The VALORANT Champions Tour heads to Berlin for the latest Masters tournament and will see teams from around the world battle it out at the Verti Music Hall for prize money and points toward the end-of-year ‘Champions’ tournament. Read on to find out more.
What is the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters Berlin?
The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) is the official tournament circuit for VALORANT organised by Riot Games. The tour is divided into three levels, Challengers, Masters, and Champions, and four stages.
The VCT: Stage 3 Masters tournament is being held in Berlin this year, where 15 teams from around the world will gather to compete for prize money and earn circuit points toward the end-of-year ‘Champions’ tour.
The VCT: Stage 3 Masters – Berlin will be taking place between September 10 and September 19, 2021.
Credit: VALORANT via Riot Games
VCT: Masters Berlin tournament format
The event will begin with a group stage with teams divided into four groups: Group A; Group B; Group C; and Group D. There will be four teams per group, with the exception of Group D which will have three teams competing after the representative team from Southeast Asia dropped out of the tournament. Groups A, B, and C will be played as a double-elimination bracket, while Group D will be played as a double round-robin, with each match being played as a best-of-three. The top two teams in each group will progress to the playoff stage of the tournament.
The eight teams that qualify for the playoff stage will be seeded into a single-elimination bracket with each match played as a best-of-three, with the exception of the grand final which will be played as a best-of-five.
Analysing the teams at VCT: Masters Berlin
Following a successful Masters tournament held in Reykjavik, Iceland, at the end of May, the third and final Masters tournament of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 travels to Berlin, Germany, for 10 days of in-person competition.
Only three teams from the event in Reykjavik have performed well enough in their respective regions to be in attendance at the upcoming Berlin tournament: KRU Esports (Latin America); Crazy Racoon (Japan); and reigning Masters champions Sentinels (North America). For the 12 other teams in attendance at Berlin, the Stage 3: Masters will be the first time they will be experiencing in-person competition against teams from other regions, making it an exciting prospect for the players and fans alike.
VCT Masters Berlin: Group A
Vision Strikers (VS) make their debut at an international VALORANT competition as the first-seed team from South Korea. Vision Strikers, who include rising star Goo “Rb” Sang-Min, have been a dominant force in their region and hold the record for the longest winning streak in professional VALORANT at 104 matches. Their recent form in the qualifying tournament for Masters Berlin has been equally impressive, with the team losing only one map over the last 10 matches to secure a spot at the tournament. The outright odds for Vision Strikers at Masters Berlin sits at 24.29 (8th), which may provide some value for bettors searching for a potential dark horse at the tournament.
Acend (ACE) enter Masters Berlin as the third-seed team from EMEA, and are coincidently the third favourite in the outright market to win the tournament at 5.28. The international team, who are led by Santeri “BONECOLD” Sassi but known more for their Turkish star Mehmet Yagız "cNed" Ipek, fell short of qualifying for Masters Reykjavik but fared better this time around to qualify for Berlin. The team have an overall match record of 51-8 (an 86.4% win rate) and showed impressive form in the EMEA Challengers tournament, beating the likes of Gambit Esports, G2 Esports, and FunPlus Phoenix.
The remaining two teams in Group A are the Turkish (EMEA) team SuperMassive Blaze (SUP) and Singaporean (SEA) team Paper Rex (PRX). SuperMassive Blaze are a relatively new team to the VCT with only 16 matches under their belt; however, the team have already quickly risen up the team rankings in Europe by reaching the Grand Final of the Champions Tour Stage 3: EMEA Challengers Playoff, which has propelled their outright odds to 11.62 (6th). Paper Rex, on the other hand, have a bit more experience under their belt with a 59-23 match record (a 71.9% win rate) and the Berlin Masters marks the first time they have qualified for a Masters-level tournament. Despite their success within their own region, teams from Southeast Asia have failed to impress the traders with their outright odds placing Paper Rex last amongst the teams attending the tournament at 1057.34 (15th).
