International Valorant action is back! The Valorant Champions Tour returns with another Masters event, once again taking us to Reykjavik for two weeks of exciting action.
The event will be the first major Valorant tournament since the world championship in December 2021, marking the first milestone in this year’s competitive circuit. This means there are once again VCT points on the line and each team will be battling as hard as it can to secure as many points as possible. Even one win or loss could end up being the difference in securing a spot at this year’s championship.
Make sure to refresh yourself on all things Valorant and let’s take a look at the event in a bit more detail.
Who’s Playing At VCT Masters Reykjavik 2022?
As usual, only the best of the best from each region are playing at VCT Masters Reykjavik. Every team secured its spot by placing well at regional VCT Challengers events, with different regions securing a different number of spots.
At this event, we’ll see a total of 12 teams, representing all the major regions of the competitive circuit. The regional breakdown is:
These teams are split into two categories – top-seeded teams and group-stage teams. Top-seeded teams are the winners of the best performing regions, EMEA, NA, APAC, and BR, making a total of four. The rest are runners-up or teams from historically weaker regions (or in EMEA’s case, also a third-placed team).
With VCT Masters Reykjavik being split into two stages, the top-seeded teams are seeded directly into the playoffs, while the remaining eight teams open up in a group stage.
The teams are split into two groups of four, which are then played in a GSL-style format. This means that after initial matches, winners play winners and losers play losers, then teams are eliminated after two series losses and advance after two series wins. Overall, two from each group will advance to the playoffs.
Meanwhile, the playoffs will be played in a double-elimination format, with teams seeded based on results and initial event seeding. All teams start in the upper bracket, then drop to the lower bracket after a series loss. If a team loses in the lower bracket, they are eliminated, and the last team left standing takes home the trophy.
Odds as of April 4 at Sportsbook
Can G2 Esports Return To The Top?
EMEA’s top seed G2 Esports is looking to make a return to the top of the Valorant world after a disappointing end to 2021. The team was considered one of the best in the world in 2020 and early 2021, but struggled to build on their success, which led to them missing out on VCT Champions last year.
After a roster overhaul, the team is on the rise again, having taken second place in EMEA Challengers after a flawless lower bracket run. They were defeated by FunPlus Phoenix in the grand finals, but still claimed the region’s top seed after FPX was forced to miss the event due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine (FPX features one Ukrainian and two Russian players).
Now, with a solid bit of form on their side, G2 is looking to once again show that they can battle it out with the best of them. With odds of +225, signifying implied odds of 30.77 percent according to our Super Calculator, they come in as the favorites and the highest-seeded team from historically the best region. Looking at the event purely on paper, they should be taking the trophy and we’ll just have to see if they can live up to the expectations.
A New Guard In North American Valorant
North American Valorant may be seeing the start of a renaissance, with a group of youngsters rising to the top of the region and claiming NA’s top seed at VCT Masters Reykjavik 2022.
The Guard surpassed all expectations coming through the open qualifier and taking down most of the region’s favorites, including Sentinels, Cloud9 and Optic Gaming. Their story is somewhat similar to the rise of Gambit in Europe – a team of young players that grew with Valorant, overcoming the experienced stars that made the switch from other games.
Based on their performances so far, the sky’s the limit for The Guard, who have shown incredible individual skill and a very strong understanding of the game. It’s easy to see why they are one of the bookmaker’s favorites and if they can control their nerves and perform like they did in the Challengers stage, they’ve definitely got a good shot at going all the way in Reykjavik.
Could We See Another Impressive Showing From The Smaller Region Underdogs?
One thing that has stood out at every international VCT event so far is the magic of the “smaller” regions. Regions like Latin America, Asia-Pacific, Korea and Japan all receive limited spots and limited exposure to the western audience, but someone always manages to put on a show.
It all started with Nuturn’s legendary run in Reykjavik 2021, where the Korean team finished in third place against all odds. Since then we’ve seen Vision Strikers, Kru Esports, X10 and others perform way above expectations, taking maps off of or even eliminating tournament favorites.
Going into this event, it’s impossible not to believe in another fairytale story. We may not see an underdog take the trophy, but there will almost definitely be some upsets along the way.
Some key teams to watch include: DRX, who acquired the Korean Vision Strikers roster; Kru Esports, a Chilean and Argentinian mix that have consistently been putting up impressive results; and XERXIA, the ex-X10 Thai squad that managed to eliminate Team Envy and take a map off of Gambit at VCT Champions.
These teams will definitely have what it takes to impress and will all be bringing their own unique regional play styles. We’re very likely to see them snatch a game or even a series from the favorites, as well as show their own flair.