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Massive upsets feature in North America's first Stage 2 Open Qualifiers

Written By    generic_eric24  -  share on

With the conclusion of the Challengers 1 Open Qualifiers, the teams are known for Challengers 1. This event was all about the lesser known teams qualifying compared to the first Masters where the majority were the elite of tier 1 Valorant teams.

The full list of participants for NA Challengers 1 is:

Built By Gamers XSET Gaming Envy Immortals 100 Thieves Andbox Version1 Cloud9 Blue

The first match for qualification featured Built By Gamers up against Masters 1 Champions Sentinels. Many fans would’ve expected that Sentinels continue their dominant run with stand-in Tyson "TenZ" Ngo, however that would fail to be the case. In the first map, BBG chose Ascent, which has typically been a dominant map by Sentinels; despite this, they would lose their defense side 8-5 in favor of BBG. As they moved on to Haven, a 3rd map could have easily been in the cards. On the second map, it was a close battle that easily could have been won by Sentinels, but a crucial 1 versus 4 by former Andbox player Jake "POACH" Brumleve proved that the comeback had no hope as they went on to win handily 13-5.

The second match was just as interesting, as 7th place Masters 1 qualifier XSET took on the ever changing NRG Esports roster, this time with the addition of Ian "tex" Botsch, taking place of Ryan "Shanks" Ngo, who moved onto Rise. Despite tex finishing 2nd in kills for NRG, primarily playing the Raze agent, they could not find a way to get either map to overtime as they fell on both Haven and Bind 13-11. NRG will have one more qualifier in their attempt to travel to Reykjavik for Masters 2.

The first three map match took place between Envy and Ghost Gaming. Ultimately, Envy would come out victorious after a tough back and forth brawl. After two 13-9 maps on Bind and Ascent going to Envy and Ghost respectively, Envy ended things in a 13-1 dominant performance on Haven. One of the more eye-popping stats from this match was the fact that Anthony "mummAy" DiPaolo would finish Haven with a deathless K/D of 16/0/5 and 270 ACS.

The final match of Saturday was arguably the most anticipated. 8th place Masters 1 finishers Immortals would take on TSM with their brand new 6-man roster with Braxton "Brax" Pierce. The new addition to TSM certainly has the name people know. Even with Brax stepping in, TSM would yet again fail to move on as they would lose Haven 13-1 and Bind 13-6. The early dominance of TSM in the Valorant scene seems to have faded, as the once favorites they will have one more chance to qualify for Iceland.

On Sunday, the final 4 matches took place to qualify for Challengers 1, first up was second place Masters 1 finisher FaZe Clan versus the up and coming Version1 roster. On the first map Haven, V1 took advantage of the Reyna pick as Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro finished with 22/13/9 to lead them to a 13-8 victory. On Ascent, it was the complete opposite as Jimmy "Marved" Nguyen proved once again that he is one of the best top-fragging Omens with an unreal 26/12/3 stat line to lead Faze in a 13-9 victory on Ascent. The third and final map took place on Icebox, a favorite of Faze Clan, a map that would go to overtime on the backs of Andrej "babybay" Francisty, including possibly the fastest ace so far in competitive Valorant.

Even with the effort from Babybay, Faze would lose both overtime rounds falling 14-12 in a suspenseful match with V1 moving on to the final 8.

In the most surprising match of the day, Noble, who took out Luminosity Gaming in the round of 32, took on Andbox, as former Cloud9 Blue player Daniel "vice" Kim would step in for Christopher "Rebo" Heindel. After completely dominating LG in the Rof32, Noble looked to continue their cinderella run, but Andbox had different thoughts as they would defeat Noble in a 3 map thriller. After splitting the first two maps on Ascent and Bind, Andbox would finish the match with a 13-10 victory on Split.

Of the most notable teams in the tournament, 100 Thieves was taking on ex-Dignitas roster, now known as rice and meatballs. To nobody’s surprise 100T swept the series 2-0 with map wins on Icebox and Bind. The big takeaway from this match was that Ethan "Ethan" Arnold and Nicholas "nitr0" Cannella have now swapped the Omen and Sage roles, a role that Ethan clearly looks more comfortable in. The sky is the limit for the former face of NA CSGO. Star duelist Peter "Asuna" Mazuryk was once again Match MVP, finishing with 37 kills, 29 deaths, and 15 assists as he made play after play.

