Luminosity and The Guard advance through NA VCT playoff quarterfinals
Luminosity VCT Version1
Luminosity defeated Version 1 in the VCT playoff quarterfinals | Provided by Luminosity Gaming.

Luminosity and The Guard advance through NA VCT playoff quarterfinals

An upset and a sweep highlight the end of the quarterfinals
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On the final day of the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) NA Challengers 1 quarterfinals on Friday, Luminosity Gaming upset the previously undefeated Version1 and The Guard swept Sentinels 2-0. In the first match of the day, Luminosity took Version1 to map three and beat them in overtime. Afterwards, The Guard took care of Sentinels with a clean sweep. This leaves both Version1 and Sentinels as teams heading to the lower bracket.

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Luminosity upset Version1 in three-map thriller

The matchup between Luminosity Gaming and Version1 was the fourth seed in Group A versus the first seed of Group B. In this version of David versus Goliath, Luminosity started on Bind slowly against the originally undefeated Version1. After hitting halftime down 5-7, they fought back to win it 13-10. Despite a strong map by Version1’s Alexander “zander” Dituri, both Tanner “TiGG” Spanu and Brandon Michael “bdog” Sanders played great for LG.

This led the two teams to Ascent, where they started off trading round for round. After hitting halftime tied 6-6, Version1 hit another gear to spark a 13-8 map victory. Zander continued his 2022 form, leading the map in kills (19) and plus/minus (+7). This win for Version1 meant that Fracture would decide the series.

Unlike the previous two maps, Fracture started with a team making a significant lead for themselves. Version1 continued their form from their Ascent win to hit halftime up 8-4.  Luminosity didn’t give up though, taking the game to overtime tied 12-12. With some great plays from bdog, Luminosity won the map 15-13 and handed Version1 their first defeat of 2022.

The Guard knock Sentinels down a peg

In comparison to the previous match, The Guard vs. Sentinels was more a battle of the past versus the future. The Guard only officially formed as a team in January, but have cemented themselves as a top NA team. But, Sentinels have been a top NA team since the start of the 2021 season, reaching the top in Masters 2 Reykjavík. Despite their own shortcomings at Champions, Sentinels are still a team to fear.

However, map one of Bind was a great statement win from The Guard. Even on a strong map for Sentinels, The Guard beat them 13-6. Two key players who solidified this strong map win were Trent “trent” Cairns and Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo, both reaching 19+ kills in the lobby.

The next map up was Icebox, with the new slight changes applied from the recent patch. The Guard started off strong off the back of Sayaplayer again, continuing his form from Bind. The start of the map looked very similar to Bind, with The Guard holding a strong lead early on. As the rounds went by, the lead kept growing off of clever plays and aggression from The Guard. The half ended 11-1, an almost perfect start. The game ended 13-1, and Sentinels were sent to the lower bracket.

Now, Sentinels have to face Version1 in the lower bracket to have a chance to win it all. Whichever team loses is out of the competition until Challengers 2. But Luminosity and The Guard continue their VCT Challengers 1 playoffs runs.

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Michael Czar
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.