The biggest VALORANT tournament of the year is just around the corner. With this year’s international majors, domestic tournaments, and last chance qualifiers now completed, the sixteen participating teams ,have been invited and many have already started their bootcamping.
Taking place in Istanbul this year, Champions 2022 will be the first tournament to not include Split in their map rotation. Split, one of the four maps that launched with the game, was recently removed from the game’s unrated and competitive game modes. As to not interfere with the professional scene—which was very active at the time—VALORANT’s developers opted to allow Split to remain in the professional map pool until the LCQs (last chance qualifiers) were over. Now that the six LCQ teams have been determined, Split will not be playable on the professional level; however, Pearl will be joining the lineup to maintain the seven map pool equilibrium.
Who is Competing at VALORANT Champions 2022?
This year’s tournament is going to be way more exciting and competitive than in 2021. With each region producing multiple internationally competitive teams, it is almost anyone’s trophy to take home. Both major winners—as intended—are in attendance, as well as some of the long standing fan favorites.
The competing teams are as follows:
- NA Circuit Points #1: OpTic Gaming (Major I Winner)
- NA Circuit Points #2: XSET (NA Challengers 2 Winner)
- NA LCQ: 100 Thieves
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
- EMEA Circuit Points #1: FPX
- EMEA Circuit Points #2: Fnatic
- EMEA LCQ: Team Liquid
Latin America/Brazil/South America
- LATAM Circuit Points: Leviatán
- BR Circuit Points: LOUD
- SA LCQ: KRÜ Esports
- SA LCQ: FURIA Esports
- APAC Circuit Points #1: Paper Rex
- APAC Circuit Points #2: XERXIA
- APAC LCQ: BOOM Esports
- KR Circuit Points: DRX
- JP CIrcuit Points: ZETA DIVISION
- EA LCQ: EDward Gaming
New to the international stage this year is EDG (EDward Gaming). Despite VALORANT hosting international tournaments since 2020, EDG is the first Chinese team to ever qualify for an international tournament.
On the other hand, the return of the South American team KRÜ Esports marks an important record. Despite never winning a major, KRÜ is the only team to ever qualify and attend every single VALORANT international tournament.
The only other standout team is 100 Thieves. 100T are returning to the international scene after almost a year. The last time 100T competed internationally was at Masters III: Berlin in 2021, where they were dismantled by Team Envy (now OpTic Gaming).
How is VALORANT Champions Structured?
Champions is formatted almost identically to its 2021 iteration. Composed of two stages, Champions eliminates half of its teams through a group stage before entering them into a bracketed playoff stage.
The Group Stage, consisting of four groups, is identical to 2021. Each group hosts four teams that will play in a double-elimination format. In other words, each team will play two other teams in their bracket and, if they lose twice, they will be eliminated from the tournament. The winners of the opening two matches play each other in the “Winners’ Match” for the top seed in the group. The losers of the opening matches play each other in the “Elimination Match” for the opportunity to play the loser of the Winners’ Match in the “Decider Match.”
The four groups are as follows:
- Paper Rex
- Team Liquid
- OpTic Gaming
- BOOM Esports
- ZETA DIVISION
- KRÜ Esports
- FURIA Esports
After these matches have been played out, the two best teams from each group will advance to the Playoff Stage. Structured into a bracket, this stage is also double-elimination. The first and second place team from each group will be pitted against a team from another group based on their seeding. The first place team is given the advantage for winning their group by playing against the second place team of another group.
All matches in this stage are the best of three except for the Lower Bracket Final and Grand Final. These matches are played as best of fives to exercise the entirety of the map pool with two map bans.
This year’s tournament kicks off on August 31st and ends with the Grand Final on September 18th. With group stages like this, you are not going to want to miss all of the action that unfolds when the best teams in the world compete for the second-ever world title.
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