Iceland is preparing to host the first international Valorant LAN event of 2022. Twelve qualified teams from different areas of the world will aim to bring the trophy to their respective regions. With this in mind, let’s dive into the details of our power rankings for VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Stage 1 Masters Reykjavík.
Contenders for the trophy
The following teams are considered serious contenders for the trophy in Reykjavík. It is quite hard to know which of the four will be the Champion. If we could guess it this early on it would break all Valorant odds beforehand. However, I am fairly confident the winner is between these four teams below:
After an amazing season in North America, The Guard are coming to pursue their fairytale in Iceland. With all the individual talent that the roster contains, the young squad is a serious contender for the title. However, being young and inexperienced is one of the biggest obstacles The Guard need to overcome. If they can achieve this, their path to victory will be clearer.
Established at the beginning of the 2022 season, Brazil’s newest force had an incredible run in its region. The organization gathered every talented player in the region and dominated the Brazilian scene during the regular season. They have a great chance to win the trophy, especially while EMEA’s representatives are having severe problems coming into Stage 1 Masters.
Despite missing two important players, Braveaf and Derke, in the group stage, Fnatic have enough intelligence to make it out of the groups. We’ve witnessed that Fnatic are superior when it comes to the strategy in VALORANT. And with Derke joining the team in the playoffs, the European powerhouse will have only one goal.
G2 Esports are attending the tournament as the first seed of EMEA after FunPlus Phoenix were unable to attend. Regardless of the undesired start of the VCT 2021 EMEA Stage 1 Challengers, the European team got into a different shape with mixwell getting promoted to the active roster. They began to play better and with confidence which led them to become a scary team. If they protect their form, they’ll finish the event at the top no doubt.
Our next batch of four are all on the brink of Playoffs and potentially a place in quarterfinals. Each team has distinct strengths and known weaknesses. It makes them not as reliable as our top four, but can still probably take a series off the favorites on a good day.
The runner-up of the Stage 3 Masters is participating in the tournament as the second seed of North America. Although they finished the group stage below expectations, the team rapidly improved their performance during the region’s playoffs. Being defeated 3-2 in the grand final, OpTic are still one of the solid squads in VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Stage 1 Masters and have a decent chance.
Under normal circumstances, Team Liquid shouldn’t be here. But, due to FPX not being able to attend, they were invited as the last seed of EMEA. Liquid had a consistency problem throughout the season and they couldn’t fix it. This problem prevented them from being among the top teams. If they manage to solve that, the team have a solid potential.
After the outstanding performance at VALORANT Champions 2021, KRÜ Esports kept his core for 2022. That was a smart decision since the roster didn’t lose first place to their rivals. We know that an underdog story doesn’t always occur, but KRÜ might be on the top in this event thanks to the experience they gained. However, the LATAM team looked sloppy during the season from time to time and the international scene doesn’t forgive mistakes.
Last year, Korean representatives showed that they are the real deals in the VALORANT scene. They clashed against the top teams in the West and managed to beat some of them. Now, the region’s super team DRX are coming to display what they learned the previous year.
Underdogs & Dark Horses
Finally, the underdogs are teams we cant quite place in the rankings, but are fairly certain wont make much a fuss. Each team is a relative newbie when it comes to international events. They will most likely take the opportunity to scrim and play some international matches, but don’t expect them to go very far.
Spending 2021 as the second best team in Japan, ZETA finally obtained the first seed in their region. The team changed their structure of the roster with three newcomers while keeping the two core members, Laz and crow at the beginning of 2022. Following the meta closely and adapting to it quite well, ZETA’s individuals had a wonderful season compared to their opponents. But, the team might struggle in the major tournament since the competition level is low in Japan.
Starting the tournament in the playoffs, Paper Rex is the roster that has the lowest chance among the top seeded teams. Compared to major leagues in VALORANT, a completely different game has been going on in APAC. The region’s organizations play more fast-paced, more focused on aim duels and less tactical which is the style that better teams can easily counter. They should prepare special stuff coming into Masters Reykjavík.
The ex-X10 roster will step onto the stage under a different organization this time. Qualifying from APAC Challengers, XERXIA narrowly missed the first seed by losing to Paper Rex in the final with 3-2. Having a LAN experience is crucial in esports and XERXIA’s players gained plenty of that during VCT 2021. We might expect a surprise from them.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
Ninjas in Pyjamas have a completely different storyline. The Sweden-based organization switched its region to Brazil at the start of 2022, after competing in Europe since the closed beta of VALORANT. The bold decision ended up well for NiP as they created the second best team in the region and got the ticket for Masters Reykjavík. But there is a lot of room to improve for the roster and this tournament will be a great opportunity for them in terms of experience.
VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Stage 1 Masters Reykjavík will start on April 10. There is still time to do some Valorant betting on outright markets.