As we draw ever closer to the Champions leg of the Valorant Champions tour, the Curveball team have broken down their VCT power rankings, and they include everyone from EU’s Fnatic to NA’s Sentinels.
In the wake of Riot Games Valorant Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters LAN event in Reykavík, Iceland, we’ve seen giants fall and dark horses rise.
This episode of Curveball sees hosts James ‘BanKs’ Banks, Mitch ‘MitchMan’ McBride and Daniel ‘fRoD’ Montaner set out their power rankings coming into VCT Stage 3 Masters, the final step before the Champions leg of the tournament begins.
Curveball’s power rankings
With North America’s powerhouse Sentinels cementing themselves in first place in our power rankings, Europe’s own behemoths, Fnatic, are hot on their heels.
Teams from all across the globe have made it onto this list, with Korea’s NUTURN Gaming and Vision Strikers making an appearance, as well as Russia’s Gambit Esports.
Curveball’s “Viper’s Pit”
Taking a quick glance at some of the teams who remain on the periphery of the competition. BanKs’ choice of underdogs are the crestfallen G2 Esports, who have recalibrated their roster and are ready for a fight.
For fRoD, ANDBOX are his team of choice. Praising their synergy and high-quality play, he believes that the huge meta shifts may be just what they need.
Mitch steps out of the EU and NA box by choosing DAMWON KIA as his outliers. Claiming that they were on the same playing field as rivals Vision Strikers and NUTURN, only a hair separates Korea’s best teams.
10. FunPlus Phoenix
Despite being crushed by G2 Esports during the Ignition Series, then struggling against Fnatic, the Curveball squad praise their consistency, but believe they really need to pull it together if they stand any chance of holding their own.
9. 100 Thieves
The perfect mix of old meets new, 100 Thieves are in prime position to snatch NA dominance. Praising the squad’s work ethic, game knowledge and innovation, they’re set to score one of those spots on the Masters 3 roster.
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8. Gambit Esports
CIS’ resident powerhouse, Gambit Esports, have come into Valorant with all guns blazing. Snatching that iconic game against FPX, Mitch sees Nikita ‘d3ffo’ Sudakov as the key to their success. A LAN will certainly put the pressure on this squad, but they might just emerge as diamonds.
7. Team Envy
Despite Mitch and BanKs not being 100% aboard the Team Envy hype train, it’s important to remember that they have dominated NA in the past. fRoD highlights that a lot of NA’s teams truly respect how they play, and there’s nothing quite like the power that brings.
6. Vision Strikers
Vision Strikers undefeated reign of dominance was sated early, meaning that the insanely talented squad never made it to the fjords of Iceland. However, the Curveball team put this down to the strength of Korea as a region. As more slots open up in Masters 3, they expect the Korean titans to reclaim their throne.
5. Team Liquid
While Liquid have the raw firepower of Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom and Elias ‘Jamppi’ Olkkonen, Mitch believes their lack of in-game leadership is their undoing. If they don’t change it up, then it seems like things will never change.
4. Version 1
Describing the team has having “overcome every obstacle,” it’s safe to say no one saw Version 1 coming. Late to the game but ready to fight for their place, it’ll be interesting to finally see how Maxim ‘wippie’ Shepelev’s return impacts the team.
3. NUTURN Gaming
Despite being a roster of familiar faces, NUTURN Gaming stormed through VCT Iceland. While Kang ‘solo’ Keun-chul’s possible retirement may make or break the team, fRoD expects that he’ll remain in the background as a coach. If so, he’ll look to mould the team’s replacement in his image, and that’ll be a sight to behold.
Storming onto the VCT Iceland stage in style, James ‘Boaster’ Howlett and company have proven that EU has the power to topple titans. Mitch believes that the team “will take Sentinels down” in the future, and considering the back and forth games we saw in Iceland, that’ll be a joy to watch.
Demolishing Fnatic 3 – 0 in Iceland, Sentinels have earned their place at the top of the Power Rankings. With the dynamic duo of Tyson ‘Tenz’ Ngo and Shahzeb ‘ShahZam’ Khan, the team is a well oiled machine. With Tenz now officially on the roster, toppling this team will be quite the task.
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