From hundreds of teams down to four, the first qualifier for Riot's First Strike North American main event gave us insane clutches, shocking upsets, and amazing matches over the course of two weeks with Sentinels, 100 Thieves, Team Envy, and Renegades eventually coming out on top.
(Photo: Riot Games)
After 16 squads punched their ticket to the closed qualifier, the teams were divided into four groups as they fought their way to the quarterfinals where they would get a shot at qualifying for the First Strike main event in a best-of-3 single elimination bracket.
Two of the biggest upsets of the tournament came when the revamped 100 Thieves team took their revenge on TSM in a heartstopper final map that went to overtime, with Quan "Dicey" Tran putting on a display that was a proper Jett difference against Matthew "Wardell" Yu, ending the game with a 185 ADR (Average Damage per Round) and 6 first kills.
An even bigger upset saw Cloud9 Blue fail to secure a spot that many believed was almost guaranteed for the squad, as a scrappy Renegades roster completed an exciting display of Valorant that led them to take Split away from C9 in an overtime defense and complete the lockout with a tense game on Ascent, as Chuck "cp2" Proud shut down a potential 2v1 comeback by denying Skyle "Relyks" Weaver's Raze from getting any value from her Showstopper.
Team Envy and Sentinels asserted dominance as top NA contenders despite Complexity and T1's best efforts, reassuring fans and analysts that these are two of the teams that should be favourites to go all the way during December's First Strike main event.
- Read more: Valorant "stuck" left handed model fix found after 100 Thieves Steel reveals teammates affected
The four teams that dropped out in the quarter-finals aren't leaving the tournament empty-handed, as they have secured a spot for the UMG closed qualifier schedueld to start on the 18th of November, a week after the open qualifier rounds end, which will award 12 spots for teams looking to sneak into the main event.
NSG x Valorant First Strike qualifier results
(Photo: Riot Games)
Qualified for main event
- 100 Thieves
- Team Envy
Qualified for UMG First Strike closed qualifiers (5th-8th)
- Cloud9 Blue
Will have to compete in UMG open qualifiers (9th-16th)
- Luminosity Gaming
- The Slimmy Boogermen
- Equinox Esports
- Spot Up
- Built by Gamers
You can check out the entire bracket and VODs by heading to vlr.gg's tournament breakdown.