 1 & 2 compete in a series of group stage fixtures with the four best teams from VCT 2021.
NA Challengers is the first step for North American Valorant teams to qualify for the Stage 1 Masters, one of the most significant events leading to the Valorant Champions 2022. The Group Stage is set to kick off on February 11, 2022. Further details on the tournament are mentioned below.
Matchups released for Valorant Champions Tour NA Group Stage
Teams & format
A total of 12 North American squads have qualified for the tournament's Group Stage. Four teams, namely - Sentinels, Envy, Cloud9, and 100 Thieves, earned direct qualification based on their performance in VCT 2021.
Version1, XSET, NRG, and The Guard emerged from the Open Qualifiers 1, whereas Evil Geniuses, Pittsburgh Knights, Luminosity, and Rise qualified from Open Qualifiers 2. These 12 teams have been split into two groups of 6 for the Group Stage matchups.
The Group Stage will be conducted in a round-robin format, with each a best-of-three series deciding each fixture. The top four teams from each group will qualify for the playoffs. The teams are divided as such:
- 100 Thieves
- The Guard
- Luminosity Gaming
- Evil Geniuses
- Pittsburgh Knights
Four teams from each group will qualify for the Playoffs, where they will engage in a double-elimination bracket to proclaim two representative teams from North America to the Stage 1 Masters in April.
All the matches listed below are scheduled to begin at 1 PM PST, with each fixture being a best-of-three series.
- Cloud 9 vs. 100 Thieves
- Version1 vs. Pittsburgh Knights
- Sentinels vs. NRG
- The Guard vs. Luminosity
- Envy vs. Rise
- XSET vs. Evil Geniuses
- Pittsburgh Knights vs. Sentinels
- Evil Geniuses vs. Luminosity
- XSET vs. Cloud9
- Rise vs. Version1
- NRG vs. Envy
- 100 Thieves vs. The Guard
- Cloud9 vs. Evil Geniuses
- Pittsburgh Knights vs. Rise
- Sentinels vs. Envy
- The Guard vs. XSET
- Luminosity vs. 100 Thieves
- Version1 vs. NRG
- Rise vs. Sentinels
- Evil Geniuses vs.The Guard
- Luminosity vs. Cloud9
- NRG vs. Pittsburgh Knights
- 100 Thieves vs. XSET
- Envy vs. Version1
- Cloud9 vs. The Guard
- NRG vs. Rise
- Sentinels vs. Version1
- 100 Thieves vs. Evil Geniuses
- Envy vs. Pittsburgh Knights
- XSET vs. Luminosity
The Playoffs for the tournament are scheduled to commence on March 17, with fixtures scheduled for Thursdays to Sundays for two weeks. The Lower Finals and Grand Finals will be held in a best-of-five format, whereas the remaining matches will be decided over a best-of-three series.
Where to watch VCT NA Challengers
Viewers can tune into Valorant's official handles across Twitch and YouTube to catch the VCT NA Challengers live. Riot-approved watch parties hosted by streamers worldwide will also have live access to the tournament.
The NA Challengers Group Stage schedule headlines a few matchups that are expected to be thrillers. With teams like Sentinels, Envy, 100 Thieves, and Cloud9 in the equation, it wouldn't be a surprise to see top-tier performance from participating teams.
Cloud9 will face 100 Thieves in the tournament's opening match and can be the perfect matchup to initiate the tournament. After beginning their season on a good note, NRG will prepare to fend off Envy in their Week 2 fixture at the Group Stage.
Envy and Sentinels, two of NA's biggest hopes at the Valorant Champions 2021, face off in their Week 3 fixtures. 100 Thieves vs. XSET in Week 4 and NRG vs. Rise in Week 5 are a few more exciting fixtures that Valorant enthusiasts need to keep an eye out for.