The first day of the VALORANT VCT Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs kicked off for North America, and the first two teams to qualify for Master 3 Berlin are Sentinels and 100 Thieves.
After an intense battle in a best of three format, eight teams lined up head to head to progress from the early stages. Defending world champions Sentinels were the first team to qualify for VCT Masters 3 Berlin.
Both Sentinels and 100 Thieves showed immense grit to qualify for the Masters on the first day. Now, the chase is on for the third and final representative from NA to qualify for Masters 3 Berlin.
Here's everything you need to know about the VCT Challenger Playoffs NA.
The reigning champions Sentinels started off the Playoffs against Rise. The match started as a one-sided affair where Sentinels plummeted to a 10-0 lead on Breeze, eventually closing out the map with a 13-2 scoreline.
The second map was Ascent, and it was far more balanced with an even 6-6 first half. However, Rise went on to take the next six rounds in dramatic fashion, giving the world champs a run for their money. They eventually secured the second map with a 13-7 scoreline.
Sentinels were not going to back down, especially after a map loss. They started the third map on a high note and took a 10-1 lead early on. This left Rise in no position for a comeback, and Sentinels closed the map 13-4.
Fans finally got to see Hunter "SicK" Mims picking the new Agent KAY/O. Michael "dapr" Gulino went on to claim the highest kills (44) in the match across all three maps.
In the upper semifinals, Sentinels faced old rivals Envy, and their match was absolutely breathtaking. Both teams locked in a tussle for the early lead, and Sentinels barely scraped through in the first map with a 13-11 scoreline.
Sentinels started the second map (Haven) with a pistol round victory but lost the following five rounds. They found their rhythm back from round seven and managed to put up a 7-5 scoreline in the first half.
Envy did their best but lost to the better team as Sentinels took the map 13-11.
100 Thieves began their journey afresh and aimed to qualify early for their first VALORANT LAN tournament. The First Strike champions made it clear that they were clear favourites to emerge from the Challenger Playoffs in Stage 3.
They faced FaZe Clan for their first match in the Upper Quarterfinals. 100 Thieves had a positive start as they took an early 7-5 lead in the first half of the first map (Haven).
However, things took a turn in the second half as 100 Thieves stormed past FaZe Clan, handing out a 13-6 scoreline on Haven. The second map on Breeze and 100 Thieves continued the momentum as they soared past FaZe and put up 9-3 after the end of the first half.
Overall, Asuna led the line with 44 kills across two maps for 100 Thieves, while Steel finally got to try out the new Agent KAY/O.
100 Thieves faced XSET in the Upper semifinals on day 1 of VCT Stage 3 Challenger Playoffs. Both teams were equally motivated to push forward and secure an early spot for Berlin, but that wasn't the case for XSET.
100 Thieves started the first map poorly, losing most of the early rounds to XSET who put up 9-3 in the first half. However, they spectacularly made their comeback by overwhelming XSET in the second half.
100 Thieves took the first map (Haven) with a 13-11 scoreline.
The second map was Ascent, and 100 Thieves have always dominated their opponents on this map. After the pistol round loss, 100 Thieves took charge of the match and put up 8-4 on the scoreboard.
XSET were on the attack in the second half, but their economy was destroyed after 100 Thieves took the first three rounds. They tried to make a comeback but it wasn't to be.
100 Thieves took the second map (Ascent) with a 13-11 scoreline and secured their spot for Master 3 Berlin.