The first round of the Europe VALORANT Champions Tour closed qualifiers was filled with excitement, but G2 Esports, eliminated on its first day of competition, was the biggest.
The powerful international team, which recently added Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas and Johan “Meddo” Renbjörk Lundborg to round out their roster, lost to Team Vitality and Alliance in two best-of-threes.
G2, along with Alliance, Team BDS and TENSTAR, were the four teams that secured direct invites to the Closed Qualifier. All four lost in the first round, with BDS being the other eliminated team. G2 and BDS are forced to return in week two, where they must battle through open and closed qualifiers to reach the Challengers.
TENSTAR and Alliance, despite being beaten to the bottom tier, can still get past two of the teams from the open qualifiers if they keep winning their games. At least they’ve secured a direct invite to next week’s closed qualifier.
G2’s first game of the day against Vitality ended in a 2-0 loss, although they both games were close. The bottom tier match against Alliance looked like an even more one-sided affair after a 6-13 loss on the first map, Fracture. However, G2 brought it back with a 13-4 stomp on Bind. The match ended with Ascent, a back-and-forth card that ended 13-11 for Alliance and ended G2’s qualifying run early.
Open teams dominate
The four teams – G2 Esports, Alliance, Team BDS, TENSTAR – invited directly to the closed qualifiers were selected based on the results of the 2021 VCT season. The teams were invited “on the basis of historical and current performance”. according to the rule book. Teams with more than two roster changes during the off-season were disqualified from being invited.
The initial announcement that four teams would skip the open qualifiers through a direct invitation drew some backlash on social media. Giants Gaming head coach Tanishq “Tanizhq” Sabharwal called The system was flawed and it was preferred that no team get direct access to the closed qualifiers based on last season’s results.
The invitations for the VCT qualification are…. at least questionable.
Honestly don’t think last season’s results should have any bearing on a new season except for the champions teams ofc.
— Giants Tanizhq (@Tanizhq) January 8, 2022
In the VCT qualifiers for Turkey and the Commonwealth of Independent States, the invited teams did not battle the open teams as they did in Europe. Seven of the eight invited teams of the TR and CIS closed qualifiers won their first round matches.
Upcomer reached out to Freaks 4U Gaming, the tournament organizers for VCT EMEA, for an explanation of the formatting concerns. Freaks 4U Gaming did not respond at the time of publication.