The VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Playoffs are finally here. The tournament’s group stage concluded after five weeks of intense Valorant action, and the top eight teams are moving on to the final phase of the competition.

The stakes are higher than ever, and teams will be battling it out for the two VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik slots and a US$200,000 prize pool.

All eyes are on Cloud9 and Version1, the top two teams from the group stage that finished with perfect 5-0 records. While they are heavy favorites to qualify, the competition is stacked and any one of the other teams could still end up upsetting them.

VCT 2021’s top-ranked North American teams, Sentinels and OpTic Gaming, are eager to return to the international stage as well, while The Guard and XSET will be aiming to make their debut at a Masters event.

Finally, as the fourth-seeded teams that advanced from the group stage, Luminosity Gaming and Knights will be hoping to score an upset against the favorites.

What is the VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Playoffs?

The Guard Valorant roster
Credit: The Guard

The Playoffs are the final leg of VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers. The top two teams will advance to VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik in April.

The teams that make it to the first Valorant international tournament of 2022 will also earn VCT circuit points that will get them closer to qualifying for Valorant Champions at the end of the year.

VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Playoffs schedule and results

Team Envy Yay at VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin
Credit: Riot Games

The playoffs will take place from March 18 to 28 with the matches starting at 4:00 a.m. GMT+8.

March 18

Upper Bracket Quarterfinals

Cloud92 — 1Knights
OpTic Gaming2 — 1XSET

March 19

Upper Bracket Quarterfinals

Version11 — 2Luminosity Gaming
The Guard2 — 0Sentinels

March 20

Upper Bracket Semifinals

Cloud91 — 2OpTic Gaming
Luminosity Gaming0 — 2The Guard

March 21

Lower Bracket Round 1

Knights0 — 2XSET
Version12 — 1Sentinels

March 25

Lower Bracket Quarterfinals

Luminosity Gaming0 — 2XSET
Cloud92 — 1Version1

March 26

Upper Bracket Final

OpTic Gaming2 — 0The Guard

Lower Bracket Semifinal

XSET1 — 2Cloud9

March 27

Lower Bracket Final

The Guard3 — 0Cloud9

March 28

Grand Final

OpTic Gaming2 — 3The Guard

Teams that are competing in the tournament

VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Playoffs Teams
Credit: Riot Games
The Guard
OpTic Gaming
Luminosity Gaming

VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Playoffs prize pool

Sentinels, VCT Stage 2 Masters champions, VCT, Valorant
Credit: Riot Games
1stThe GuardQualifies to Masters ReykjavikUS$50,000
2ndOpTic GamingQualifies to Masters ReykjavikUS$32,000
3rdCloud955 VCT pointsUS$26,000
4thXSET50 VCT pointsUS$20,000
5thLuminosity Gaming45 VCT pointsUS$14,000
6thVersion145 VCT pointsUS$14,000
7thSentinels40 VCT pointsUS$10,000
8thKnights40 VCT pointsUS$10,000

Format of the tournament

Version1 effys, VCT, Valorant
Credit: Riot Games

All teams will compete in double-elimination best-of-three matches, except during the Lower Final and Grand Final, which are best-of-five games.

Where to watch VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers Playoffs matches live?

Cloud9 and Vision Strikers at Valorant Champions 2021
Credit: Riot Games

Valorant fans can watch the matches live on Riot Games’ official Twitch and YouTube channels:

Valorant 2Twitch
Valorant 3Twitch
Valorant EsportsYouTube

READ MORE: VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers Group Stage: Schedule, results, teams, where to watch