VALORANT Champions 2022: Who's coming to Istanbul?

The last step of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022, Champions Istanbul will kick off in September. The tournament will conclude the year for VALORANT esports, and a new season will kick off in 2023. Let’s take a look at which teams are travelling to Turkey to participate in this action.

Champions’ format was recently announced by Riot Games, and we are officially headed to the tournament that will kick off on August 31. The prize pool isn’t clear, and the tickets are yet not on sale, but the tournament is guaranteed to be an amazing one that you shouldn’t miss out on.

VCT Champions 2022 format

Starting on August 31, the tournament’s group stage will be played. As with all VALORANT tournaments, the group stage will follow a double-elimination format. Following that, the playoffs will start. The group stage will take around 1 week, and playoffs will take between September 9 and 18, the grand final date.

With the announcement of the dates, it was announced that the format needed extra two days, and Champions would start two days earlier than expected. It is also announced that the tournament will take place in Volkswagen Arena, one of the greatest venues for such occasions in Istanbul. VW Arena recently hosted TBF (Turkey Grand Final) Turkish Championship League’s (LoL) final series.

Champions Istanbul kicks off on August 31, instead of September 2, the original date. Make sure to keep track of the first LAN edition of Champions, and watch the live streams on Luckbox. Sign up now to claim your 100% bonus before placing your bets.

Who’s attending?

16 teams will join the action in VCT Champions 2022; let’s have a look at them group by group.

Group A

Group A will include APAC Circuit Points #1 Paper Rex, LATAM Circuit Points #1 Leviatán, EMEA Last Chance winner Team Liquid and the first Chinese team to attend an international VALORANT tournament, East Asia Last Chance winner EDward Gaming. While we don’t expect EDG to compete with the best teams in the world, it’s nice to see China’s inclusion in such tournaments.

Leviatán’s performance in Masters Copenhagen wasn’t promising either, meaning that there are only two favourites in this group: Masters Copenhagen runners-up, monster Paper Rex and Team Liquid, rising from the ashes. While Paper Rex should easily claim the first place, Team Liquid is one of the few teams that could offer a strong challenge.

Player to look out for: PRX Jinggg

Group B

Group B teams are NA Circuit Points #1 OpTic Gaming, BR Circuit Points #1 LOUD, Japan Circuit Points #1 ZETA DIVISION and APAC Last Chance winner BOOM Esports. With their strong performances throughout 2022, OpTic Gaming is a natural favourite in the group. They are also the only team with a stable performance.

ZETA DIVISION and LOUD were relevant in the international VALORANT scene during 2022, but their rollercoaster of a performance suggests that they can’t maintain a good run from the start of the season to the end. OpTic should easily top the group and leave the rest of the three in a mess. BOOM Esports is a known name in VALORANT, but they probably won’t manage something incredible either.

Player to look out for: OPTC yay

Group C

Group C will see EMEA Circuit Points #1 FunPlus Phoenix, NA Circuit Points #2 XSET, South America Last Chance winner KRÜ Esports and APAC Circuit Points #2 XERXIA. The Masters Copenhagen champions FunPlus Phoenix is not only the favourite of Group A and the Champions Istanbul because of their recent performances, but also because they are one of the best teams in the world with their overall performance.

NA Stage 2 Challengers XSET should follow them, but they are a great target for KRÜ to pull another upset. XSET’s lack of international experience got them fast in Copenhagen and another disappointment could easily be made thanks to KRÜ’s mentality: they always play against a bigger team with confidence in themselves. XERXIA’s roster and Copenhagen performance suggest that they will get stuck at the bottom of the group.

Player to look out for: FPX SUYGETSU

Group D

Finally, Group D will witness Korean Circuit Points #1 DRX (last year’s Vision Strikers), South America Last Chance winner FURIA Esports, EMEA Circuit Points #2 Fnatic and NA Last Chance winner 100 Thieves. This group has more than two strong candidates for the top two places and deserves some more comments.

DRX VS has been performing incredibly well both in their region and internationally, but just couldn’t make the leap. They are the perfect candidate for the first place but will be challenged by Alfajer’s Fnatic, a team that relies on their unstoppable firepower. Whoever loses the first place battle will have to go through the fury of 100 Thieves, one of the best NA teams.

While Brazil is a strong region in VALORANT too, my expectations from FURIA Esports are very low due to the strength of their enemies, it’s an unfortunate draw for them. DRX might have gathered enough international tournament experience to pop off finally, and the story of the Alfajer is the same: after stomping EMEA, we saw him rather quiet in Copenhagen. That should change in Istanbul, his homeland.

Player to look out for: FNC Alfajer

Make sure to visit Luckbox to find out more about VCT Champions 2022 with live streams and breaking news.