With the VALORANT Champions tournament just around the corner, the top teams from each region are duking it out for the final regional spots in the largest VALORANT tournament of the year.
The VCT LCQ, (VALORANT Champions Tour Last Chance Qualifiers) is an annual pre-qualifier tournament that pits the top eight teams, aside from those that have already qualified, from each region against one another for the opportunity to compete in this year’s Champions tournament.
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What Makes the Last Chance Qualifiers So Important?
Set to take place in Istanbul this year, VALORANT Champions Tour is the annual “World Tournament” Riot hosts to find the best VALORANT team across all six regions. The initial seeds for Champions are determined via Circuit Points, a point system that awards teams for their placements in regional and international tournaments throughout the year.
This year, there were two regional tournaments and two international tournaments.
The regional tournaments, called Challengers Stage I and Challengers Stage II, award very few Circuit Points, in fact only third through twelfth place earn points; however, the top two teams qualify for the international tournaments, called Masters Stage I and Masters Stage II.
Masters, unlike Challengers, award a significant number of points, with the winner receiving 750 points: a significant jump from the maximum of 50 awarded to the third place Challengers teams. Of course, the lowest placing Masters teams earn more than their non-qualifying Challengers counterparts, guaranteeing them 125 points at the very minimum.
While this system is very important for awarding the initial regional spots, it is also imperative in determining which teams qualify to compete for the final regional spot at Champions. Below the initial Challengers qualifiers, the top eight teams—based on Circuit Points—are invited to compete in the LCQ.
This year, the following eight teams were invited to the LCQ:
- The Guard [220 Points]
- FaZe Clan [75 Points]
- Cloud9 [70 points]
- Shopify Rebellion (Formerly Luminosity Gaming) [70 Points]
- NRG [70 Points]
- 100 Thieves [60 Points]
- Evil Geniuses [55 Points]
- Sentinels [45 Points]
Last Chance Qualifiers Format
The Last Chance Qualifiers are a single stage, double-elimination tournament. Contrary to the Masters two stage group/playoffs format, all eight LCQ teams have an equal chance of winning the tournament.
In traditional tournament format, the preliminary—non-finals—matches are best of three formatting. This means that, in order to win the match, a team must win two maps. The finals (Lower Bracket Final and Grand Final), on the other hand, are a best of five, meaning the winning team will have to take three matches.
The tournament officially started on August 4th, and is set to run until August 14th. Unlike the Challengers and Masters tournament, the only prize is a Champions spot. There are no cash incentives, meaning that the only team that goes home with anything is the team that wins it all.
Every team outside of Sentinels is returning with the same rosters they competed with in Challengers Stage II. Sentinels will return with shroud and Zellsis, filling in for SicK—who is out for mental health reasons—and replacing Kanpeki who underperformed for them in their 0-5 group stage loss in Challengers Stage II.