The first round of the Europe VALORANT Champions Tour closed qualifiers has been rife with upsets, but G2 Esports getting knocked out on their first day of competition was the biggest one.
The powerhouse international team, which recently brought on Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas and Johan “Meddo” Renbjörk Lundborg to round out their roster, lost to Team Vitality and Alliance in two best-of-threes.
G2, along with Alliance, Team BDS and TENSTAR, were the four teams that secured direct invitations to the closed qualifier. All four lost in the first round, with BDS as the other eliminated team. G2 and BDS are forced to return in week two, where they will have to play their way through both open and closed qualifiers for their shot at reaching Challengers.
TENSTAR and Alliance, though knocked to the lower bracket, can still make it past two of the teams from the open qualifiers if they continue to win their matches. At the very least, they have secured an invitation directly to next week’s closed qualifier.
G2’s first match of the day, against Vitality, resulted in an 0-2 loss even though they played both games close. The lower bracket match against Alliance looked like it might be an even more lopsided affair after a 6-13 loss on the first map, Fracture. However, G2 brought it back on Bind in a 13-4 stomp. The match came down to Ascent, a back-and-forth map that ended 13-11 for Alliance, ending G2’s qualifying run early.
Open teams reign supreme
The four teams — G2 Esports, Alliance, Team BDS, TENSTAR — invited directly to the closed qualifiers were chosen based on the results of the 2021 VCT season. The teams were invited “based on historical and recent performance,” according to the rule book. Teams with more than two roster moves during the off season were disqualified from invitation.
The initial announcement that four teams would skip the open qualifiers through a direct invite was met with some backlash on social media. Giants Gaming head coach Tanishq “Tanizhq” Sabharwal called the system flawed, preferring that no team be given direct access to the closed qualifiers based on the results of the previous season.
The invites for the VCT qualifier are …. questionable to say the least.
Honestly don't think last seasons results should have any bearing on a new season, except for the Champions teams ofc.
— Giants Tanizhq (@Tanizhq) January 8, 2022
In the Turkey and Commonwealth of Independent States VCT qualifiers, the invited teams have not struggled against the open teams as was the case in Europe. Seven of the eight invited teams at the TR and CIS closed qualifiers won their first round matches.
Upcomer reached out to Freaks 4U Gaming, the tournament organizers for VCT EMEA, for a statement addressing the concerns over the formatting. Freaks 4U Gaming did not respond by the time of publication.