flyuh claims Moist NA Challengers roster could “easily” beat some VCT Americas teams

Moist Moguls logo on a Valorant map back ground in back and white.Moist Moguls x Riot Games

Moist Moguls took NA Challengers by storm in the second split as the squad put together a 5-0 record. In an interview with Dexerto, the team’s IGL and the head coach said that there is no gap between Challengers League and VCT Americas competition.

Moist Moguls did not expect to go undefeated in the second split of NA Challengers. The squad was coming off of a decent first split, having gone 3-2 in the group stage and finishing the Mid-Season Face Off in the top six.

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The team thought they had a decent shot chance of doing well but took the split match by match instead of setting sky-high expectations, Moist IGL Xavier ‘flyuh’ Carlson and coach Tanishq ‘Tanizhq’ Sabharwal told Dexerto in an interview.

“We just took it one match at a time there as well. Every single week, we were like, ‘Oh, now we’re 1-0, now we’re 2-0. Let’s go through, you guys. Let’s go 5-0 the whole split.’ So yeah, that’s what we kept on saying every week,” Tanizhq said.

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flyuh said their group for the second split looked like an easy slate of matches from the get-go. The team also had more information on each team compared to the first split, so preparing ahead of time was easier than before.

“The teams that were in our group were all, I wouldn’t say extremely easy to beat, but they were pretty easy to beat, even The Guard had their sub so it was pretty advantageous for us and then the other four teams were pretty ‘eh’,” the Moist IGL said.

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The Moist team finished Split 2 with an impressive +62 round record, dropping only two maps as they beat The Guard, FaZe Clan, OREsports, MAD Lions and G2 Esports. In the first round of the playoffs, they will take on TSM.

NA Challengers vs. VCT Americas

If Moist Moguls manage to make the grand final of the NA Challengers playoff bracket, they will qualify for the VCT Americas: Ascension tournament. The event will take place in Brazil and the team will potentially face another NA Challengers team, in addition to Brazilian and Latin American squads.

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Earning a two-year promotion to the international league is the end goal for every Challenger team. But when asked if there is a skill gap between the VCT Americas teams and those playing under them, flyuh and Tanizhq said that Challenger is more like VCT Americas 1.5 than a true tier-two league.

“I think we could easily play against like three of the franchising teams and beat them. Like, maybe four, to be honest. We do really well in scrims against them and I assume The Guard and M80 do the same,” flyuh said.

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Tanizhq said there isn’t a team in VCT Americas that is an entire tier of skill above any of the top NA Challengers squads at the moment.

“Even the teams we don’t have confidence in beating right now in officials we still go pretty dead even with them in scrims,” he said.

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VCT Americas or Bust?

While everyone in the playoff stage is vying for a shot at Ascension and eventually VCT Americas, not every team can earn a promotion to the international league.

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When asked if this year’s run towards Ascension is a do-or-die task for the team, Tanizhq said the situation around NA Challengers is not that dire.

“I don’t know if it’s like qualify or bust levels yet. I think NA tier two is still pretty good compared to the other tier twos of the world… I don’t think it’s particularly bad either way. But everyone’s obviously trying to play on stage in LA so that’s what the goal is,” he said.

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Across the NA Challengers League, there are multiple different types of organizations fighting for a spot in VCT Americas. There are established esports organizations, like FaZe Clan, G2 Esports and TSM, alongside content creator-owned teams, like Moist and Disguised, that are still finding their footing in the industry.

For flyuh and Tanizhq, who have been part of established esports brands in the past, Moist Esports has been the best organization they have represented.

“I’ve been on T1 and FaZe and this org is by far better than both of them, by a mile. Everyone who works here cares, and it feels like you’re a part of something rather than under something. They’re just super communicative and they’re way better than any management I’ve had with any previous org,” flyuh said.

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Tanizhq echoed that sentiment and explained that other organizations might have tried to push roster or staff changes after Moist’s Mid-Season Face Off run. But the creators in charge of Moist, Charles ‘MoistCr1TiKaL’ White Jr. and Ludwig Ahgren, leave those decisions in the team’s hands. “We know a lot more about Valorant than they do,” Tanizhq said.

The team also enjoys the relaxed requirements at Moist. Players are not forced to stream a set number of hours or do sponsored content as their creator owners would rather do those activations themselves and give the team space to compete.

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“They literally told us that instead of making us do content to promote a sponsor, like some cringe TikToks or whatever that other orgs make their players do, he could just do it himself and get a much larger reach. He didn’t want that weighing on our heads so they don’t make us do anything ever,” Tanizhq said.

Moist Moguls are the most popular NA Challengers team still standing following the elimination of Disguised, with their matches averaging almost 53,000 viewers, according to Esports Charts. The team will get the chance to prove if content creator-owned organizations are the future in the Challengers playoffs, where they will take on TSM on June 1 in the opening round.

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