With the conclusion of the T1 x NSG Showdown, we have seen recent play from every high-level team in North America. As we head out from this massive gathering and back to more independently organized events with a few of these teams each, it’s important to remember how we got here. Here’s my North American rankings heading out of this event.
Hoppin aproto thi9f Fiziq stellar
MIXUP cannot be ignored. I first dismissed them easily after they finished last in their group at the Pittsburgh Knights - Invitational, but then they took Cloud9 to the limit in Immortals First Light . And now, they’ve managed to beat Echo 8, a team which I highly favoured over them, in the biggest tournament we’ve seen yet. MIXUP are like a fly constantly bothering larger teams, and I’m interested in seeing where the future takes them.
Jake "Tork" Lepoff Nicolas "Nicolas" Aubin Rob "rob-wiz" Kennedy Mike "pho" Panza Nate "payen" Lopez
Code7 nearly beat T1 this tournament. That’s crazy to think about. Off the back of some dynamic play from Rob “rob-wiz” Kennedy, Code7 continue to make their name known in the North American VALORANT scene. I genuinely think they’re the second-best active amateur team right now, and I’m excited to see them compete in the future.
Tyson "TenZ" Ngo Skyler "Relyks" Weaver Josh "shinobi" Abastado Mitch "mitch" Semago
Cloud9 continues to be one of the most inconsistent teams in the region. They took first place at a pretty large closed beta tournament, the Elite Esports Rivalry Bowl NA. They then looked shockingly bad at Immortals First Light, managed to beat Gen.G off stream to qualify for the finals, and looked awful again as they went down to TSM. Now, at the biggest tournament to date, they’ve failed to even make it past the first day of play. Tyson “TenZ” Ngo continues to put up stellar numbers, but without much of a squad to back him up, it doesn’t mean much. Cloud9 have 3 spots to fill on their roster, and the likelihood that those are filled by the players they’ve been attending tournaments with is getting lower and lower.
Adam "aKis" Kisseberth Abdo "c4lypso" Agha Pujan "FNS" Mehta Anthony "mummAy" DiPaolo Jake "kaboose" McDonald
The best amateur team in the region continues to prove themselves, as they beat Cloud9 at this recent T1 tournament to qualify for the bracket stage. Together we are terrific also have continued to smash all amateur competition in any qualifier or lower-tier tournament. If there’s one amateur lineup that needs to be signed, it’s these guys.
Loic "effys" Sauvageau Anthony "gMd" Guimond Danny "huynh" Huynh Michael "MkaeL" de Luca Keven "PLAYER1" Champagne
Despite some recent poor performances from the French Canadian squad, I had Gen.G at number 3 in my personal rankings heading into the T1 x NSG Showdown. But after they lost to Sentinels in their group and got rolled over in the bracket stage, it’s safe to say Gen.G have missed more than they’ve hit recently. This squad still has a ton of potential, we’ve seen that proven by tournaments like the T1 x NSG Invitational in closed beta and the recent Pittsburgh Knights Invitational. And I still consider players like Michael “MkaeL” de Luca and Danny “huynh” Huynh to be some of the best in their roles. But the other teams in North America are catching up, and we definitely saw that proven in this tournament. Gen.G have a lot of work to do.
Shahzeeb "ShahZaM" Khan Hunter "SicK" Mims Jay "sinatraa" Won Jared "zombs" Gitlin Michael "dapr" Gulino
After their extremely poor closed beta performances, I didn’t expect anything out of Sentinels in this tournament. But they showed that they’ve done a lot of work, and were quite impressive. The addition of Michael “dapr” Gulino seems to have made a massive difference. In a post-game interview on the broadcast after Sentinels defeated Gen.G, Shahzeeb “ShahZaM” Khan noted that dapr was doing a lot of mid-round shotcalling for the squad, and this is easy to see, their co-ordination has improved massively since the closed beta. Sentinels are also fun to watch for their quirks - Jay “sinatraa” Won’s love for LMGs in particular. Hopefully Sentinels will begin to enter more tournaments, and we can keep seeing them stack up against the best in the region, and possibly become one of those best teams.
