Riot Game’s first set of official Valorant tournaments is setting up to be a blaster. First Strike qualifier events have attracted the best and worst teams out there it seems. Huge brackets are played out to determine the 8 lucky teams in each region. There’s a lot to play for ofcourse and Riot has boasted prize pools up of up $100,000 USD in the larger regions.
It has been a busy weekend for competitive Valorant, so lets start catching up.
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Valorant First Strike qualifier extravaganza
First Strike encompasses not only the regional main events, but also event qualifiers played out in series around the globe. This allows all prospective organizations a shot at making it big into Valorant this season. With the regional finals set for early December across the globe, all of the regions are working hard to fill out their participant lists.
While there’s always favorites based on the results of Ignition Series events, plenty of upsets have happened already.
Four teams have already earned their spots at First Strike NA. Envy, 100 Thieves, Renegades and Sentinels have earned a spot at the North American First Strike Regional Finals.
Teams like Cloud9 Blue, Complexity Gaming, T1 and Team SoloMid who trailed behind at 5th-8th place gained a second chance to play the First Strike UMG tournament set for the 18th of November. The UMG tournament however had it’s own set of double qualifiers to line its list of participants.
The VALORANT #FirstStrike Qualifiers are officially over!
Here are the winning six of today’s qualifier:
🎟️ @NRGgg🎟️ @KnightsGG🎟️ @GenG🎟️ @TeamSerenity🎟️ @FaZeClan🎟️ @Luminosity pic.twitter.com/YdGdbwEARF
— UMG Gaming (@UMGGaming) November 15, 2020
After all was said and done, FaZe Clan, NRG, Gen.G, Serenity, Pittsburgh Knights and Luminosity came out of the 128 team bracket that determined the 6 teams joining the final qualifying event. Sadly, fan favorites C9 White did not make it out of the first round of qualifiers for the UMG event twice, after dropping both matches 2:0 and 2.1 respectively.
For the main qualifier on the 18th, look out for NRG, Faze Clan, TSM and T1 as the teams with highest chances of advancing to the main event.
Europe has a similar qualification system to North America. The first four qualified teams were determined yesterday with: G2, Team Liquid, FPX and SUMN FC earning their spots in the main event. It was an unlucky bracket for Ninjas in Pyjamas, who had to play G2 in a decider for their spot. I feel between the four qualified teams SUMN FC had by far the easiest bracket and the easiest path to qualification to the detriment of both NiP and Guild Esports.
Guild Esports even managed to best G2 in an earlier match but ended up disqualified after using an exploit. The exploit in question was a simple boost mechanic used on the map Ascent. When placing a Sage wall atop a Killjoy turret a player can gain advantages when defending the B site. We see this a lot in soloqueue, but Riot however decided this was illegal. As a result, Guild Esports was disqualified and their win against G2 was nullified.
Guild Esports released their own statement after the fact saying there was no exploit abuse, just innovative use of abilities. You can see the bug in question “exploited” below:
There was no punishment issued for Guild Esports apart from the disqualification, and they are allowed to participate in the next qualifier event.
The next qualifier is for the 20th of November, and is the last chance for NiP, Guild Esports and Ex6TenZ’s L’institut to qualify to the main event.
Rest of World
The CIS qualifier also concluded yesterday with teams: ForZe, ROX, Axsor and AoeXe earning their spot in the main event. Fan favorites Gambit Esports and FlyToMoon will have to seek another chance during the second qualifier starting later today. You can follow the matches at the official Russian Valorant Twitch channel.
Brazil is the first region to have all eight teams set for the regional final. Gamelanders, Havan Liberty, Team One, PaiN Gaming, NeedMoreDM, Bottom Fraggers, B4 and mix earned their slot in the final. There was an interesting development in the last qualifier match between Red Canids and mix, as the Canids decided to play aggressive “suicide” tactics for the entire match and ended up losing 13:1 in the end.
The other regions are still have plenty of matches to play in their First Strike qualifier events. We will update accordingly in our next Valorant Weekly article. Meanwhile we are preparing a full page dedicated to tracking the First Strike Regional Finals in each competitive region.
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You can follow all the betting tips, predictions and up to date odds updates there once it goes live next on November 29th.
Read next: Valorant Weekly: New Teams, First Strike and Competitive Policies