News Almost Missed is back for its third consecutive week. Every week, we try to gather notable news from around the world that we weren't able to cover and package them all into one, concise article.
This week was much calmer than previous weeks outside the top tiers, as teams ready for Stage 3's Challengers 2. ez5 ez5 Inactive and VIRTUOSO VIRTUOSO North America Rank #25 are the stand-out names from this week, with both teams involved in an incident during the PAX Arena "Almost Pro" Open.
- Read More: News Almost Missed: July 9 weekly recap
- Giants have found two temporary names to fill the shoes of Ričardas "Boo" Lukaševičius and Michał "MOLSI" Łącki. Former EXCEL captain David "Davidp" Prins and Štěpán "Ambi" Beránek are standing-in for the Stage 3: Challengers 2 qualifier. Giants are yet to make it into a VCT Main Event, topping out in the Stage 3: Challengers 1 qualifier, where they reached the top eight.
- According to George Geddes of Upcomer, Andbox are negotiating with XSET for the organization's former captain Zander "thwifo" Kim. The deal's state is reportedly incomplete, as thwifo is still tied to XSET. The New York-based organization are looking to sign their new fifth prior to Stage 3: Challengers 2 following the recent release of Sebastian "seb" Bucki.
- Vision Strikers have announced Kim "Zest" Ki-seok has temporarily stepped down from the roster due to health issues. The Korean player has not been seen in the server with Vision Strikers during Stage 3.
- Speaking of Vision Strikers, Kim "Lakia" Jong-min (김종민) has finally played in an official with the team, two weeks after rejoining the organization, replacing Goo "Rb" Sang-Min (구상민) on the Sova for the match.
- XSET interrupted Sentinels' 16-match win streak that they had been carrying over since the Stage 2: Challengers 2 lower bracket first round. The team hadn't dropped a single match since that game on April 23, having only lost seven maps in over two months. XSET took them down 2-1 in the upper semifinals of Stage 3: Challengers 1.
- CBT Gaming have been disqualified from the first HK/TW Challengers of Stage 3 due to the unapproved use of VPNs during the series. While Talon Esports have stated that VPNs may be permitted due to pervasive issues with the Hong Kong servers, CBT did not receive prior approval and have forfeited their qualification and prize money.
- The seeding group stage of the Stage 3 Korean Challengers has come to a close, with TNL Esports, F4Q, NUTURN, and Vision Strikers moving into the group stage with top seeding. Of the matches, TNL notably overcame DAMWON Gaming, seemingly solidifying their rank as third in Korea.
- Four teams have locked in their slots in the Southeast Asian Challenger Finals. Thailand's X10 Esports X10 Esports Asia-Pacific Rank #1 , Indonesia's ONIC G ONIC G Asia-Pacific Rank #12 , the Philippines' Bren Esports Bren Esports Asia-Pacific Rank #7 , and Vietnam's Steal Your Glory Steal Your Glory Inactive are the first four teams seeded into the international regional finals.
Matches to watch
- This coming weekend of July 17 and 18 will feature the Red Bull Campus Clutch. 12 teams from around the world have traveled to Madrid and will play, for many, their first ever LAN. The tournament carries a winner-takes-all €20 000 EUR prize pool. The triumphant squad will also win a Red Bull Gaming Hub for their university (if applicable) and tickets to Masters 3 Berlin. Check out all the games over on our event page.
- Brazil is back with more Champions Tour action. Challengers 2 is upon us and
aim to show they're still the best in the region following a strong showing against FURIA earlier in the month.
- Vikings will open the tournament against Stars Horizon Stars Horizon Latin America Rank #8 . Vikings will look to cement their spot in the Challengers Finals to once again go to LAN, this time in Berlin, but will first have to face a hopeful Stars Horizon.
- In the same group, FURIA FURIA Latin America Rank #7 will lock horns with NOORG2.0 NOORG2.0 Latin America Rank #15 . Both teams are very hot in the country right now, and NOORG2.0 is looking to complete an underdog arc, already having stolen a map from Sharks Esports Sharks Esports Latin America Rank #2 and eliminated Havan Liberty Havan Liberty Latin America Rank #11 .
- The open qualifier of the second Japanese Challengers will kick off tomorrow, as 44 teams vie for the last four slots in the main event. ZETA Division, Crazy Raccoon, NORTHEPTION, and BlackBird Ignis have already qualified for the Japanese Challengers Finals.
- Riot has added another tournament series to the Game Changers circuit. Gen.G Gen.G North America Rank #9 has partnered with Galorants, the largest female community in the game with over 13,000 members, to produce a series of VCT Game Changers Academy Tournaments through 2021. It's the second partnership between both entities, having organized the women-only Proving Grounds in June 2021. Their first tournament runs from July 30 to August 1 - you can sign-up and get more information on the Galorants Discord.
- Drama ensued in NA during the PAX Arena - Almost Pro Open. Both ez5 and VIRTUOSO were invited to play the tournament, but after tournament admins realized ez5's Carlo "Dcop" Delsol was a Mexican citizen, the player was disqualified as only American and Canadian players were allowed. ez5 refused to play with their sub and VIRTUOSO, in a humble show of competitive spirit, withdrew from the tournament. The Pittsburgh Knights put together a streamed showmatch between the teams. The PAX tournament final will be held July 17 between the two remaining lower bracket teams.
- This week also saw the first disciplinary action against a VCT Game Changers team. besties besties North America Rank #0 were found to be sharing accounts during the qualifier. Although the squad refused to cooperate, tournament officials found several pieces of incriminating evidence. Among these, an unregistered account in the pre-game lobby and recordings of the team asking "What is the password?". It was found the unregistered account had been logged onto from "across North America", triggering their disqualification and the admittance to account sharing. The women have been banned from VCT Game Changers for 18 months (12 for ringing and an additional six months for not cooperating). The full ruling can be found here.
- Crosshair profiles might be coming to Valorant. ValorLeaks tweeted that players "will be able to save and store crosshairs for later use" and also "create copies of the profile." Players will be able to store up to ten different crosshairs so you can customize to your heart's content.
bleghfarec contributed to this recap.