In the nail biting VCT Champions, team ASCEND made history as the world’s first champion of Valorant after beating team GAMBIT in the grand finals. This was the first championship organised by Riot Games held in Germany, Berlin. The tournament peaked at more than 1 million viewership at the grand finals as team ASCEND fought in the best of five and won 3-2 against team GAMBIT. ASCEND will be taking home the grand prize of $350,000 and the 2nd runner up, GAMBIT goes home with $150,000.
Your inaugural #VCT Champions – @AcendClub pic.twitter.com/Cnu8gHcE8x
— VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA (@valesports_eu) December 12, 2021
This year’s competition was Riot’s largest Valorant tournament with at least seven participating regions vying for the qualifying spots in a year-long series of qualifiers. Out of 50 over teams across seven regions competing in the Regional Challenger Circuit qualifying for Valorant Masters and Last Chance Qualifier, the remaining sixteen teams emerged victorious for the VCT Champions Tour.
The top 16 Valorant teams for the VCT Champions Tour
- GAMBIT Esports
- Team Liquid
- KRU Esports
- Team Secret
- X10 CRIT
- Team Envy
- Team Vikings
- Vision Strikers
- Keyd Stars
- FURIA Esports
- Crazy Racoon
- FULL SENSE
ASCEND started off their journey smoothly in Group A and top their group with 2 victories over Brazilian team Keyd Stars and Team Envy from North America. One of the attributes to their success was the format of the Group Stages because they only needed to win the Winner’s match. The format was designed such that it was easy for teams who were consistent and this would mean that there are less chances for teams who took risks or had aggressive play styles.
One of the Asian teams which made it into the Playoffs was X10 CRIT based in Thailand. Although they initially lost to Team Envy in their opening match, they fought back to win in the deciding match and secured their place. They were placed 2nd in Group A which was in the same group as ASCEND. The other asian team was Team Secret which consists of the whole Philippine squad. They were placed in Group C and had a very good showing after eliminating Team Vikings and Crazy Racoon. They had to face GAMBIT Esports in the opening match which they lost 2-1 to GAMBIT Esports. They ended 2nd runner up in their respective Group C just below GAMBIT Esports.
It was interesting to note that Europe teams largely dominated the Playoffs and all the teams from the top of each Group were from Europe. Cloud9 was the only North America which made it into the Quarterfinals before crashing out to Team Liquid with a 2-0 result. Some of the popular NA teams such as team Envy and Sentinels unfortunately went home early after the Group Stages.
GAMBIT Esports which was a hot favourite, recently won the VCT Masters in Berlin after defeating team Envy. ASCEND lost to 100 Thieves in the quarterfinals of the tournament. With that, GAMBIT Esports would have been the biggest winner after having secured a total of $225,000 from VCT Masters and also $150,000 from VCT Champions 2021.
Ready for 2022? We think we are… Here’s the TL;DR on what to expect from the VALORANT Champions Tour in 2022: pic.twitter.com/WSs1aLljQ2
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) December 10, 2021
With the success of Riot’s first Valorant World Championship, they have been planning a much bigger event for 2022 and will likely prepare a different format for the challenger circuits and qualifiers.