With all the regional challengers and circuit tournaments coming to their conclusions it's time for VCT Masters Copenhagen!
This blog will detail the match start dates , the stories of the teams competing at the hottest event for Valorant this year, and who you should place your bets on winning it all!
VCT Masters 2 follows the same format as Masters 1:
The first group stage match of Masters 2 2022 is due to start on the 10th of July 2022; the group stage and early play-off matches will run to the 18th, and the Finals will take place between the 22nd-24th of July.
Mark your calendars!
These are the teams that you will see play first.
Low seed teams are the teams that will be playing in the group stages between 10-18/07/2022.
FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) | Group A:
2022 Record: 21 - 6 (77.8% WR) | Circuit points: 350 | Reg. Seed Rank: #2
FPX, who unfortunately could not attend VCT Masters 1 due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, has maintained their dominance in EMEA. In Challengers 2, FPX had on the surface, a rough group stage, barely qualifying with a scoreline of 3 - 2. However, both of their losses were close matches vs Acend the VCT Champions of 2021 and Fnatic. Which to the keen-eyed viewer showed that they had the potential to shake things up in the playoffs; that is exactly what they did.
FPX bounced back starting with their match vs Team Liquid, they then got revenge against Acend (2 - 1), defeated M3C (previously known as Gambit) and cleaned up Guild with a clean 3 - 0 scoreline.
Despite FPX's ups and downs in 2021, they are stronger than ever in 2022.
Guild Esports | Group B:
2022 Record: 13 - 7 (65% WR) | Circuit points: 200 | Reg. Seed Rank: #3
Guild qualifying is seen by many as an upset; few expected them to qualify for Masters Copenhagen because of their mediocre performance in Challengers 1. They placed 5-6th and did not qualify for Masters 1. However, in Challengers 2 Guild turned up the heat. It is now clear that their roster reshuffle and investment into players koldamenta, Russ and trex has paid off.
Whilst Guild has certainly improved, it is still up in the air as to how well they will play internationally, given that their matches vs the higher EMEA seeds FPX (0-3) and Fnatic (0-2) did not go well for them.
OpTic Gaming | Group A:
2022 Record: 18 - 7 (72% WR) | Circuit points: 750 | Reg. Seed Rank: #2
The winners of VCT Masters Reykjavik 2022 are back. OpTic (previously known as Envy) won their first international LAN event just a few months ago. They are a team chock full of talent and personality that have cemented them as fan favourites in NA. It does help that they are an all-American roster.
Now you may think that OpTic are losing their momentum due to not being the top seed in NA, but don't get so hasty! OpTic were also the second seed for Masters 1 and they went on to win the event. So if you are an OpTic fan, have faith and believe in your team. El Diablo baby.
Xerxia | Group B:
2022 Record: 13 - 7 (65% WR) | Circuit points: 300 | Reg. Seed Rank: #2
The legendary X10 Roster that put APAC teams on the map is returning for its second VCT Masters tournament of 2022. Whilst Xerxia did not do great at Masters 1 this year, they haven't lost their strength. They ensured everyone knows they are still the top team in Thailand; they did not drop a single series in Thailand Challengers 2.
However, they got off to a rocky start in APAC Challengers 2, immediately losing to Team Secret (1-2). Xerxia didn't let that keep them down; they ran through the losers bracket right into a rematch with Team Secret, and this time, they didn't choke. In the grand finals, Xerxia met the goliaths Paper Rex. Unfortunately though, they were not David and lost 0-3. Will they be able to put on a stronger showing in Copenhagen?
LOUD | Group A:
2022 Record: 17 - 1 (94.4% WR) | Circuit points: 650 | Reg. Seed Rank: #1
Yes, you read that right. LOUD have a 17-1 record in A+ tier events this year. Insane right? To make it even more impressive, they didn't drop a single map in the BR Challengers 2. We are excited to see these guys on stage again, perhaps this time around they won't let OpTic adapt to their playstyle and claim 1st place.
Despite being top performers at VCT Masters 1 (2nd place finish) and the highest seed in Brazil, LOUD are a lower-seeded team for VCT Masters Copenhagen. This is through no fault of their own. BR is simply a smaller region and is therefore considered to be less competitive in comparison to EMEA, NA, APAC & LATAM.
KR Esports | Group A:
2022 Record: 5 - 4 (55% WR) | Circuit points: 125 | Reg. Seed Rank: #3
KRÃœ has returned for their second LAN of 2022. KR didn't fair well against the LATAM top seed LeviatÃ¡n, so they had to fight for the last spot available in South America. KR dominated their LCQ match vs Ninjas in Pyjamas. They sent NiP packing in a clean 3-0 series, cementing their place in Masters Copenhagen 2022. The only map they had to worry about was Icebox, which they narrowly won 13-10; awe-inspiring duelist, Keznit, was the MVP of the match.
Whilst KR may have lost to Leviat in the LATAM playoffs, it should be noted that they have a 4-2 (66.6% WR) record vs them this year. So KR may bounce back for a hero run at VCT Masters 2.
Note: Winrate is from A-tier and S-tier events only.
