After three extensive double-elimination brackets that made up the Challenger events, the field of teams for Masters 1 has been set. Eight teams will compete in the finale of phase one of the VALORANT Champions Tour.
Four teams already qualified for Masters via a top-four finish at the second Challengers weekend, and now four more have joined after Challengers 3.
Masters will follow a similar format to all the Challengers events; a double-elimination bracket with all best-of-three matches, except for the best-of-five grand finals. The team that advances to the grand finals via the winners bracket by going 3-0 will earn a one-map advantage to start the final series.
Let’s take a look at each of the eight teams that have qualified.
The champions of Challengers 2, Envy have hung around the conversation of NA’s best team for months now. Finally they became the focus of those talks with a dominant 3-0 showing against Sentinels in the Challengers 2 final. Coming up on the half-year anniversary of this lineup in its current form, Envy are playing some of their best VALORANT as of yet.
Sentinels‘ most recent performance may have been a smackdown at the hands of Envy, but they’ve been firing on all cylinders regardless. Their only losses across Challengers 1 and 2 have been an opening loss to Luminosity and their last loss to Envy, and they avenged that loss to LG later in that tournament. They’re still widely considered NA’s best team, and a bruised ego from Challengers 2 could mean they take it out on the field at Masters.
Alongside Sentinels and XSET, Immortals finished in the top four of both Challengers 1 and Challengers 2. After adding Nicholas “NaturE” Garrison and Rhett “Kehmicals” Lynch just before Challengers, Immortals spoke to Dot about how hopeful they were. The two young players are actualizing their potential early, and it’s brought out the best of the entire roster. The next big hurdle for them will be getting past teams like Envy and Sentinels.
XSET is in a similar situation to Immortals, as a team not as established as the other top teams but riding a wave of momentum after a new addition. XSET added Brendan “BcJ” Jensen, a former Apex Legends player, just prior to Challengers, and he’s been a contributor on Sova and Omen. How XSET differs from other teams is their players’ backgrounds, with experience in Apex, Overwatch, Crossfire, and other titles instead of primarily CS:GO. A steeper learning curve hasn’t slowed them down however, but like Immortals, look to prove themselves against the very best.
Luminosity were the first team out of the Challengers 3 field to punch their ticket to Masters. LG stumbled at Challengers 2, their first after officially signing moose and YaBoiDre, but recovered with two solid 2-0 wins at Challengers 3. They stomped out the Kooky Koalas before their Cinderella run even started. Then they delivered a shocking 2-0 upset over TSM on the shoulders of YaBoiDre.
FaZe have been through a lot to get here. They had to play through the open qualifier for Challengers 2, only to get smoked by Sentinels and XSET. But at Challengers 3, they defeated a surging T1 to set up a qualification match with NRG. The two teams stole each other’s map picks to set up a pivotal third map on Ascent, where a godly performance from BABYBAY on Jett was the difference maker. They faced Luminosity in the upper bracket final of Challengers 3 and join them in Masters.
100T went from First Strike champions to missing Challengers 1 to falling short at Challengers 2 to qualifying for Masters. It’s been quite a ride for 100T, who missed nitr0 during their first qualifier then brought in a completely new player in Ethan for their third and final chance. They looked like they were in trouble after losing their first series to NRG, but recovered against T1 to force a deciding series against TSM. In that series, 100T looked the most dominant they’ve looked all year, shutting down TSM and wrapping it up with a classic Hiko clutch.
Gen.G booked themselves the final ticket to Masters. Despite some heroic playmaking and dominant results in the qualifiers, Gen.G struggled in the main event for both Challengers 1 and 2. It seemed like they’d falter again, falling to TSM to open Challengers 3. But patience finally paid off, as they rallied to win over Kooky Koalas then NRG Esports. Both map wins against NRG were hard fought, but it was duelist duo Shawn and huynh who led the way.