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Fabio | 9. September 2021

The Frontrunners for the VCT Masters Group Stage

The VALORANT Masters Berlin are scheduled to commence tomorrow! Famous organizations like G2, 100 Thieves, and Sentinels are taking part. But most teams will arrive on site with a distinct lack of LAN experience. So it’ll be exciting to see who can keep their nerve.

16 teams were meant to travel to Berlin. Bren Esports unfortunately had to cancel their trip. Because of that, Group D won’t feature a GSL format, but a Round-Robin bracket with just three teams. One rule is the same for all four groups: Two winners, the rest are going home. So which teams will manage to set themselves on top and reach the playoffs of VCT Masters?

GROUP A: SUPERMASSIVE & ACEND

Sure, Vision Strikers and Paper Rex have really shone in their respective regions, at least on paper (get it?). Ever since 2020, Vision Strikers have been the uncontested best team in Korea. The Stage 2 Challengers were the only exception to that rule. Losing to NUTURN, these players made their way to Masters back then. However, VS managed so secure victory this time around, which finally lets them enter the international battle stage. While Paper Rex weren’t as dominant in Southeast Asia, they were still among the best. So why do Acend and Supermassive Blaze have the upper hand?

All EU teams have levelled up in terms of performance since Masters Reykjavik. Most recently, the EMEA playoffs have proven how incredibly competitive the region is. Acend and Supermassive both made the Top 3, which should make this group in Berlin all the more dangerous.

GROUP B: ENVY VS. SOUTH AMERICA AND ASIA

This time, ZETA DIVISION managed to surpass Crazy Raccoon. While they’re also taking part, they haven’t been able to dominate their national competition as much as they used to. Back in Reykjavik, they bombed out after two straight losses, not even winning one single map. We can expect ZETA to do better, but their opponents in Group B might just be a little too much to handle.

It’s much more likely that we’re going to see the Brazilians put up a fight versus Envy. In all things FPS, Brazil has historically been a very competitive region (just look at CS:GO and Siege). So far, they haven’t really arrived at the VALORANT international scene. Keyd Masters managed to get past Sharks and Vikings, so the region will arrive with a completely new set of teams. But Envy have already got a year’s worth of experience in North America. They’re one of the few teams who can at least get close to Sentinels. So they should own this group, which leaves the fight for second place wide open for the rest.

GROUP C: EASY GOING FOR 100T AND GAMBIT?

These strong performers from EMEA and NA don’t really have a lot of competition to go up against. Crazy Raccoons weren’t a threat back in Reykjavik, and Havan Liberty haven’t played outside the Brazilian region. While 100 Thieves and Gambit haven’t done that either, the level of competition in NA and the CIS region is just a little higher.

Since there are two playoffs spots up for grabs again, 100T and Gambit should get through quite easily. We don’t know the exact ranking order, but that doesn’t actually matter all that much!

GROUP D: DO F4Q STAND A CHANCE?

The Korean side is part of the only group to feature just three teams. Not only that – they also have to go up against Sentinels and G2 Esports! The winners of the most recent Mastes event are still top favorites for the trophy in Berlin. While G2 Esports have had a shaky week in the EMEA Playoffs, they’re nonetheless on a wholly different level. The poor Korean team will have to fight these giants for half a week straight, without any real chance at entering the coveted playoffs.

WHO WILL MAKE PLAYOFFS IN BERLIN?

The EMEA and NA teams had somewhat taken the lead in Reykjavik. NUTURN were an exception to that rule, but they didn’t make the cut this time. So it’s difficult to envision anyone else other than Sentinels, Gambit, and co. getting to the top. The Asian and South American teams have one last glimmer of hope, though: 100 Thieves, G2, and many more have absolutely no offline experience in VALORANT. Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas and his men might have been active in the game for over a year now, but they’ve not been to a LAN event until now. So we’re not guaranteed to see the EMEA and NA teams dominating, but still, we shouldn’t be surprised if that does end up happening!