VALORANT Champions Istanbul kicks off on Wednesday

After a long wait, Champions Istanbul is finally starting to end the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022. Sixteen of the best VALORANT teams around the world have arrived in Istanbul, Turkey to participate in the second world championship of VALORANT esports. Let’s take a look at what’s happening.

Champions 2022 will kick off with the group stage. 16 teams are split into four groups that will be played in a double-elimination format. Top two teams will move on to the playoffs. A double elimination bracket will end the tournament, and we will watch the grand final with an audience on September 18.

Champions 2022 tickets are sold out

Riot Games announced the details for the tickets sale a while ago, and the venue: Volkswagen Arena in Istanbul. The tickets became available to buy a couple days ago and the grand final day was sold out immediately. The rest of the days followed the grand final, and if you missed the sale, you can either attend the earlier days of the tournament or look for giveaways now.

It is great to see how VALORANT fans are invested in this tournament, both in Turkey and globally. The tickets being sold so fast points out that people are longing for such a tournament, and it will be great to welcome back the LAN tournaments.

While it was initially announced that only the playoffs stage will be played with a live audience, Riot Games’ announcement considers September 9-13 as “group stage”. It contradicts the schedule we have, because it was announced that between September 9 and 13, the playoffs bracket would start. Nonetheless, aside from September 14 and 15, all the days between September 9 and 18 will include fans at the venue.

The participating teams, from Chinese EDward Gaming to EMEA’s Last Chance winner Team Liquid have already arrived in Istanbul. We will see if they brought some lovely VALORANT merchandise with them when fans are allowed to attend VW Arena.

The official song for VALORANT Champions 2022 is also released. Have you noticed every single one of the references to the pro VALORANT players? Check it out, it’s on fire:

And if you are looking for a place to watch the competition which will end VCT 2022, make sure to visit Luckbox where you can find live streams and the latest betting odds. Sign up now to claim your 100% bonus.

Champions Istanbul schedule

The opening matches will follow this schedule:

Group A, August 31
Paper Rex (1.50) vs EDward Gaming (2.40) - 16:00 CEST
Leviatán (3.20) vs Team Liquid (1.30) - 19:00 CEST

If you are looking for upsets when you watch esports, Group A is one of the groups that have a high chance of offering that.

EDward Gaming crushed East Asia Last Chance without losing a single map, and they are the first Chinese team to attend an international VALORANT event. Paper Rex is still a clear favourite because of how good they are, but don’t sleep on EDG, they might do more than just steal a map.

Leviatán will face Team Liquid as the best team in Latin America. Their performance in Copenhagen makes Team Liquid a favourite, but once again, the possibility of an upset is very high when two teams that are this good face each other.

Group B, September 1
ZETA DIVISION (3.80) vs LOUD (1.22) - 14:00 CEST
OpTic Gaming (1.13) vs BOOM Esports (5.00) - 17:00 CEST

ZETA DIVISION is back after missing Masters Copenhagen, and they will face an enemy that is close to their level. LOUD’s Copenhagen journey was a disappointment, meaning that ZETA DIVISION is my favourite, but it should be a close one.

OpTic Gaming on the other hand will faceBOOM Esports that made it here through the APAC Last Chance. The OpTic we know should easily get through BOOM and make it to the final of their group.

Group D, September 2
DRX (1.08) vs FURIA Esports (6.30) - 14:00 CEST
Fnatic (1.52) vs 100 Thieves (2.35) - 17:00 CEST

Group D will be played earlier than Group C, but that won’t affect DRX’s performance. DRX Vision Strikers have performed incredibly well in 2022 only to disappoint their fans in international tournaments. They will strike hard to break the curse and FURIA might be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

100 Thieves made the dream come true when they won the NA Last Chance, but they will face a tournament favourite. Fnatic should easily advance to the group final against 100 Thieves, as 100 didn’t look perfect in NA LCQ either.

Group C, September 3
XSET (1.42) vs XERXIA (2.70) - 14:00 CEST
FunPlus Phoenix (1.17) vs KRÜ Esports (4.40) - 17:00 CEST

Finally, the opening matches of Group C will be played. The first game for XSET is pretty lucky, instead of facing FPX or KRÜ, they will face the weakest link of the group. XSET should advance to the group final if XERXIA hasn’t improved drastically during the time between Masters Copenhagen and Champions Istanbul.

FunPlus Phoenix is definitely a tournament favourite, and that is an unlucky start for KRÜ Esports. While the Masters Copenhagen champions should easily advance to the group final, KRÜ is strong enough to make it through the lower bracket.