The penultimate week of the VALORANT Champions Tour North America Stage 1 Challengers group stage has concluded, and some of the group results finally solidified on Sunday: 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, and NRG will not to progress to the VCT NA Stage 1 playoffs.
100 Thieves fail to qualify for VCT NA Challengers Stage 1 playoffs
Among the three definitively eliminated teams, 100 Thieves is the one was most expected to appear in playoffs before the stage began. They were one of four teams that automatically qualified to the main event due to their 2021 performance, where they made it to both Stage 1 Masters and Stage 3 Masters: Berlin. In Berlin, they finished in semifinals. Though they did not successfully qualify to Champions, their pedigree was enough for viewers to have faith in them.
The team picked up two new players, Hunter “BabyJ” Schline and Adam “ec1s” Eccles, in January 2022, shortly before VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers began. However, the team struggled to get started and lost their first two games. The day after losing their Week 2 game, BabyJ and ec1s were released from the team, just one month after both were signed.
— 100 Thieves Esports (@100T_Esports) February 21, 2022
To fill their vacancies, ringers Sean “bang” Bezerra and Noah “jcStani” Smith were brought in on loan from other teams that did not qualify to Challengers. Though both have performed well, the relative lack of practice and experience together has seen 100 Thieves continuing to flounder versus their opponents.
— Nerd Street (@nerdstreet) March 6, 2022
100 Thieves’ loss to XSET on Sunday means that they continue to be winless in the group stage. They will face off against Evil Geniuses, who are similarly winless, next week. It will be their last chance for a win in VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers, but it also won’t be the worst thing in the world if they don’t manage to get it. Two fifths of the team aren’t permanent members of it, after all. The main thing 100 Thieves need to focus on now is building up the best VALORANT roster possible for Stage 2 – one that can prove that they deserve their spot in the tournament.