| Tags: Valorant
| Author Najib R
Valorant Challengers NA Mid-Season Face Off Team Preview
With the conclusion of the league stage, four teams from each group have made it to the playoffs bracket. Here's what we think of the eight teams in the Valorant Challengers NA – Mid-season Face Off.
The North American Valorant Challengers scene is about to perk up as we head towards the Mid-season Face Off. The eight best teams from Split 1 will compete for circuit points and a whooping prize pool of $30k USD in what is going to be a week-long online tournament starting on March 23.
Split 1, the league stage, was full of excitement. As the Ascension league gets closer, we can expect to witness Valorant at its finest at the Mid-season face-off. For the fans to enjoy this event to the fullest, it is best to know the ins and outs of each team. Here's a detailed look at every team in the event ahead of the Challengers playoffs.
Copyright: Riot Games
Valorant Challengers NA Mid-Season Face-Off Teams
- G2 Esports
- The Guard
- Moist Moghuls
- Oxygen Esports
- Faze Clan
- Daniel “ eeiu” Vucenovic
- Amine “johnqt” Ouarid
- Alexander “Zander” Dituri
- Marc-Andre “ NiSMO” Tayar
- Gianfranco “koalanoob” Potestio
With arguably the strongest roster in the NA Challengers League, M80 was the outright favorite of the Split 1 tournament despite being a newly-formed team. To say that they lived up to the expectations would be an understatement as NiSMO and co. topped their group with a 4-1 record.
As the group champion, M80 will face off against Disguised in the upper quarterfinals of the Mid-season Face Off. Ahead of that matchup, the eyes are on the team's star duelist, koalanoob who is the best-performing player of the NA VCL with an astonishing ACS and KDR of 273 and 1.51, respectively.
- Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan
- Michael “dapr” Gulino
- Maxim “wippie” Shepelev
- Francis “OXY” Hoang
- Erik “penny” Penny
Following the CarlosR debacle that cost G2 their franchise slot, there was uncertainty regarding their return to the Valorant scene. However, keeping true to its reputation as one of the most prominent esports organizations in the world, G2 Esports fielded a solid roster, combining zoomer aim gods like OXY and penny with veterans such as the former Sentinels duo ShahZam and dapr.
Under the leadership of the 2021 Master Reykjavik winner ShahZam, G2 is one of the clear favorites to make it to the Ascension League. Their potential is already witnessed in the NA Split 1 tournament, where they topped their group with four wins and one loss to qualify for the Mid-season Face Off.
- Jacob “valyn” Batio.
- Jonah “JonahP” Pulice.
- Trent “trent” Cairns.
- Michael “neT” Bernet.
- Ian “tex” Botsch.
The dark horse of VCT 2022, The Guard, is another powerhouse of the NA VCL. With an average age of just 20, The Guard boasts of being the youngest team qualified for the Mid-season Face Off. Replacing Sayaplayer with tex as their primary duelist, last season's stage 1 challengers winner retained the rest of the roster.
The org’s potential shutdown by the end of the season did not stop the team from dominating the group stage. They finished 2nd in group B of the Split 1 event, losing only one match throughout the tournament. It will be interesting to see whether valyn and his teammates can replicate last season's success in their road to VCT Americas League.
- Johann “seven” Hernandez
- Corey “corey” Nigra
- Eric “Kanpeki” Xu
- Anthony “gMd” Guimond
- Nicholas “NaturE” Garrison
From not making significant upgrades to the roster to dropping their IGL mid-tournament, TSM had a tumultuous start to the VCL 2023 season. But even so, The North American esports organization had a successful run in the first Challengers tournament of the season. TSM went 4-1 and finished 3rd in their group behind M80 and The Guard due to round differential.
Although replacing the experienced IGL James “hazed” Cobb two matches into the group stage raised quite a few eyebrows, the new addition, Kanpeki, seemed to cope very well with the squad. TSM are expected to face Moist Moguls in their first match at the playoffs stage. Considering the form both teams showed in the latter stage of their respective groups, this should be an even match-up.
- Quan ‘dicey' Tran
- Phat ‘supamen' Le
- Daniel ‘Rossy’ Abedrabbo
- Andrej ‘babybay’ Francisty
- Kevin ‘poised' Ngo
Announcing the roster only hours before the first official tournament of the season is something no one expected out of an organization of FaZe Clan's stature. The fans and the pundits alike were left wondering about the reason for such a late announcement. They never lacked the firepower with the likes of babybay and dicey in the squad. What the team needed was a proper flex player, and the addition of Rossy accomplished just that.
Faze was lackluster in the group stage, as they barely qualified for the playoffs. Finishing 4th in the groups, they are widely considered the underdog in their quarterfinal match against The Guard.
- Brock “brawk” Somerhalder
- Brady “thief” Dever
- Xavier “flyuh” Carlson
- Alex “aproto” Protopapas
- Tyler “sym” Porter
Moist Mogul started their VCL campaign by the name of Team BreakThru. Team BreakThru was a relatively new team led by former Faze-clan IGL flyuh. Midway through the Split 1 tournament, Moist Esports, an organization owned by popular influencer “MoistCr1TiKaL”, acquired the team jointly with another famous internet personality, Ludwig Ahgren.
Following a shaky start with two losses in the first three matches, the Moguls came back in spectacular fashion, winning their last two group stage matches, thanks to sym and the excellent overall team chemistry.
- Joshua “steel” Nissan
- Joseph “clear” Allen
- Amgalan “Genghsta” Nemekhbayar
- Damion “XXiF” Cook
- Chris “riku” Piasecki
Disguised might not have the strongest roster on paper, but they have arguably had the most fan support throughout the open qualifiers and Split 1 tournament. YouTuber and streamer Disguised Toast entered the Valorant scene in January 2023 with his team formed by some of the best-unsigned players of that time, including FPS Veteran Joshua “steel” Nissan.
Disguised made it to the Mid-season Face Off, placing 4th in the group stage with a 2-3 record. In the playoffs, they will face the tournament hot favorite, M80. With Disguised having to play with a sub following the departure of Drake “Exalt” Branly, it is unlikely they will pose much of a threat against the Group B champion.
- Mitch “mitch” Semago
- Logan “skuba” Jenkins
- Joshua “pwny” VanGorder
- Devon “randyySAVAGE” Bréard
- Andrew “Verno” Maust
Since the start of this season, Oxygen Esports has proven to be one of the most consistent teams in the Challengers League, and they are only improving every day. The heartbreaking loss in the opening game of the group stage against Team BreakThru did not faze them as they racked up three wins in the following four games to qualify for the next stage.
The team's success can be credited to the IGL, mitch, the former Cloud9 player. His ability to utilize the strength of his teammates was impressive throughout the group stage. Additionally, skuba proved himself to be arguably the best NA controller, at least in the VCL. Nevertheless, all five of them must bring their A-game to have a shot at beating G2 Esports in the upcoming quarterfinals matchup.
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