As one of the more disappointing rosters in the NA Valorant scene, Cloud9 originally had some of the most promise with TenZ and their original roster. It took awhile and some roster changes, but they seem to have finally got their first major competitive win with this victory over Gen.G Esports. In the first map, Gen.G was down massively and made an epic comeback only to lose in overtime 14-12. After a close first map, Cloud9 handily took Ascent in a 13-5 victory to secure their spot in Challengers 1.

These 8 teams will compete in the Stage 2 Challengers 1 event starting on Thursday April 8th, which will be a double elimination tournament. The top 4 will secure their place in North America's Challengers Finals, the last stage in qualification to Masters Reykjavik.


I am just impressed by the stand-in for Immortals. Again, NRG losing it by so close, really wish they qualified. I think all these upsets are all because of complanecy. It is easier to climb up to the top than to stay at the top. Hopefully, this is temporary for Sentinels and GenG, but TSM are playing for looks rather than the objective. Envy is looking good but I'm not sure if they can deliver against teams like Immortals. Overall, great changes from these teams and this looking promising for NA scene overall.
2021-04-05 12:30
But hey I would like to be proven wrong in the future
2021-04-05 12:31
SEN is kind of an unknown as the next open qualifier they can't play with TENZ in (riot said so) so they need another stand-in. Geng was never really a top 3 team, they had their cindirella run in Masters 1 but them losing to C9B is a lot less surprising than say NOBLE beating LG. Immortals is kind of overrated imo their quick exit in Masters 1 proves it, sure they beat TSM, but TSM needs to drop everyone except wardell and maybe subroza so Immortals winning was a given. With the teams that Remain either 100t or Envy will win the closed qualifier with immortals likely getting a top 4 finish and the other teams vying for the last spot that gets you to NA masters/NA challengers final.
2021-04-06 16:58
"envy is looking good but im not sure they can deliver against immortals" they finished top 4 last masters you sure about your facts fella imt ended up bottom lol they choke at major moments good luck
2021-04-05 14:22
That is true. Envy is definitely having of a kick ass start. I made that statement because Envy had recently figure out their roles since they have 3 players that really excel in playing duelists. But I know that if Envy faces a team that likes to set the pace of the game, then Envy will struggle. They shown this time and time again in various tournaments (recent one being Faze). I agree that Immortals needs to work on their confidence but they have these aggressive tendencies that could be dangerous if Envy's duelists don't show up in terms of performance. For now, this is a new Masters run that could be a potentially new narrative for any of these NA teams.
2021-04-05 14:47
envy is a top 4 team NA definently with 100T probably being the only other guaranteed top 4 team after fazes untimely exit to V1.
2021-04-06 17:00
Sen too I forgot SEN
2021-04-06 17:01
vanity | Okay
Vanity GOAT
2021-04-05 17:06
neth | treenutperson
It's sad to see TSM perform this poorly recently. Their team is headlined by CS legends, but obviously Valorant is a very different game from CS. I'm not sure what needs to be done to improve their roster. I'm giving the benefit of the doubt for their new brax addition because I'm sure they haven't practiced much with him. If they haven't been doing bootcamps, they better start because practice is key. But I have a feeling that the problems are a little more deep-rooted than just lack of practice...
2021-04-06 15:44
I'm I C9 B fan tbh which is a roster that people overlook now due to TenZ leaving for Sentinels. I think they performed really well against Gen.G. Leaf was a really amazing player with Chaos Esports and is a really good fragger for C9. However, I think that HUYNH underperformed as the Jett for Gen.G especially on Icebox, and whiffed a lot of kills with the Bladestorm. I expected poiz to carry because of his amazing performance in ranked Valorant, but he ended up 3rd fragging on the roster. Those are my thoughts on the C9 roster, and I hope that they win the next game over Immortals (even though that is unlikely as Immortals has a god-tier roster.)
2021-04-06 17:35
and immortals loose again in the first round sorry yuya your backing a tier 2 filler team hope they improve good luck in the loop wer brackets
2021-04-08 16:36

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