17th August 2021 – 10:24am
The Challengers Playoffs NA, the tournament that determines the 3 North American teams going to the Masters 3 in Berlin, ended the day before yesterday. Sentinels defeated 100 Thieves in an almost one-sided Grand Final and proved once again that they dominate the professional Valorant scene in North America.
2nd. 100 Thieves
3rd. Team Envy
5-6th. FaZe Clan
7-8th. TSM FTX
7-8th. Luminosity Gaming
The top 3 teams of the NA Challengers Playoffs, Sentinels, 100 Thieves and Team Envy, have secured their place at the Masters 3 in Berlin in September. They will face the other 13 best teams in the world in LAN, at the Verti Music Hall.
The Sentinels are undoubtedly dominating the North American scene and have conceded only one map before the Grand Final of these Playoffs. By winning the first place in this tournament, Snetinels becomes the only team in the world to have won all 3 tournaments in its region during the VCT: the Masters 1, the Challengers Finals of Phase 2 and then the Challengers Playoffs of Phase 3.
For their part, the 100 Thieves came into the Playoffs in good shape after finishing 3rd in the Challengers 1 of Phase 3. They started the tournament well with two 2-0 wins, but then fell to Sentinels in the final. Once in the lower bracket, they secured their place in the Grand Final by beating Team Envy 3 – 2.
The 100 Thieves decided to start the Grand Final on Bind. This was a surprising choice as it's far from being the team's favourite map. However, this did not stop them from holding their own against Sentinels, especially in the defenders' side. Despite being down 8-4 before half-time, steel and his teammates went up to 10-10 before their opponents took over and scored their missing 3 points.
The rest of the BO took place on Breeze. In attack, Sentinels was able to take a short lead over 100 Thieves, who was a bit shaky, having scored only 5 points, 4 of which were retakes. However, when it was their turn to attack, the 100 Thieves were much more responsive, thanks to Hiko and his Viper. They only allowed 4 points out of 12 to Sentinels and went as far as 11-8 before winning 5 rounds in a row to close the map and get back on track in this BO.
From the third map on, things got complicated for 100 Thieves. On Haven, the map where the Sentinels are the most efficient, SicK was happy to achieve frag on frag with Phoenix. The Masters 2 champions formed a real wall, so much so that at half-time, they already had 9 points against 3 for 100 Thieves. Sentinels then logically ended up winning the map 13-6 and were only one map away from winning the tournament.
The 4th and last map of this Grand Final was Split. Overall, the scenario was the same as on Haven. Sentinels were again leading 9-3 at half-time thanks to dapr on Cypher, finishing the map with a KD of 2.13. Even an Ace on ultimate from d’Asuna wasn't enough to wake up the 100 Thieves. Sentinels won 3-1 in this BO and proved once again that they dominate all other teams in North America.
After being beaten by Sentinels 2-0 in the semi-final, Team Envy made its way through the lower bracket without too much difficulty before losing to 100 Thieves in the lower final with a score of 3-2. This result gives Team Envy the 3rd slot available for the Berlin Masters.
The tournament started well for XSET with a 2-0 win against Luminosity Gaming. They then lost to 100 Thieves, then survived for a while in the lower bracket before being knocked out in two maps by Team Envy.
Bad luck for Rise, which had to start the playoffs against Sentinels. The team was logically beaten by the team that would later win the tournament. However, Rise did manage to take a map to Sentinels, Ascent, 13-7! Once in the lower bracket, Rise took down TSM FTX but then lost to XSET, finishing the tournament in 5-6th place.
The FaZe Clan started the hostilities with a 2-0 defeat against the 100 Thieves. They went on to beat Luminosity Gaming in the first round of the lower bracket, but eventually lost to Team Envy. The team also finished in 5-6th place of these Playoffs.
The winners of the Challengers 2 NA, TSM FTX, were knocked out of the Playoffs in just two games. The 40 points they obtained do not allow them to secure a place in the NA Last Chance Qualifier. Their qualification will depend on the results of the North American teams in the Masters 3.
Like TSM, Luminosity Gaming didn't last long in this tournament, losing to XSET and then FaZe Clan. However, they still got their ticket to the Last Chance Qualifier with 60 points in total: 20 from the Masters 1 and 40 from the Playoffs.