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NA VCT Challenger Team Spotlight Part 2 – Will the veterans rise?

With a single 2 year lasting promotion spot available in the VCT Americas league as of the moment, the NA VALORANT Challengers League will definitely give us quite a lot of star studded teams looking to push up the ranks. Starting soon with the January qualifier stage where NA Challengers organizations will battle for the possibility to go and win the Ascension event set for later on in the year. This coveted Ascension tournament will provide any organization a temporary VCT Americas slot.

Just 5 NA organizations managed to grab a partnership to be a part of the VCT Americas top league, and all the offseason roster changes at the top left a plethora of incredible talents for the Challenger teams to snatch. Known players with well set up organizations behind them are already setting up their fully fledged rosters thanks to their newly found sponsors.

G2 member Shahzam
G2 member Shahzam

North American viewers will thankfully be able to watch both events, NA Challengers and VCT Americas, as both events will have a fully separate broadcast window that should not overlap in content.

In part 2 of our NA VCT Challenger team spotlight, we will take a look at 2 teams that are already well known within the competitive scene but sadly were not able to get a partnership going for 2023. A redemption ark is in their hands, and the possibility of Ascension is their goal.

  • The Guard

Roster: Trent Cairns, Jonah “JonahP” Pulice, Michael “neT” Bernet, Jacob “valyn” Batio, Ian “tex” Botsch (not yet confirmed)

The Guard is going to have a repeat campaign with the majority of the roster that surged into the NA VALORANT scene back in 2022. Back in NAs VCT Stage One, the rather inexperienced squad managed to end up winning the entire stage with wins over teams such as Sentinels, Cloud 9, and OpTic during the playoffs stage, thanks to this being able to reach Masters Reykjavík. The Guard sadly was not able to get a partnership, and as predicted lost both Sayaplayer and head coach mCe through the transfer period. Their reinforcements for the duelist position is reportedly tex an ex NRG player.

The Guard did receive a direct invite to be a part of the NA VALORANT Challengers League.

  • G2 Esports

Roster: Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan, Michael “dapr” Gulino, Maxim “wippie” Shepelev, Erik “penny” Penny, Francis “OXY” Hoang, Ian “Immi” Harding

G2 Esports absolutely lost partnership due to controversy, but the organization still decided to continue competing in NA VALORANT, and part of that commitment was the roster they built. The ex Sentinels dynamic duo of ShahZaM and dapr will be the key for G2 Esports. They will be joined by consistent players in wippie and penny, while also signing former coach Immi. The fifth is still in question but most rumors suggest OXY will fill that role.

G2 also received a direct invite to play in the NA VALORANT Challengers League.

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