VCT Last Chance Qualifier is the final chance for eight of the top teams in each region to grab the last spot at Champions in December.
In NA, Gen.G, 100 Thieves, XSET, Luminosity, FaZe Clan, Rise, VErsion1, and C9 Blue are battling it out.
Here's a look at the bracket, perditions, our pickem, and major storylines to follow throughout the tournament.
A top-heavy region
The biggest difference between NA and EMEA is that, in EMEA, it feels like any team could walk away with first place.
NA is a top-heavy region at this point, meaning there are only a handful of teams that we see making it to Champions. Out of the teams competing in LCQ, the favorites have to be XSET and 100 Thieves.
Version1 has a chance to make some noise as well, but haven't been performing as well after their Masters 2 run. Hopefully, a full-strength team will push them into the mix.
Right now, with the recent 100T roster switch, I'd put XSET as the top contender in the region, followed by 100T, Version1, and the field. I'd love to be proven wrong, but there are tiers to NA Valorant right now.
A Steel-less 100 Thieves
100 Thieves dropping Steel ahead of the LCQ sent waves through the professional Valorant community. Steel was one of the top players on the team, so there had to have been some behind-the-scenes issues that led to his removal from the squad.
It's surprising to see one of the top teams in any region make a change before a playoff tournament. We can't pretend like this won't have an effect on their performance.
As stated in the previous section, 100T are one of the top two teams in this tournament. Will the removal of Steel have enough of an impact to push them down or up in the rankings? We'll have to see.
Without seeing them play, I have no idea how much of an impact it will make.
Again, with NA being a top-heavy region, you're going to see most analysts pick XSET and 100T to win. For me, playing it safe with XSET over an unknown Steel-less 100 Thieves is a safe pick.
Admittedly, the rest of these teams are a toss-up. Almost all of them have beaten one another relatively recently, or have at least shown signs of weakness across multiple maps.
As far as an underdog to watch, I'd put Version1 in that category. I was rooting for them in Masters 2, and they could make a push to represent NA once again in Champions.
Here are my predictions on how LCQ will play out. Let's see how close I was at the end of the event.