DRX - Group B:
2022 Record: 24 - 3 (88.9% WR) | Circuit points: 125 | Reg. Seed Rank: #1
DRX are going to slam into the Masters 2s competition like a truck. This Korean team has not dropped a single map throughout VCT Challengers 2. The lossless streak that they are on harkens back to the Vision Strikers' world-record number of series wins. After all, DRX is made up of many of the same players from back then. Will they carry their momentum into Copenhagen?
DRX are returning from Masters 1; they finished 5-6th. Perhaps they will be able to improve on their placement with this newfound strength this time around.
Northeption - Group B:
2022 Record: 5 - 3 (62.5% WR) | Circuit points: 190 | Reg. Seed Rank: #1
Perhaps the greatest upset on this list is Northeption. It is surprising to many that the 3rd place finishers of Masters 1 2022, Zeta Division, did not qualify for VCT Masters Copenhagen. Instead, the all-Japanese squad were beaten by Northeption, an org who were previously more known for their star Jett player/content creator Seoldam; he recently left the organisation in favour of Crazy Racoons.
Northeption fought hard for this place in Copenhagen. They have been going back and forth with other top Japanese teams such as Crazy Racoon, FAV gaming and the previously mentioned Zeta Division. It seemed to be inevitable that Northeption would eventually triumph. Hopefully, they can progress even further as a dark horse in VCT Masters 2.
These are the teams that came out on top in their respective regional VCT Challengers. These teams do not need to play through the group stage double-elimination bracket that starts on the 10th of July.
2022 Record: 14 - 4 (77.8% WR) | Circuit points: 375 | Reg. Seed Rank: #1
One of the favourites to win it all; Fnatic is the top seed for EMEA. They absolutely dominated Challengers 2, going into Copenhagen without a single map lost. It is an incredible turnaround for Fnatic. After being the lowest EMEA seed to make it into Masters Rejykavik and finishing the event tied in last place with KR Esports. People's expectations for the team were dwindling. Well, Fnatic has put those doubts to rest. Regardless of how they perform on stage, everyone is looking forward to seeing bubbly Boaster again.
| IGL & Controller
2022 Record: 15 - 6 (77.8% WR) | Circuit points: 45 | Reg. Seed Rank: #1
Since XSET acquired ranked demon Cyrocells from SoaR just before the new year, the team has been on everyone's radar. With their new superstar enlisted, XSET started 2022 by getting the reps in. They kicked off by attending the NSG: Winter Championship, a tournament full of tier-2 and soon-to-be tier-1 teams of NA Valorant. Cryocells proved his worth and the team took 1st place. A show of dominance before they started the VCT 2022 season. XSET performed decently in Challengers 1, taking home 4th place but it wasn't enough for the team or the org. They knew they could do better. XSET didn't get an inflated ego and kept attending the lower-tier events to train themselves, building further synergy. During this period, they acquired the analyst DrewSpark and beat Cloud 9, who had put their Challengers 1 run to rest. The XSET that emerged from this training arc did fine work in Challengers 2.
The team had a clean group stage, only dropping a series to 100Thieves (0-2), but they adapted, and in the playoffs, they sent 100T into losers (2-0). XSET continued to
dominate until they met the VCT Masters 1 champions, OpTic. They recovered and met OpTic again in the playoff Grand Finals, and just as they did to 100T, they adapted and flipped the score.
2022 Record: 14 - 2 (87.5% WR) | Circuit points: 450 | Reg. Seed Rank: #1
PaperRex have not lost their teeth since Masters 1. APAC felt their wrath once again and the team had a flawless run in APAC Challengers 2, only dropping 2 maps.
PaperRex is definitely a team to look out for. With their superior showing at the APAC grand finals vs Xerxia (3-0) that topped their last Challengers grand finals (3-2), could PaperRex win it this time around? PaperRex had no problems vs NA and EMEA in Masters 1; should they keep up that record and maintain this new power level, the world is in for a shock.
2022 Record: 5 - 3 (62.5% WR) | Circuit points: 55 | Reg. Seed Rank: #1
LeviatÃ¡n were a relatively unknown team last year. The only event they won in 2021 was Valorant Defenders a C-tier Latin America South tournament. And yet here they are, the top seed from LATAM, beating out KR. Now you may be thinking: ""oh, so they must have acquired a new roster for 2022 right?"
No. They didn't. Their players are all the same from last year, bar one. Initiator specialist Shyy was promoted to the main roster from their academy team just last month. Even before that though the team's results skyrocketed in 2022. This may be down to the new coaching staff that Leviatin has brought in, Onur and BeTony. We'll just have to see how this new Chilean powerhouse fairs against international competition next week.
Reg. Seed Rank = The regional seeding rank of the team going into Masters 2, it is not their overall ranking of 2022 in their region. We chose this because using their overall standing rank may confuse the reader. As there is a dissonance between their position as a low-seed team or high-seed team in Masters Copenhagen and their standing rank.
2022 Record = a team's wins-losses at A+ tier events. There are stringent exceptions to this such as Northeption; the Japanese Challengers is rated B-tier in comparison to global competition.
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