NORTHEPTION NORTHEPTION Japan Rank #8 beat ZETA DIVISION ZETA DIVISION Japan Rank #2 in Japan's Stage 2: Challengers Playoffs this past Sunday, securing the region's only Masters Copenhagen slot as well as their international debut.
NORTHEPTION started out the VCT's second stage with a successful run in the first week of Challengers competition. After making it through the open qualifier, NORTHEPTION were placed alongside in Group A alongside Crazy Raccoon Crazy Raccoon Japan Rank #3 , FAV gaming FAV gaming Japan Rank #0 , and Jadeite Jadeite Japan Rank # .
A 2-1 win over Crazy Raccoon secured NORTHEPTION a place in the Challengers Playoffs. Although their spot was guaranteed, NORTHEPTION went on to beat FAV 2-0 in the group's final, securing first seed for the final tournament.
In the Challengers Finals, NORTHEPTION ran over their side of the bracket. In the upper quarterfinals, they bested Jadeite Jadeite Japan Rank # , who were part of their Week 1 group. In the following rematch against Crazy Raccoon, NORTHEPTION again secured a 2-1 win that placed them in the grand finals. There, ZETA DIVISION — who hadn't yet lost a map — sent them to the lower bracket final in a controlled 2-0 victory.A new champion enters the arena.
NORTHEPTION quickly bounced back with a 2-0 sweep over Crazy Raccoon, their third bout in a month, to advance to the grand final. In their rematch against ZETA DIVISION, where a slot for Masters Copenhagen was on the line, NORTHEPTION only lost Haven on their way to a 3-1 win that granted their place in Denmark.
With NORTHEPTION's qualification, they are now the third team to represent Japan abroad, following in the footsteps of Crazy Raccoon and ZETA DIVISION. Despite that, the path laid out for them isn't easy: NORTHEPTION have to finish third in Copenhagen if they are to overtake ZETA DIVISION in the VCT points standings. Otherwise, they will have to traverse the East Asia LCQ to reach Champions.
Masters Copenhagen will be played from July 10 to 24, being Valorant's first-ever international tournament with a crowd. NORTHEPTION will represent the broader Asian continent alongside Korea's DRX DRX Korea Rank # , and APAC's Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #5 and XERXIA Esports XERXIA Esports Asia-Pacific Rank # .