After two long weeks of qualifiers, the team list for Challengers North America has been finalized. Six qualified squads will join another six invited squads, making for the biggest Challengers league in the world.
For VCL NA, the qualifying structure was split into two. Two 128-team open qualifiers were hosted, the first of which drafted four teams into the league. In the following week, a last chance qualifier slotted just two teams into VCL to complete the team list. Both qualifiers were, from the top 32, reseeded and converted from single to double-elimination.
Learn more about the league format before it kicks off and check back later this week for signups:
Both qualifiers hosted many names known to the Valorant community, who have traversed several VCT qualifiers and dominated the tier 2 scene for a long time. One notable exception was The Nation The Nation Inactive , an amalgamation of former high-level players that included Stewie2k , WARDELL , and brax . The roster took down Dark Ratio Dark Ratio North America Unranked and The Silk Road The Silk Road North America Unranked , but fell to BreakThru BreakThru North America Unranked in the qualifying match. BreakThru had already taken down names such as Cosmic Divide Cosmic Divide North America Unranked and Team Reckaroo Team Reckaroo North America Unranked , cementing their place in the NA VCL over some of the game's early greats.
Disguised, a roster owned by content creator Disguised Toast and led in-game by steel , also scored a successful upper bracket run. After gunning Squirtle Squad Squirtle Squad North America Unranked down, Disguised effortlessly took down NSIC NSIC North America Unranked and Oxygen Esports to qualify for the league from the upper bracket.
The final four rounds of the lower bracket were filled to the brim with known names: Moon Raccoons Moon Raccoons Inactive , Nearest Airport Nearest Airport North America Unranked , NSIC, Dark Ratio Dark Ratio North America Unranked , The Silk Road, Oxygen Esports Oxygen Esports North America Unranked , and The Nation. The final four names made up the final two matches, which saw Oxygen and Dark Ratio conquer their berths in the VCL NA.
Most names returned for the LCQ, which saw a more top-heavy upper bracket. Among the top eight were The Nation, Squirtle Squad, YFP Gaming YFP Gaming North America Unranked , Nearest Airport, and Moon Raccoons. With the number of available slots reduced to just two, Squirtle Squad's newest iteration broke through YFP, The Nation, and OREsports OREsports North America Unranked to win the upper bracket and move into the league.
The lower bracket's final games saw names like VIRTUOSO VIRTUOSO Inactive and Moon Raccoons get knocked out. In the meantime, Soniqs Soniqs Inactive were busy recovering from a 2-0 loss to The Nation in the round of 16. They chained six lower bracket wins, eliminating the likes of Cosmic Divide, The Nation and Nearest Airport before getting to the lower final. In the final match, played today against OREsports, Soniqs' run was brought to an end by OREsports in a 2-1 series.
These six squads will join several big names of North American Valorant, such as TSM TSM North America Unranked , Shopify Rebellion Shopify Rebellion North America Unranked , G2 Esports G2 Esports North America Unranked , and The Guard The Guard North America Unranked , in Challengers North America. The first split will run from February to mid-March, when the best eight teams will take a break to play the Mid-Season Invitational in late March.
Competition will return between April and June, when the second split and the playoffs will be hosted. Whichever teams accumulate the most points throughout the year will then qualify to Ascension to get a chance at making the VCT Americas, although the exact number of teams is yet unconfirmed.
The full team list for Challengers NA is:
- M80 M80 North America Unranked
- FaZe Clan FaZe Clan North America Unranked
- TSM TSM North America Unranked
- Shopify Rebellion Shopify Rebellion North America Unranked
- G2 Esports G2 Esports North America Unranked
- The Guard The Guard North America Unranked
- BreakThru BreakThru North America Unranked
- Disguised Disguised North America Unranked
- Oxygen Esports Oxygen Esports North America Unranked
- Dark Ratio Dark Ratio North America Unranked
- Squirtle Squad Squirtle Squad North America Unranked
- OREsports OREsports North America Unranked