Yannick "KOLER" Blanchette Amgalan "genghsta" Nemekhbayar Joseph "Bjor" Bjorklund Noah "jcStani" Smith Peter "Asuna" Mazuryk
On paper, Immortals are not a particularly impressive team. I think the reaction of most fans to seeing their names is “Who?”, but Immortals have made a name for themselves at this tournament as one of the region’s best.
When Immortals get rolling, they are impossible to stop. When they are playing confident and taking quick and risky plays, they thrive and can roll over teams. Much of this is off the back of the team’s 16 year old star, Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk. With Asuna fragging out on entries, Amgalan “genghsta” Nemekhbayar and Joseph “Bjor” Bjorklund right there with him, and Yannick “KOLER” Blanchette and Noah “jcStani” Smith being consistent anchors, Immortals are incredibly scary. They rolled the likes of Sentinels and FaZe Clan this tournament, not at all an easy feat. I think we’ll continue to see more incredibly exciting things out of this roster in the future.
Spencer "Hiko" Martin Zachary "Venerated" Roach Keane "Valliate" Alonso Diondre "YaBoiDre" Bond Alfred "Pride" Choi
Yes I know, Immortals beat 100 Thieves this tournament. But it was incredibly close, a 13-12 scoreline. With more practice and scrim time - this team has not had much of either of those - I think they’ll surpass them in the coming weeks.
This tournament saw the competitive debut of Spencer “Hiko” Martin, and he was pretty consistently their 2nd-3rd place fragger. He was good, but Zachary “Venerated” Roach and Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond are poised to lead this team into the future. The two are deadly riflers, and teaming up with Hiko make for a consistent and scary threat.
I was somewhat confused that 100 Thieves chose to sign Keane “Valliate” Alonso instead of his HIGHGROUND counterpart Jaden “Vegas” James, unless they were going to use him as their primary OPer. Venerated ended up as their main OPer, but Valliate put some of those concerns to rest with good performances this tournament.
The keyword for 100 Thieves seems to be consistency. Venerated was one of the most consistent players in North America during the beta, and Hiko seems to be right there with him after this tournament. I think this team will be at the top in no time.
Braxton "brax" Pierce Keven "AZK" Larivière Austin "crashies" Roberts Victor "food" Wong Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham
It’s shocking to think that a team could finish second in a tournament and still be judged as disappointing, but it’s happening to T1. Of course, when you have the likes of Braxton “brax” Pierce and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham on your roster, I guess that’s par for the course. But we can’t forget that, despite the “disappointment”, T1 are still a top 2 team in the region. Hopefully they’ll be entering more tournaments soon, and we can see them rematch against TSM for the top. Because I genuinely think they can match up against them eventually. So whatever “concerns” you have about T1 after this tournament, remember that they’re still solidly top 2. That’s all I’ll say.
Matthew "Wardell" Yu Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik Stephen "reltuC" Cutler Taylor "drone" Johnson James "hazed" Cobb
TSM have disproved all the doubters, myself included, that rated T1 as better coming into this tournament. With a dominant victory, they are clearly the best team in the region. They have an identity, every player knows their role. They have some of the most skilled players in the region. TSM are on top.
Matthew “Wardell” Yu continues to make his name as North America’s star. The OPer was incredible in the finals, even putting up a 30-bomb on the last map and winning himself THESPIKE.GG’s tournament MVP. Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik is a consistent anchor for the team, and Taylor “drone” Johnson might be the most mechanically skilled player in North America. Stephen “reltuC” Cutler and James “hazed” Cobb know their roles, and each has games as well where they’ll join the three primary riflers atop the leaderboard. TSM are clinical, TSM are skilled, TSM are incredible. And they’re the final boss for any team heading away from this tournament.
“Where’s FaZe Clan?” - As FaZe don’t have an established roster yet, I have not included them on this list. Cloud9 don’t either, but they’ve been playing with the same core of 4 players in many tournaments, while this was FaZe’s first. As they flesh out a roster and attend more tournaments, they’ll find themselves included.
What do you think? What are your rankings heading away from this tournament? Which team impressed or disappointed you? Let us know!
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