VCT Americas Stage 1 has wrapped up with six teams advancing to playoffs. The teams were undecided until the final game concluded as the round differential would decide if G2 Esports G2 Esports North America Rank #5 icy Jacob Lange trent Trent Cairns valyn Jacob Batio JonahP Jonah Pulice leaf Nathan Orf or Sentinels Sentinels North America Rank #4 TenZ Tyson Ngo Zellsis Jordan Montemurro zekken Zachary Patrone johnqt Mohamed Amine Ouarid Sacy Gustavo Rossi qualified.

From Group Alpha, KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #3 keznit Angelo Mori Klaus Nicolas Ferrari Shyy Fabian Usnayo Melser Marco Eliot Machuca Amaro heat Olavo Marcelo , Cloud9 Cloud9 North America Rank #9 Xeppaa Erick Bach runi Dylan Cade moose Kaleb Jayne vanity Anthony Malaspina OXY Francis Hoang , and G2 qualified, while Group Omega was topped by Leviatán, followed by 100 Thieves 100 Thieves North America Rank #1 bang Sean Bezerra Cryocells Matthew Panganiban eeiu Daniel Vucenovic Boostio Kelden Pupello Asuna Peter Mazuryk and LOUD LOUD Brazil Rank #1 saadhak Matias Delipetro Less Felipe de Loyola tuyz Arthur Andrade cauanzin Cauan Pereira . Of the six teams, only LOUD played in Masters Madrid, and despite them beating G2, the latter squeaked over SEN into the playoffs thanks to round differential. Evil Geniuses Evil Geniuses North America Rank #19 Derrek Derrek Ha NaturE Nicholas Garrison supamen Phat Le Apoth Vincent Le jawgemo Alexander Mor faced a similar fate to Sentinels in the other group, being bested by LOUD.

Throughout the entire split, KRÜ and Leviatán looked incredibly consistent in terms of performance. Both teams only lost a game apiece and had a round differential of greater than 20 over the next team in their respective groups. The two teams went head to head, with Leviatán finding victory after a close three-map series. They advance as top seeds directly to the upper semifinals.

Key Moments

The first two weeks of the league saw KRÜ, NRG, and Cloud9 win both their games. Over the next two weeks, KRÜ and Cloud9 would expand on this early lead. Before the final week, both teams had qualified for playoffs, with the former undefeated and the latter only having lost once to 100 Thieves. Leviatán had also confirmed their advance with a 4-1 record, but the final three spots were anyone's grab.

For Group Alpha, the third spot could be taken by NRG, Sentinels, or G2. While NRG and G2 were at a record of 3-2, SEN had a 2-3 record. Their upcoming games as well as the round differential would play a huge role in who qualified. SEN won their game against FURIA, keeping their playoff hopes alive while NRG's 2-0 loss to 100 Thieves saw them unlikely to qualify.

The final spot in Group Alpha came down to whether LOUD could defeat G2 with a round differential of less than 12, and they couldn't. G2 locked in the final playoffs slot of the group over SEN and NRG.

In Group Omega, Leviatán had already qualified as the top seed. 100 Thieves, LOUD, and EG were all in contention for the final two spots, but only the former two had games this week. Both teams won their respective games and qualified for playoffs.

As for seeding, both KRÜ and Leviatán topped their groups after losing one game apiece, netting them a bye in the playoffs and ensuring they will only need one playoff match win to qualify for Masters Shanghai. They also were awarded an additional championship point.

While Americas had their top teams and close contenders, unfortunately neither FURIA nor MIBR were able to win a single series in the split.

Meta report

In terms of agent picks, Viper dominated with a >90% winrate on five out of the seven maps. Raze was also the duelist of choice on all maps except Icebox, Breeze, and Ascent. Gekko continued thriving as the initiator with the most impact, a major change from the Skye-dominant meta of last year. Finally, both Killjoy and Cypher continue to top the sentinels rankings aside from on Bind and Split, where Viper often replaces them as a pseudo-sentinel.

Outstanding players

Aspas was the most consistent player in terms of getting frags for his team, rocking an ACS of at least 250 in every match of the split. Cloud9's OXY performed similarly with a minimum ACS of 240, and often averaging more than 320.

While both Aspas and OXY were the star duelists of their teams with crucial entries, KRÜ's Keznit dominated in terms of first kills for his team, and the rest of his team were consistently up there with him on the scoreboard.

Stage 1 regular season results

Group Alpha

KRÜ Esports (5-1, +43 round differential.) Cloud9 (5-1, +20) G2 Esports (3-3, +23) Sentinels (3-3, +21) NRG (3-3, +8)

Group Omega

Leviatán (4-1, +36) 100 Thieves (3-2, +14) LOUD (2-3, -13) Evil Geniuses (2-3, -28) FURIA (0-5, -62) MIBR (0-5, -62) Prize Distribution

Each team received one circuit point per match win.

Playoffs structure

NA bracket Teams from the same group face off against each other in their opening matches.

The Americas playoffs will send three teams to Masters: Shanghai and grant the winner three championship points. It will begin with two single elimination matches, with the two winners joining KRÜ and Leviatán in a four team, double elimination bracket.

Cloud9 vs G2 and 100 Thieves vs LOUD will be the opening matches. As groups leaders, KRÜ and Leviatán received a bye and are seeded directly into the double elimination portion of the bracket. KRÜ will play against either Cloud9 or G2, while LEV will play against either 100T or LOUD.

The top three teams of the tournament will qualify to Shanghai. In terms of Champions qualification, every match win in playoffs gives teams one point, while winning the event grants teams an additional three championship points. Outside of the top three teams in Stage 2, whichever team has accumulated the most championship points will qualify to Champions 2024 as the region's fourth seed.