The stage is set for the first round of VCT Masters in North America, now that Challengers 3 is over and the dust has settled. The event kicks off in a few days and we will have the pleasure of seeing the crème de la crème of NA Valorant compete for the Masters 1 Grand Final.

VCT: North America Challengers 3 – Recap

The third round of NA Valorant Challengers was a roller coaster. After two unsuccessful Challenger stages, FaZe Clan was not on anyone’s radar and many have already canceled them, but the crew decided they had had enough and won the event by a landslide. 100 Thieves walked on the wrong foot, and at one point it seemed like the morale of the group was shattered, but the boys quickly got up and climbed to the grand final. Luminosity was more confident than ever and secured 3rd place and a Masters 1 entry. The last team to sneak in was Gen.G Esports, who struggled in the first two Challengers but ultimately made it through this time around.

FaZe dominates the upper support

Faze completely dominated upper support. They did a quick job on T1, sending them straight into the lower rack, and went on to win against NRG, the same team that beat 100 Thieves in the previous round. Brightness wasn’t a match either, and FaZe took them down with a clear 2-0 win, recouping the loss they suffered in the Challengers 1 Qualifier. With a card advantage, FaZe took on 100 Thieves, who managed to climb back from lower support to a decisive 3-0 victory.

Ascent of 100 thieves through the lower rack

The 100 Thieves guys started the event with an Upper Bracket match against NRG, but they were defeated. The team managed to win the first card thanks to extra time, but it was all downhill after that. Beaten down and dropped into the lower range, they now had to face a possible reality of losing to T1 and missing the Masters. 100 Thieves claimed the first victory over Haven, but ended up suffering a devastating 13: 1 loss over Icebox. Luckily they got their act together and won the third card and kept going.

With renewed vigor, the crew went on and won three straight games against TSM, Gen.G Esports, and finally Luminosity in the lower support final. Finally, it was time to face FaZe in the grand finale. The crew were ready and in good spirits, but the match opened on the dreaded Icebox map and 100 thieves were quickly overwhelmed. Asuna gambled her heart out, but it wasn’t enough to stop babybay’s rampage. Although they lost to FaZe, they pulled off an incredible comeback after a rough start and showed everyone that they are still one of the best teams in North America, if not the world.

VCT: North America Masters 1 – what can we expect?

Masters 1 will be quite an event. The Sentinels are such a well-rounded team, and they have proven to be very cohesive, showing an excellent balance between individual play and team coordination. They face Luminosity in the first Masters game so they have to be very careful. The brightness has beaten them once, and they are able to do it again.

Team Envy is on the rise, especially after the spectacular performance of Challengers 2. If they can continue at this pace, they should have no trouble overtaking Gen.G Esports and climbing to the top.

The FaZe clan is in great shape and will be looking to end things quickly with XSET. However, XSET is the biggest surprise of the year. They are the wild card in this group and should not be underestimated.

The match between 100 thieves and immortals will be interesting. The Immortals showed incredible results in the first two rounds of Challengers, and the only teams that posed a threat to them were Sentinels and Team Envy. However, 100 thieves should not be reduced. They might be a little late to the party, but they are perfectly capable of securing a victory here.