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The North American VALORANT Champions Tour Challengers 1 league will start the competition on VALORANT Patch 4.04 for Week 5, players confirmed to Upcomer during the most recent Showstopper episode.

The new patch includes changes to Icebox, Yoru and all of the Agents in the Controller class. Teams will have to adapt to the new game state in the final week of group play when Week 5 begins on March 11, which could have major implications for seeding and which teams make it into playoffs.

Matches that will be on the patch include Cloud9 vs. The Guard, a matchup with major seeding implications; NRG vs. Rise; 1oo Thieves vs. Evil Geniuses; Sentinels vs. Version1, OpTic Gaming vs. Knights; and XSET vs. Luminosity Gaming.

How could the patch impact NA VCT matches

Every patch impacts the professional meta to some extent, either by introducing new guns as viable weapons, as we have seen recently with the Guardian and Bulldog seeing more play or with new strategies and Agents joining the mix. This patch will probably mean some adjustment to Agent picks. Thanks to nerfs to Astra and Viper, and buffs to Brimstone, the old dog might see more play across maps like Fracture, Breeze and Icebox. The map changes to Icebox on Patch 4.04 might also lead to some micro-adjustments in strategy on that map in particular.

North America as a region has never been too fond of Brimstone, but teams could break out the buffed agent and his improved kit, mostly his Stim Beacon. But as it is incredibly early in the patch’s competitive life cycle, teams may just stick with comfort and continue to play Astra. But the opportunity is available to innovate and throw opponents off guard.

Teams may shy away from Icebox as well as it has had significant changes made to its structure and terrain. The map wasn’t widely picked before, only seeing play five times in the league and has only been in the map selection six.

Fans will get to see the last matches in NA VCT on the old patch Friday starting with Rise vs. Sentinels.