The first qualifications for the Valorant Champions Tour are in progress and have already shocked the fledgling esports scene. Both North American First Strike tournament finalists, 100 Thieves and TSM, I’m out in the first qualifying round. With two big names like them eliminated at the beginning of the first qualifying not a few concerns emerged on the Valorant esports scene and its future. “First Strike” was the first opportunity for teams of all levels to compete for the title of the best in their region. We have seen some teams create hype, like the 100 Thieves, and other disappoint, like Cloud9 Blue. Then there were the teams that were not affiliated to any organization and despite this they have paved emblazoned teams belonging to multimillion-dollar franchises. This is exactly what happened to both First Strike finalists in the first qualifiers.
GG we lost 2-0 to Carpe Noctem (13-11, 13-11), appreciate you standing in @Silenx_x – time to focus and be ready for the next open qualifier
– 100T Hiko (@Hiko) January 29, 2021
The 100 Thieves started the first day of the tournament in a bad mood, having lost a map to a team of rookies. Despite the first misstep, they finished the first day 4 to 1 thanks to two best of 3 games. TSMs, on the other hand, got off to a more impressive start the first day of the tournament. They won both games 2-0 and continued the winning streak until the second day. They beat the Rise in round 32 of the tournament before being eliminated by XSET in round 16 2-1. The second day, the 100 Thieves they fought to win against a name team Carpe Noctem, but he eliminated them from the tournament in round 32 by winning 2-0.
GGWP lost 1-2 @XSETGAMING, he did our mom’s chat
– TSM | Matt “ WARDELL ” Yu (@ WARDELL416) January 29, 2021
With both First Strike finalists eliminated so early in qualifying, there’s a lot to be said for the teams that defeated them. Carpe Noctem is an amateur team which is currently classified al 35th place in the North American ranking (statistics from The Spike). This means they are not an opponent to be underestimated for some of these franchise teams. Valorant is still in the early stages of development in the world of esports, which means that most of the talent has yet to be discovered. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is dying in North America, especially now that the role of coaches is even tighter. This means that there is still a lot of talent in CS: GO that will move to Valorant and to join new rosters. The TSM’s defeat against the XSETs is just as important to these early esports stages of Valorant. The XSET are currently ranked 11th in NA, this means that the skills gap between the top ten is narrowing.
Many Valorant fans have gone crazy on social media average for the losses of two of the greatest American teams. However, these setbacks are actually only positive for Valorant’s sports community and for its future. Other teams will arrive and prove that they can hold their own against even the most famous franchise teams, enriching a competitive scene that promises better and better.