The Group Stage of the Valorant Champions Tour 2022 North America Stage 2 Challengers has finally come to a close. As the tournament moves to the playoff stage, the final eight teams will continue to compete to see who will represent North America in Masters 2, which will be hosted in Copenhagen.
Before the competition starts again next week, it is time to do a power ranking of the eight teams in Stage 2: Challengers playoffs stage.
8. NRG Esports
NRG Esports is the only team left in the tournament with a losing win-loss record during the group stage (2-3). The only wins they earned were against TSM and The Guard, teams that crashed out of the group stage. Against more substantial teams, NRG Esports failed to take off a map against any of them, which is a worrying sign as they move on to the playoffs stage. Many players have had inconsistent performances, but if every player manages to play at their best, it would not be surprising that they could take on a role of a dark horse.
NRG Esports will play their first match against the loser of the Ghost vs. Evil Geniuses game on June 17th.
7. Luminosity Gaming
This tournament will be the final appearance for the Canadian organization as they announced that they would be departing the Valorant scene unexpectedly. Although they finished the group stage with a 3-2 record, LG had a negative round differential of -5, which is not a promising outlook for the roster. Luminosity Gaming will face a difficult path, starting in the lower bracket, but the players will remain resilient as they try to make the best of a difficult situation.
Luminosity Gaming will play their first match against the loser of the FaZe Clan vs. 100 Thieves game on June 17th.
6. Evil Geniuses
The 3rd seed of Group B has surprised many as they overcame well-established teams such as Sentinels and OpTic Gaming. Evil Geniuses has built a roster of many young talents and showcased that they are here to make a name for themselves. If EG continues to play like how they upset OpTic Gaming, they could likely qualify for Masters 2 and represent North America.
Evil Geniuses will play their first match against Ghost Gaming on June 16th.
5. 100 Thieves
100 Thieves has had ups and downs throughout the group stage. They were the only team that managed to take down their group’s top-seeded XSET but also the only team that lost the bottom-ranked TSM. Although their round differential was at +22, the roster’s inconsistencies are very alarming as they move on to the playoffs stage, and 100 Thieves will need to find a solution for this issue.
100 Thieves will play against FaZe Clan on June 16th.
4. FaZe Clan
FaZe Clan had a rocky start to the group stage after losing their first two games against OpTic Gaming and Luminosity Gaming. But they quickly silenced doubters after winning their next three matches without dropping a single map. FaZe Clan will be heading into the playoffs looking to continue their hot streak as they will look to fight for a spot at Masters 2.
FaZe Clan will play their first match against 100 Thieves on June 16th.
It may be surprising for many to see that the top seed of group A is placed third on the power rankings. XSET has been dominant throughout the group stage, only dropping a single game and three maps overall. Despite their successes, XSET has had some maps that could have gone either way, especially against their game against 100 Thieves, which looked lost and uncoordinated. XSET comes into the playoffs as heavy favorites representing North America in Masters 2 and will continue to make a name for themselves, as many expected.
XSET will play their first match against the winner of FaZe Clan vs. 100 Thieves on June 18th.
2. Ghost Gaming
Ghost Gaming made a name for themselves during Stage 2: Challengers group stage. The expectations for this roster were low heading into the group stage, but they have showcased fluid and clean Valorant gameplay against some of the best teams in North America. Many people doubted them after their loss against XSET in their first match, but they managed to silence the critics after defeating The Guard 2-1 and continue to dominate their group. Their round differential of +36 is the highest of any team, making them a favorite to qualify for Masters 2.
Ghost Gaming will play their first match against Evil Geniuses on June 16th.
1. OpTic Gaming
Is it an overstatement to put the Masters 1: Reykjavik 2022 champions on the top of the power rankings? The North American powerhouse swept through their group, trouncing Sentinels and Cloud9, and was looking to be undefeated until they were upset by Evil Geniuses. Despite this setback, OpTic Gaming showcased why they are labeled the strongest team in the world and are the heavy favorites in securing the first seed heading into Masters 2.
OpTic Gaming will play their first match against the winner of Ghost Gaming vs. Evil Geniuses on June 18th.