We’ve only taken the first few steps on the road to Valorant’s Stage 3 Masters in Berlin, yet the competition is already fierce in both North America and Europe. This week’s Challengers events are the last chance for teams to qualify for the Challengers Playoffs which lead into the Stage 3 Masters itself, and more than a few favorite names are in trouble.
In the EU region, the number of top tier Valorant teams has exploded, leaving former front runners (and Stage 2 Masters competitors) Team Liquid and Fnatic in danger. After failing to qualify during the first week, only two teams can qualify for the EMEA Playoffs bracket. Both Fnatic and Liquid have fought into a position of contention, but slots are far from guaranteed.
After overcoming Team BDS and Tenstar, Team Liquid are facing Giants Gaming in the upper bracket. A win here will put them into the Grand finals, and secure a slot in the EMEA Playoffs. After a storming streak of games, however, Giants aren’t likely to roll over and let them take it.
Boaster’s Fnatic squad, meanwhile, have their work cut out. The Stage 2 Masters finalists fell to Giants in the upper bracket, meaning they now need to beat Tenstar and then overcome the loser of Liquid and Giant’s match to secure their place.
Keen to see if Liquid and Fnatic can pull it off, or if a new star will be crowned? The entire series is being streamed on the Valorantesports2 Twitch channel, embedded below.
The US bracket still has four qualification spots available, but the competition is no less spicy. Sentinels, XSET and 100 Thieves might be through, but after impressing at Stage 2, Version 1 have fallen in the first round. TSM, T1, Luminosity, and Rise hold the upper bracket matches for now, while Gen.G and Faze Clan will need to fight through the lower bracket for a chance at qualification.
Whether anyone will be able to rival the Sovereign, two-time champions of Sentinels is a question for later, right now these sides need to face the unexpectedly fierce opposition before them. You can check out the action today through Sunday on the Valorant and ValorantEsports2 Twitch channels.
The #VCTChallengersNA Week 2 Main Event starts tomorrow. Check out the schedule and streams for this weekend. The top four teams will earn the remaining four spots in the Challengers Playoffs. pic.twitter.com/Q0pFUfG6mq— VALORANT Champions Tour NA (@valesports_na) July 28, 2021
Valorant’s esports scene is still in its infancy, and while Sentinels sit comfortably at the top of the pack for now, it’s a world in which new talent is being established with each and every event. The Valorant Stage 3 Masters: Berlin will take place September 9 - 19, and if the Challengers events are anything to go by, it’ll be the most exciting tournament yet.