The inaugural VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Masters Tour event has come to a close. In nearly all the regions competing in the Stage 1 Masters of Riot Games' shooter, a winner was crowned last weekend following weeks of regional competition.
The European competition reached its climax in a nailbiter series between Acend and Team Heretics. After Team Heretics seemed to set the tone with a dominant victory on Split, Acend struck back to tie the score with a win on Bind. Eventually coming to a 2-2 series score, the teams played on Ascent for all the marbles. Though the map was close, Acend managed to clutch it out with a 13-11 score, grabbing the gold medal and $60,000 in prize money.
Over in North America, the competition was far less tense. Sentinels, who had run through the upper bracket virtually unopposed, only losing 1 map in the process, met FaZe Clan. The two had clashed in the upper bracket before, where Sentinels rolled over FaZe Clan without breaking much of a sweat. History repeated itself in the grand finals. On Ascent, Bind, and Haven, Sentinels came in with a clear plan and executed it near-flawlessly. With a 3-0 win, they claimed the title. The achievement was even more impressive given the fact that Sentinels were playing with a substitute in Tyson "TenZ" Ngo.
Sentinels has brought TenZ on board of their VALORANT team to stand in for sinatraa during VCT Masters Stage 1.
Brazil too had a clear favorite heading into their finals. Team Vikings had defeated paiN Gaming in the semi finals with a 2-0 map score, the last map of which was a dazzling 13-1 victory. Gamelanders, the other grand finalist, had a lot to prove heading into the weekend. Unfortunately for them, Team Vikings had no desire to slow down their rampage. Though the third map, Icebox, ended up being very close, Team Vikings secured the tournament victory with a 3-0 score.
Such one-sided finals happened in many of the other competitive VALORANT regions as well. In Japan, Turkey, the CIS region, and the Southern American Latin America region, all the grand finals ended with a 3-0 score. Their regional champions were, respectively: Crazy Raccoon, Futbolist, Gambit Esports, and Australs.
In South Korea, Vision Strikers went to five maps versus NUTURN Gaming, who impressively clutched out two close games. Still, Vision Strikers were the clear favorite throughout the series, as every map they closed out was won in dominant fashion. So too did they dominantly win the final map, Ascent. NUTURN Gaming only won three rounds, and Vision Strikers walked away with the title. Southeast Asian team X10 Esports had a much more tense encounter with their opponent, Team SMG, but after five maps it was X10 Esports who reigned supreme.
The only region not to crown a VCT Masters Stage 1 champion last weekend was the North American Latin America competition, who had found their champions one weekend earlier in LDM Esports. With all the action of Stage 1 wrapped up, the eyes are on the second stage. There is a lot more at stake for VCT Masters Stage 2, as each region's champion will go to the first-ever VALORANT LAN, held in Iceland later this year.
The first-ever offline international tournament for VALORANT has been announced by Riot Games. From May 24 until May 30, ten teams will fight for the trophy in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.
Image courtesy Riot Games.