The schedule for the 2019 NFL season is here and it’s packed. There are plenty of marquee matchups in Week 1, including an emotional Monday Night Football opener between the Packers and Rams, a matchup of two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in Patrick Mahomes vs Andrew Luck at Lambeau Field, and Super Bowl contenders like the Saints fighting to keep their playoff hopes alive against surging NFC East rival Dallas Cowboys.
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In just a few days, the first-ever VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) will come to a spectacular finale with VCT Champions Berlin. For the title of VCT Champions in 2021, players from all around the globe will compete. While there are clear favorites to win the competition, the trophy is open to anybody who comes through in a pinch. Before the VCT Champions Berlin tournament begins in December, here’s a primer on the schedule, structure, teams contending for the coveted title, and match predictions.
Champions Berlin 2021: VALORANT Champions Tour
Schedule and Format for VCT Champions Berlin
VCT Champions Berlin is split into two stages: a group stage and a playoffs stage, both of which follow a bracket system. A total of 16 teams competed for the title of Champions, representing a diverse range of areas and nations. These teams are now divided into four “groups,” or four sides of a massive double-elimination bracket—imagine the left and right sides, upper and lower corners. Only eight teams will proceed to the knockout round, which will be conducted in a single elimination style.
From 1st of December to 3, the first round of the groups bracket will be held. Following that, the second round takes place in the days following the lower bracket rounds. The club that wins the first and second upper bracket rounds earns an automatic berth in the playoffs (basically two consecutive series wins). However, teams may alternatively play through a lower bracket run, in which case they will need to win two series to go to the knockouts.
The next stage will start on December 9, with clubs battling it out based on their playoff drawings. Teams from the same groups can’t be drawn against each other at this stage, thus they’ll be at opposite sides of the bracket. There is less room for mistake now, since not only are the pairings considerably harder after the eliminations, but one series defeat is all it takes to be eliminated from VCT, as there is no lower bracket in the knockouts.
Except for the best-of-five Champions Finals in the playoffs, all series will be best-of-three. The opening round matches for the VCT Champions Berlin group stage may be seen below.
||Matchup in the First Round
||Acend versus Vivo Keyd
||3rd of December
|Team Envy vs. X10 Esport
||3rd of December
||Sentinels vs. FURIA
||2nd of December
|KRU Esports vs. Team Liquid
||2nd of December
||Gambit vs. Team Secret
||2nd of December
|Team Vikings vs. Crazy Raccoon
||1st of December
||Vision Strikers vs. FULL SENSE
||1st of December
|Fnatic against Cloud9 Blue
Team Preview and Predictions for the VCT Champions Berlin
A Team Preview in Group A
Acend and Team Envy are two teams who have been predicted to make the playoffs.
Acned and Team Envy are two of the teams in the running for the top spot at Champions Berlin. They’ve also assembled a strong team that should be able to handle the situation if everything goes as planned.
Acend has the potential to be a serious contender for the title. They qualified for the playoffs at Masters Berlin, but were defeated in the quarterfinals by 100 Thieves. In that competition, they finished in the same place as Sentinels (SEN) and Vision Strikers, with SEN falling to Envy in the quarterfinals. They finished second in an A-Tier tournament, losing to TL, and then won a B-Tier competition.
Envy, however, has been looking like a very dangerous team lately, particularly after the signing of Jett main Jaccob “yeah” Whiteaker. Though the focus has been on SEN, Envy aren’t to be overlooked, having put up strong performances at Masters Berlin to earn the second NA representation at Champions.
Team Preview for Group B
Sentinels and Team Liquid are two teams predicted to make the playoffs.
Despite the high caliber of skill in FURIA and KRU Esports, Sentinels and Team Liquid are hard to dismiss (TL). Sentinels is one of the tournament favorites, despite being swept by Envy in the semifinals of the Masters Berlin competition. Nonetheless, many fans have great expectations for a squad that includes superstar Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, and I see no need to deflate those expectations. The team will very certainly go to the knockout stages without difficulty, and these teams will not be the ones to stop them.
We may also anticipate TL to advance to the playoffs after winning several A-Tiers in convincing ways lately. Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom and Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom, brothers, will be tasked with leading the squad to the next round and maybe farther in the knockouts. I anticipate FURIA will do their utmost to be a pain in the neck. Even said, TL have been looking frighteningly excellent recently, and their chances of becoming the dark horse among all the betting on Sentinels and Gambit are clearly on the rise.
Team Preview for Group C
Gambit and Team Vikings are two teams predicted to make the playoffs.
Gambit will almost certainly advance to the knockout round unless there is a major shock. After all, the European team is one of the main challengers for the title, according to fans and observers. Who will join them is the pressing question.
It’s a little more difficult to determine which of the three remaining teams is the group’s second-best team. The Philippines’ Team Secret has made an incredible comeback on the world scene. Meanwhile, Team Vikings boasts an intriguing emerging talent in Gabriel “sutecas” Dias, who hails from Brazil. However, it’s difficult to dismiss the caliber of Crazy Raccoon, a Japanese organization with three Korean players on its roster. While Korea may not be dominating the VALORANT landscape just now, Asian teams have a chance to make a big impression at Champions.
Each of these three teams’ series will undoubtedly be competitive. In Masters Reykjavk, Team Vikings reached it to the third round of the lower brackets before falling 0-2 against TL. They advanced farther than Crazy Raccoon, who was eliminated in the preliminary round in the lower brackets. Crazy Raccoon, on the other hand, has more recent S-Tier experience, losing 0-2 to Gambit at Masters Berlin after defeating Havan Liberty 2-0 in Brazil. The Vikings’ most recent competitions, on the other hand, were B-Tiers, but I still award them the advantage in the end.
Team Preview for Group D
Fnatic and Cloud9 Blue are two teams predicted to make the playoffs.
Cloud9 (C9) Blue and Fnatic (FNC) are two of the best esports teams in the world, but neither is a clear favorite to win Champions Berlin. Both teams, on the other hand, have players with high ceilings who have shown to be clutch and grow throughout VCT this year.
After TenZ’s departure, C9 struggled at first, but the NA team finally regained their footing and has showed significant growth. Fans will be hoping that Nathan “leaf” Orf continues to impress on Jett after helping the team earn a place in the NA Last Chance Qualifier with a 3-0 victory against Rise.
Meanwhile, Fnatic’s in-game captain, Jake “Boaster” Howlett, is a guy to keep an eye on. He helped the team reach the finals of Masters Reykjavk, where they defeated TL before losing to SEN. FNC finished third in the Europe Stage 3 Challengers, putting up a tight five-map series against eventual champions TL.
Vision Strikers, considered as the best Korean team in VALORANT right now that made it to the Masters Berlin playoffs, might also make it to the knockout stages. They have a lot of potential, and I anticipate C9 and VS to fight for second place in this group.
As the year comes to a close, the VALORANT community can expect excitement, upsets, and shocks, with VCT Champions Berlin poised to unravel as we turn the page to the last month of the year.
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