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The Guard won their third match of VALORANT Champions Tour NA Challengers 1 against XSET 2-1 on Saturday, putting them atop Group A at 3-0. Alongside NA powerhouse Cloud9, The Guard have set a standard and are in a great position for qualification in the Challengers 1 knockout rounds.

Starting off strong

The Guard started off their VCT tenure by facing Luminosity Gaming, 100 Thieves and XSET. In their first match, The Guard won 2-0 over Luminosity, a team they beat in their open qualifier for Challengers 1. As for their second match against 100 Thieves, it proved to be a lot harder. Going into map three tied, a statement 13-0 map win got them the series.

Their win sent shocks throughout the NA scene, with 100 Thieves making significant roster changes afterwards. But, Cloud9 still topped the group, winning their third match against Evil Geniuses to sit at the top of Group A. That’s when The Guard had the opportunity to match that win with their own against XSET, a team they have recent history with.

In a comfortable spot

The Guard faced XSET in two important games in the past two months. The first was in the Open Qualifiers for Challengers 1, losing to them in the upper bracket. However, in their second match in the finals at the Nerd Street Gamers Winter Championship, The Guard got the upper hand, winning 2-0.

Their VCT match against XSET started great, hitting the Haven halftime at 8-4 and winning the map 13-7. But, then they had to face XSET on Bind, a map they had yet to lose in Challengers 1. The map went back and forth, but XSET kept their Bind winning streak alive and won 13-11. Fracture was map three, and The Guard hit halftime up 11-1. They cleaned it up 13-3 and got their spot atop Group A.

Their spot in the knockouts is as close to secure as possible, but after this win, The Guard have cemented themselves as a top NA team.

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