VCT 2022: NA Stage 1 Challengers Week 1 recap
We are a day removed from the first weekend of NA Stage 1 Challengers. It gave us a taste of what the best of NA VALORANT is all about. The twelve teams that qualified stepped into the server looking to either gather or ride their momentum. All three days saw one match from each of the two groups and, truthfully, nothing can be considered an upset in NA any longer.
Read ahead for the results from the past weekend, as every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through March 13, 2022 will have these Group Stage matches.
Group A saw clean 2:0 victories across the board with the first match up being the most surprising of the bunch. It isn’t a shocker that Cloud9 beat 100 Thieves, but sweeping them and only giving up six rounds on Breeze was unexpected. Erick “Xeppaa” Bach had an outstanding series and showed why Cloud9 is the arguable choice from the region to win it all in 2022.
The Guard is a relatively new team compared to the rest, but that didn’t matter one bit throughout the qualifiers and into the first series of NA Stage 1 Challengers. They dismantled LG on Haven 13:1. Fracture was much closer, ending in double overtime. The Guard’s young star Trent “trent” Cairns turned it on for a 25 kill performance on his way to a 15:13 final score.
Finishing the weekend off for Group A was XSET vs. Evil Geniuses. XSET had just come off of a solid first place showing during the NSG Winter Championship. The team had no issues continuing their winning ways against an EG squad who just couldn’t find their groove. On the back of their newest addition, Matthew “Cryocells“ Panganiban, XSET prevented EG from reaching double digits in both maps. The acquisition of January’s final Player of the Week is clearly paying dividends.
Group B of NA Stage 1 Challengers was much scrappier than Group A during its first set of matches. It kicked off with Version1 steamrolling the Knights of Pittsburgh. A total of six rounds were were won by the Knights in the two game series. The recent shortcomings of V1 look to be in the rearview mirror as Maxim “wippie“ Shepelev dominated in the Killjoy, ending the day with a 37/19/8 KDA.
The first three map series came out of Group B’s Saturday contest. Things were looking scary for Sentinels during the majority of the match, but they held on and a win is a win. NRG picked up map one 13:10. The 22nd round of Haven saw a tied 11:11 score line. Sentinels creeped ahead with two straight to force map three. Then on Bind, SEN went ahead 11:1. After halftime NRG pushed back to take six straight and nine total, ultimately falling 13:9 in the must-watch series of the weekend. Expect SEN to be back in tip top shape and NRG to move over the hump against other teams in the following weeks.
The final battle of NA Stage 1 Challengers Week 1 was another tight knit series and probably the one with the most unexpected outcome. Team Envy played their first official as members of the Green Wall. They transitioned to the OpTic Gaming brand and were hoping to make their first appearance a good one. The young guns of Rise had other plans. A wild 64 kills went the way of Jason “neptune“ Tran as Rise emerged victorious after three maps that were all decided by four rounds or less.
You can catch the VCT 2022 NA Stage 1 Challengers action every weekend until the Main Event begins. Be sure to stay tuned to Run It Back for recaps and any breaking news!
Leave us feedback