The first international VALORANT tournament of the year has begun!. The world's top 12 teams travelled to Iceland to play in Masters Reykjavik 2022, where they are vying for the title of VCT Stage 1's conquerors.
However, the competitive landscape appears to be much different over last year. Sentinels, Gambit Esports (M3 Champions), and Acend, the last three champions of international LAN events, all failed to qualify via their respective Stage 1 Challengers competitions.
From other corners of the world, new Brazilian behemoth Loud and Korea's DRX “Vision Strikers” roster which was recently acquired in January, arrived in Iceland after dominating streaks in their own nations. After falling flat last year both rosters will be hoping to correct their errors and ultimately achieve success on the world stage.
The group stage of VCT Stage 1 Masters Reykjavik 2022 will take place from April 10 to 18, followed by the playoffs from April 22 to 24.
Format & Prize pool
The VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters Iceland is being held in Reykjavik, Iceland, from April 10 to April 24.
With the exception of the playoffs lower bracket final and grand final, which will be best-of-five series, all matches will be played in a best-of-three format.
In the playoffs, the top-seeded teams from EMEA, NA, and APAC, as well as the winner of the Brazilian vs. LATAM playoff, will join in on the action. But first the remaining eight teams will compete in to groups until they make it to the playoffs, with only the top four teams progressing to the double-elimination tournament.
Here is the full prize pool for VCT Masters Reykjavík:
- First: $200,000 | 750 points
- Second: $120,000 | 500 points
- Third: $85,000 | 400 points
- Fourth: $65,000 | 300 points
- Fifth-sixth: $40,000 | 250 points
- Seventh-eighth: $25,000 | 200 points
- Ninth-10th – $15,000 | 150 points
- 11th-12th – $10,000 | 125 points
FunPlus Phoenix were expected to be the number one seed for EMEA at Masters Reykjavik, however they were unable to go owing to travel limitations. Despite not attending, the squad will still get ladder points and prize money. For qualifying for the tournament, FPX will get $25,000 and 200 ladder points, the same amount and points as seventh and eighth place.
Schedule & Betting odds
Teams that are highlighted in bold have the odds in favour. You can click on the dates to take yourself directly to the detailed match page, and watch the matches as they play out live.
Group A Opening Matches:
Fnatic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas (April 11, 2022 - 19:00 CEST) 1.17 vs. 4.40
Group B Winners’ Match:
Team Liquid vs. XERXIA (April 11, 2022 - 22:00 CEST) 1.26 vs. 3.50
Group B Elimination Match:
KRÜ Esports vs. OpTic Gaming (April 12, 2022 - 20:00 CEST) 3.20 vs. 1.30
Analysis, predictions and highlights
Here’s the highlights from the last two days:
- XERXIA finish day one with a 2-0 win, OpTic fans are disappointed
- Team Liquid defeats KRÜ 2-0 in the first Group B match
- ZETA Division has lost against the new Korean Superstar DRX
Fnatic vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas
Despite the absence of two key players, Braveaf and Derke, in the group stage, Fnatic has enough intelligence to advance. We've seen that Fnatic is superior in terms of strategy in VALORANT. And, with Derke joining the club in the playoffs, the European powerhouse will only have one aim to focus on and they have a large advantage over Ninjas in Pyjamas in this match.
Competing in Europe since the closed beta of VALORANT, NiP relocated its territory to Brazil at the start of 2022. NiP's brave choice seems to be working for them as they formed the region's second best squad and received a ticket to Masters Reykjavik. However, the roster has a lot of space for improvement and leaving Europe might have resulted in them losing their edge.
Liquid versus XIA
Team Liquid should not be here under regular conditions. However, because FPX was unable to participate, they were invited as the last seed of EMEA. Throughout the season they are struggling with consistency, and that means they might get a surprise result despite the odds being in their favour. Yet again XERXIA isn’t the most consistent team either despite beating the fan favourite OpTic.
KRÜ vs. OpTic
KRÜ Esports retained their core for 2022 after an impressive performance at VALORANT Champions 2021 and with the current upsetting situation of the so called “most powerful” team of NA OpTic, it might be their time to shine. This is a match that could easily go either way, and we’ll see if OpTic makes a comeback from their upsetting defeat from XERXIA.