An entire year of intense competition has led the best teams in the world to Riot Games’ Valorant Champions 2021.

Only the top 16 performing teams from the 2021 VCT season have emerged as true contenders for the first-ever Valorant world championships. These squads have proven themselves by earning enough VCT circuit points to qualify for the event, except for Gambit Esports, who secured their spot by winning VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin.

All teams had their sights set on Sentinels as the team to beat after the North American team dominated the game’s first international event, VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík. Gambit Esports then took the spotlight away from all their rivals after winning the second international event, VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin.

Teams have had three months to prepare for Valorant Champions 2021. Will another powerhouse squad reign supreme? Or are we going to have an underdog squad shock the world?

Valorant Champions 2021 Power Rankings

1. Gambit EsportsEMEA (CIS)
2. SentinelsNorth America
3. Team EnvyNorth America
4. Vision StrikersKorea
5. AcendEMEA (Europe)
6. Team LiquidEMEA (Europe)
7. FnaticEMEA (Europe)
8. KRÜ EsportsLatin America
9. X10 CRITSEA (Thailand)
10. Team SecretSEA (Philippines)

1. Gambit Esports

Gambit Esports, Crazy Raccoon, VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin, Valorant, Riot Games
Credit: Riot Games

Russian squad Gambit Esports are the reigning kings of Valorant esports, a title they took from Sentinels after winning VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin.

After dominating the CIS region throughout the 2021 VCT season, Gambit Esports battled their way through the stacked EMEA region to qualify for international Masters events. They fell short of qualifying for VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík after losing to Fnatic 0-2 during the semifinals of the VCT Stage 2 EMEA Challengers Finals.

Gambit Esports gained a reputation for becoming a better team after each defeat. They were knocked down by Acend 1-2 in the upper bracket semifinals of the VCT EMEA Stage 3 Challengers Finals, then made an incredible lower bracket run defeating Team Liquid, G2 Esports, Acend, and SuperMassive Blaze to qualify for Berlin.

The same pattern emerged during VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin. They lost to North American squad 100 Thieves 1-2 during the group stage, then rallied back by going 7-1 in the playoffs, defeating Vision Strikers, G2 Esports, and sweeping Team Envy in the grand final.

Having won the most recent international Masters event, Gambit Esports is undoubtedly the team to beat at Valorant Champions 2021.

2. Sentinels

VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin, Sentinels, VCT Stage 2 Masters champions, VCT, Valorant
Credit: Riot Games

It wasn’t that long ago when fans recognized Sentinels as the kings of Valorant. They are arguably the most consistent team in Valorant today. Sentinels were the best in the North American region, winning almost all VCT NA Challengers events, except for Stage 1 Challenger 2 where they lost to Team Envy in the grand final.

Sentinels are best known for being winners. They proved this by winning VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík without dropping a single map. Sentinels then went on to win the VCT NA Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs with only two map losses to their name, and qualified for VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin.

After cruising through the VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin’s group stage, Sentinels were eliminated by fellow NA squad Team Envy 0-2 in their first quarterfinals match. Sentinels are looking to redeem themselves and reclaim their throne at Valorant Champions 2021.

3. Team Envy

Credit: Riot Games

As one of the top contenders in the North American region, Team Envy has emerged as an international threat after their stellar performance in the VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin.

Team Envy was focused on improving their roster as the 2021 VCT season progressed. The team signed star fragger Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker and controller main Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen, who helped the team qualify for Berlin.

In their first international event, Team Envy dominated their group, eliminating fellow North America teams Sentinels and 100 Thieves from VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin. They were then swept by Gambit Esports in the grand final.

Team Envy will be looking to build on their success from Berlin, and take the top spot in Valorant Champions 2021.

4. Vision Strikers

Vision Strikers six-man roster at VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin
Credit: Riot Games

Korean squad Vision Strikers are the most accomplished Valorant team from their region. They had a strong start to their 2021 VCT season by winning Masters 1 in Korea, along with achieving a historic 104-game win streak.

When Vision Strikers’ incredible win streak was broken, they decided to change things up in the VCT with a six-man roster by adding NUTURN Gaming’s Kim “Lakia” Jong-min.

With their iconic six-man roster, Vision Strikers qualified for VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin after winning VCT Stage 3 Korea 3 Challengers Playoffs. Vision Strikers had a strong start to the tournament, defeating Paper Rex and Acend in the group stage, but they were eliminated by Gambit Esports in the quarterfinals.

Vision Strikers are the only Korean team competing in Valorant Champions 2021. As they look to win the first-ever Valorant world championship for Korea, the team decided to travel to Berlin a month in advance to practice against the top teams in Europe.

