The 2022 competitive Valorant season begins with Challengers 1.
Late last year, EMEA established itself as the deepest and most competitive region in the world, so it will be exciting to see the first all-EMEA tournament of the year.
All Champions teams automatically qualified for the event, while eight more teams battled through the Open Qualifiers to make it to the main event.
Ahead, we'll rank all of the teams and let you know how they look to stack up against the competition.
12. Natus Vincere
NAVI is relatively young in the CIS Valorant scene - only competing in Stage 3 of Challengers in 2021.
The team has a lot of room for improvement this season, adding only one new piece in Jady to their roster.
We still probably haven't seen NAVI's best Valorant just yet, and they'll have a chance to surprise us in the upcoming Group Stage.
11. LDN UTD
LDN UTD is sporting a completely new roster this Challengers season.
While the old team underperformed, the new squad has shown some promise since their acquisition in October.
This is probably one of the least experienced teams - at least in terms of playing together - in the tournament, so they'll be facing an uphill battle in the Main Event.
10. BBL Esports
BBL had a disappointing end to 2021, losing their last four games of Stage 3 Challengers before dropping everyone except for Muj.
The new team showed some promise in ESA All Stars and 2022 Challengers 1, avenging losses to Futbolist and Fire Flux to qualify for the main event.
Although BBL is a strong team, they seem to struggle against teams ranked higher than them - as witnessed by two 8-13 losses to SMB.
9. FunPlus Phoenix
FPX was another team with an up-and-down year that experienced a roster shake-up to start the season - adding SUYGETSU and ardiis in the offseason.
The new composition didn't fare too well in Red Bull Home Ground, but pulled things together to start the VCT season and qualified for the main event with only one loss to KP Gaming.
Will this be the start of a resurgence for FPX? We'll have to see.
After a tough end to the 2021 official season, BIG made some roster changes ahead of VCT 2022.
Since they put their new-look roster together, BIG has been performing relatively well - albeit against, largely, tier-two teams.
BIG's current roster has only lost against Team Liquid, Futbolist, and now Team Vitality in the open bracket of Challengers.
BIG isn't the favorite, but they're in a position to make some noise in the group stage.
G2 and their new additions of hoody and Meddo had a rough start to Stage 1 Challengers, but brought it back after two consecutive losses to Team Vitality and Alliance.
G2 was once at the top of the heap of EU Valorant, but seemed to fall off after their Masters 3 birth - falling to Guild and Liquid in the LCQ and struggling at the end of 2021 into 2022.
Despite this, G2 is the smart underdog pick to make it out of the group stage and potentially win EMEA Challengers.
We only hope that their new roster can put it all together.
6. SuperMassive Blaze
SMB seems to have been on the cusp of doing great things throughout the back half of 2021, but couldn't quite get there.
The team lost to Acend twice in Masters 3 before a rough performance in the Last-Chance qualifiers that saw them eliminated in the second round.
SMB added XiSTOU from Oxygen Esports to start the season, so we'll see how the new blood affects their performance.
5. Guild Esports
Guild will be very interesting to watch in Challengers, as they overhauled the bulk of their roster ahead of the 2022 season.
Leo and Sayf are still on the team, but Guild added koldamenta (previously Acend and G2), Russ (previously TENSTAR), and trexx (previously Team Singularity and OG).
The new-look Guild rand the table in the open bracket - only losing one map to Rebels Gaming on their way to qualifying for the main event.
With their new roles taking shape, Guild could surprise a lot of people to kick off 2022.
Fnatic had an up-and-down 2022 and are the only of the invited teams to have made a roster change ahead of the new season.
This will be the first time that we see Fnatic's new Sova, BraveAF, in action after benching Doma and losing to KRÜ in Champions.
We'd love to see Fnatic make a resurgence in Challengers 1. It's within the range of outcomes, but isn't as likely as seeing Gambit or Acend run away with the first tournament of the year.
3. Team Liquid
Fan-favorite Team Liquid looks to get back on track after falling to Acend in the 2021 Champions event.
Although Acend beat Liquid by a wide margin on both Bind and Split, you could easily chalk this up to, "not their day."
Liquid beat Acend in their last matchup before Champions, and swept the EMEA Last-Chance qualifiers.
Outside of Gambit and Acend, Liquid has to be one of the favorites to win the first Challengers of the year.
Team Liquid Valorant
Gambit and Acend as the top two teams in the tournament is far from a hot take.
After all, the two of them made it to the Champions finals, where Gambit lost an extremely close 2-3 series that could have easily gone the other way.
Gambit will get a chance at revenge in the Group Stage, though we expect both teams to make it out of Groups.
Jianhua Chen/Riot Games
Acend, the winners of Champions, will top almost every list of teams going into the 2022 season.
EMEA has established itself as the strongest region in Valorant, so anything could happen.
Gambit was only a few bounces away from winning Champions - even blowing Acend out of the water on Fracture. Still, the smart money has to be on Acend to start the year.
Jianhua Chen/Riot Games