Team SoloMid FTX has always been touted as a menace in North America's Valorant scene, but it seems the squad always finds a way to fall short of expectations, a trend that could see their dreams of making it to Champions fade sooner than expected after being upset by Rise in the VCT Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs.
Having qualified during Challengers 2, TSM didn't win a single match at the event, losing to Team Envy in the upper bracket and then proceeding to be knocked out by a surprising Rise squad that boasts talents such as Kevin "Poised" Ngo and Phat "Supamen" Le.
This outcome puts a major dent on TSM's Champions aspirations, as they are now barred from competing at the Champions Last Chance Qualifier unless a North American team wins Masters Berlin.
How can TSM qualify for Valorant Champions?
As mentioned, TSM has failed to earn a spot for the North America Champions LCQ based on their own merits, however, they can still make it in. How? Let's break it all down.
The NA LCQ features a total of eight squads from the region and two more from Oceania, all fighting for a spot at Valorant Champions. NA will get two direct invites to the final event based on circuit points, with Sentinels already claiming one, and the second still up for grabs.
The nine teams with at least an LCQ spot secured, taking into consideration one of them will earn that second direct invite are:
- 100 Thieves
- Team Envy
- FaZe Clan
- Luminosity Gaming
- Cloud9 Blue
- Gen.G Esports
The cutoff for teams to make it in was 50 points, with Rise earning that amount after beating TSM, which ended with only 40.
A saving grace for TSM is that Masters Berlin will also grant a direct invite to Valorant Champions regardless of how many points the winning team has accumulated.
This means, that if a North American squad wins said tournament, they will free up their spot on the circuit points table, making TSM squeak by into the LCQ with just 40 points.
With 100 Thieves and Sentinels qualified for Berlin and leading the circuit points table, fans have wondered what would happen if they also win Masters Berlin?
Well, according to Sentinels' IGL Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan on his most recent Twitch stream, they would free up their spot earned via circuit points, with the next team in line qualifying for Valorant Champions as a result, regardless, TSM ends up benefitting.
Masters Berlin is scheduled to start on 9th September, with TSM and NA fans tuning in to see if the region can maintain its dominance over the rest of the world.
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