5. Acend

Credit: Riot Games

European squad Acend is one of the teams to look out for at Valorant Champions 2021. While the team only finished in 5th-8th place at VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin, they showed tremendous upside against international competition.

Acend ruled the European region at the start of the season by defeating Team Heretics 3-2 during the VCT EU Stage 1 Masters event.

An upset loss to Team Vitality during VCT Europe Stage 2 Challengers 2 prevented Acend from qualifying for VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík. They bounced back during Stage 3, qualifying for VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin by winning the EU Challengers 1 and finishing third in the succeeding EMEA Challengers Playoffs.

In a quarterfinals match at VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin, Acend’s star Jett player, Mehmet “cNed” Yağız İpek, had a memorable performance against 100 Thieves where he dropped 70 kills. Acend will be looking to take on all challengers at Valorant Champions 2021.

6. Team Liquid

Nivera, ScreaM, Team Liquid, Valorant
Credit: Team Liquid

European squad Team Liquid is another squad on the road to redemption going into Valorant Champions 2021.

Team Liquid’s 2021 VCT season started to click during Stage 2 where they won the EMEA Challengers Finals and qualified for VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík where they finished fourth.

They fell short of qualifying for the next international Valorant event after losing to Gambit Esports 1-2 during the VCT Stage 3 EMEA Challengers Playoffs. This meant Team Liquid did not have enough VCT circuit points to qualify for Valorant Champions 2021.

Team Liquid saved their season by defeating Guild Esports 3-1 in the grand final of the VCT EMEA Last Chance Qualifier. They have looked unstoppable since Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom joined his older brother, Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom, under the Team Liquid banner.

7. Fnatic

Fnatic, VCT Stage 2 Masters
Credit: Riot Games

Fan-favorite Fnatic is making their return to international competition after earning enough VCT circuit points to qualify for Valorant Champions 2021. 

Fnatic have shown they have what it takes to shine against the international level competition, having finished as the runner-up of VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík. 

A lackluster run during Stage 3 prevented Fnatic from making it to the second international event of the 2021 VCT season. They were eliminated from VCT EU Stage 3 Challengers 2 after losing to Team Liquid 2-3 in the lower bracket final.

Fnatic is looking to end their year with a bang by making it all the way back to another grand final and winning their first international Valorant event.

8. KRÜ Esports

KRU Esports at VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin
Credit: Riot Games

KRÜ Esports has been the most impressive Valorant squad from the Latin American region. After a few runner-up finishes during Stage 1, the Chilean squad hit their stride during VCT Latin America Stage 2 Challengers Final where they defeated Infinity Esports 3-1 to qualify for VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík.

After a disappointing 7th-8th finish in Iceland, KRÜ Esports made another incredible run and won all Stage 3 events in Latin America which qualified them for VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin. 

KRÜ Esports showed great improvements in their second international Valorant event after surviving the tournament’s group stage with wins over Vivo Keyd and Zeta Division.

Valorant Champions 2021 will be KRÜ Esports’ third international Valorant event, which means they are one of the teams that have qualified to Riot Games’ most prestigious Valorant tournaments, a feat they share with Sentinels and Crazy Raccoon.

9. X10 CRIT

X10 Esports, VCT Stage 2 Masters, Valorant
Credit: Riot Games

Considered as the best team from Southeast Asia, X10 CRIT (formerly known as X10 Esports) is another squad eager to return to the international stage.

X10 CRIT dominated the SEA region’s 2021 VCT events, winning the VCT SEA Stage 1 Masters and VCT SEA Stage 2 Challengers Finals, which qualified them for VCT Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík where they finished in 7th-8th place.

The team struggled for the remainder of the season, with X10 CRIT’s star duelist Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong sidelined due to a wrist injury.

Both X10 CRIT and Patiphan look to continue where they left off and show the world they are ready to take over the international scene.

10. Team Secret

Team Secret's Valorant roster
Credit: Team Secret

Philippine Valorant squad Team Secret is making their international debut at Valorant Champions 2021.

The team was representing Bren Esports for the majority of the 2021 VCT season, and the Filipino stack had a breakout performance during VCT SEA Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs where they swept Paper Rex 3-0 in the grand final to qualify for VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin.

They were unable to participate in the tournament due to travel issues, which left them out of the second international Valorant tournament of the year. The entire squad then made the decision to join Team Secret right before Valorant Champions 2021.

Team Secret is eager to prove what they’re capable of on the international stage, especially missing their opportunity to compete in Berlin.

Valorant Champions 2021 begins on December 1, 2021, with the group stage, and will continue until December 12, 2021, where Riot Games will crown their first-ever Valorant world champion.

READ MORE: Every team qualified for Valorant Champions 2021