Evil Geniuses and Knights have taken the first two spots into VALORANT Champions Tour NA Challengers 1 from their second VCT open qualifier on Saturday. After the first four teams of XSET, The Guard, Version1 and NRG Esports qualified through the first open qualifier, EG and Knights are now joining them in VCT Challengers 1. There are two spots remaining for the lower bracket teams in this second, and final, open qualifier for Challengers 1.
Evil Geniuses top a tough bracket
The first team to qualify from this qualifier is Evil Geniuses. Their bracket included top teams from 2021, including FaZe Clan, T1, TSM and Rise Gaming. However, underdog team Ghost Gaming upset both FaZe Clan and TSM in their path to EG. Then they were sent to the lower bracket by EG’s hand. Along with another upset that sent T1 down to the losers bracket, this left Rise as EG’s final challenge. They ended up squeaking out a 2-1 victory over Rise in the upper bracket to qualify for Challengers 1. EG’s standout player was Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond, who was clutch in their matchup against Rise. He led the lobby in kills (65) and plus/minus (+6).
The tale of EG in this bracket was facing off against whoever they matched up with and winning. Now, they’ll have to take that mentality with them and face the best teams NA have to offer.
Knights topple kingdoms in the second bracket
As for the second spot out of the four available, the next undefeated team was Knights. Coming into these Challengers 1 qualifiers, this team made big waves in minor competitions. In their first attempt, they lost to NRG Esports in the first qualifier for Challengers 1. Now knowing that they lost to an eventual qualifier, they showed up in their second try. Only losing one map in the entire bracket run, the team strung together one-sided map wins to make it to the top. In their bracket final against the Susquehanna Soniqs, a close 13-11 map 1 victory was overshadowed by a 13-4 romp.
Now, the Knights have the chance to face off against the team that knocked them out, NRG. They, along with Evil Geniuses, will be new teams joining the top of the VCT NA scene.
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Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.