VCT Masters Berlin: Group B
In Group B, Team Envy (NV) look to be the clear favourite to progress out of the group stage with their outright odds for the tournament standing noticeably higher than the other three teams at 8.98 (5th). The North American third-seed team, led by Pujan “FNS” Mehta, will be looking to build on their recent success in their region at Masters Berlin, having added two new players, Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker and Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen, leading up to the tournament. The team currently have a 65-29 match record (a 69.1% win rate) and are one of the few teams to have beat Sentinels in a match series.
The other three teams in Group B, Keyd Stars (KS), KRU Esports (KRU), and ZETA Divison (ZETA) all have the potential to secure the second playoff qualification spot. Of the three, KRU Esports will be the only team to have experienced international competition, given that they attended Masters Reykjavik back in May. The outright odds for Keyd Stars are 159.5, whereas KRU Esports are priced at 212.3 and ZETA Divison are priced at 159.5.
VCT Masters Berlin: Group C
100 Thieves (100T) make their much-anticipated debut at an international competition, with Masters Berlin marking the first time the team has qualified for a Masters-level event since the Stage 1 Masters, which was limited to regional competition only, back in March. The team, who are led by CS:GO veteran Josh “steel” Nissan, will be eager to prove that they deserve to be recognised as one of the best teams in the world, having claimed the crown of First Strike North America champions in 2020. With a 44-17 match record (a 72.1% win rate), the outright odds for 100T are placed at 6.34 (4th).
Claiming the second spot in the outright odds to win Masters Berlin at 4.75, Gambit Esports (GMB) are another team that will be stepping onto the international competition stage for the first time. The Russian team, who are the first-seed team from EMEA, have been nothing short of dominant in their region, with their impressive 80-15 match record (a 84.2% win rate) showcasing just why they are one of the tournament favourites.
While they might struggle due to the calibre of their opponents within the group, Crazy Raccoon (CR) and Havan Liberty (HL) still have a slim chance of causing an upset if they are able to surprise their opponents with unconventional strategy and agent picks in their opening matches. The teams, who are priced at 212.3 and 70.7 respectively in the outright market, will definitely be facing an uphill battle and a strong start to Masters Berlin could be the catalyst to improve their chances.
VCT Masters Berlin: Group D
As mentioned previously, Group D will be played as a double round-robin after Bren Esports were unable to attend the tournament due to travel restrictions. The group, which is made up of Sentinels (SEN), G2 Esports (G2), and F4Q (F4Q) could be the most interesting to watch during the group stage, particularly because the format will see each team play four matches in total rather than a minimum of two like in the double-elimination format being played in groups A, B, and C.
Unsurprisingly, Sentinels are the favourite to make it out of the group and defend their title as VCT Masters Champions with the outright market pricing them at 1.97. The team, who are ranked number one in the world, have maintained their excellent form with a match record of 98-21 (a 82.3% win rate) and go into the Berlin Masters on an eight-match winning streak.
Having undergone an almost complete overhaul, which saw the addition of four new players back in June, G2 Esports (G2) will have the opportunity to prove to themselves and to their critics that the decision was the correct one by performing well at Masters Berlin. The team, led by Oscar “mixwell” Canellas Colocho, have been on an upward trajectory, beating the likes of Fnatic, Funplus Phoenix, and Guild Esports to earn a spot at the tournament. Given this positive momentum, the outright market has priced the team at 18.94 (7th).
The last team to discuss in Group D is F4Q (F4Q). As the second-seed representatives from South Korea, F4Q are recognised more as popular VALORANT streamers than they are professional players. Their attendance at Berlin shouldn’t be a surprise though, given that they were the team to end Vision Strikers’ infamous 104-match winning streak. Given that the team have limited competitive experience and face the likes of G2 Esports and Sentinels in their group, the outright odds place them at 265.13 (13th), which is more of a reflection of the strength of their Group D opponents.
*Odds are subject to change.