The VCT EMEA Stage 1 Challengers group stage has finally concluded after six weeks of competition. The 12 teams in the tournament have been whittled down to just six, and they are now advancing to the playoffs to compete for one of three spots at Stage 1 Masters in Iceland.
Fnatic impressed during the group stage, where they were the only team to go undefeated with a perfect 5-0 record. They’re followed by the former Gambit Esports squad, now playing under the neutral M3 Champions banner, which finished with a 4-1 record.
The biggest surprise of the competition was the elimination of Acend, the reigning Valorant Champions 2021 winner, which meant that there would not be a back-to-back international LAN champion again. The team also had to field an emergency substitute in Semyon “purp0” Borchev during their final group stage match against BBL Esports, after Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt bowed out, citing mental health struggles.
Full list of qualified teams for VCT EMEA Stage 1 Challengers playoffs
Here are the eight teams that will start competing on March 22 for a chance to represent the EMEA region on the international stage.
While the brackets are yet to be officially announced, they should be decided by the position that teams ended the group stage in. Since there are only six teams in the playoffs, Group A and Group B’s top-seeded teams Fnatic and FunPlus Phoenix will be placed deeper in the bracket in the upper bracket semifinals. The remaining four teams start in the upper bracket quarterfinals.
In the upper bracket quarterfinals, M3 Champions will go up against Guild Esports, while G2 Esports will be going head-to-head with Team Liquid.
The VCT EMEA Stage 1 Challengers Playoffs start on March 22 and will continue until March 27. The playoffs will follow a double-elimination format, with all teams playing in best-of-three matches, except for the Lower Final and Grand Final, which will both be best-of-five.
The top three teams will advance to the VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykavik 2022 event set to take place from April 10 to 24.