NSG Qualifier: Sentinels, T1, 100T Through to Main Event

During the qualifier for the upcoming NSG Tournament, some well-known North American faces have made the cut. At the... Fabio | 31. October 2020

During the qualifier for the upcoming NSG Tournament, some well-known North American faces have made the cut. At the end, Envy and Cloud9 Blue faced off in the Grand Finals, with the latter team securing the first place finish.

The NSG Tournament will hand out four spots to the First Strike event. After all the IGNITION Series tournaments that were hosted by third-party organizers, RIOT will now finally run their first proper VALORANT event. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, it is simply impossible to bring all the regions together. In a couple of online tournaments, these regional teams will clash and try to win the first ever RIOT-hosted VALORANT event.


Following a brutal 128-team bracket, these two squads made it all the way to the very top. On their way there, Envy had to beat the likes of Complexity, T1 and Gen.G, whereas Cloud9 only had to face one top opponent in the form of TSM.

But that didn’t show in the Grand Finals. In the first half of Ascent, the two teams pulled equal. Tyson “TenZ” Ngo grabbed the most kills, but had to compensate for the meager performance of Josh “shinobi” Abastado. He remained strong, but Jake “kaboose” McDonald turned up on the Envy camp. At a 12-11 scoreline for Envy, the C9 boys faltered and handed away a 13-11 map. So they were only one more map away from defeat.

But TenZ wasn’t ready to just give up. He delivered a spectacular solo performance on Split and single-handedly dragged Cloud9 through an 11-1 half. Suddenly, Envy had their backs against the wall and even though they won a few more rounds in between, C9 soon held the 13-7 victory in their hands.

On Bind, TenZ and company weren’t as dominant as before, but on an 8-4 scoreline, they still had a considerable lead over Envy. However, they didn’t actually need this, as they quickly got up to 13 points on their attack. This time around, TenZ shared the top spot with Skyler “Relyks” Weaver, as both recorded 20 kills each.


Some teams had to depart the event quite early on, but perhaps the most disappointing exit came in the form of ANDBOX. Bradley “ANDROID” Fodor and his colleagues had just won the NSG x Renegades Invitational, beating the likes of Immortals, Gen.G, Complexity and Cloud9 in the process. However, they were unable to show any of this during this qualifier, as Luminosity quickly dispatched them and ended their aspirations for this event on a 2-0 scoreline.

Dignitas are one of the teams who only narrowly made it through to the NSG Tournament. Rory “dephh” Jackson and his mean failed to impress and exited in the Round of 16. Recently, they had made waves at Pop Flash and had defeated TSM in two sepearate matches, but there was little left of this performance here. Alongside Complexity, they barely made it in.


There was quite a bit of hype surrounding this 100 Thieves roster. Everything started with the signing of Spencer “Hiko” Martin, but the first roster iteration wasn’t up to par and was quickly released. Only Hiko remained as part of the Thieves.

The biggest headlines came when Nick “nitr0” Canella, formerly the caller of the best North American CS:GO team, announced his transition to VALORANT and chose the 100 Thieves as his new home. So when Joshua “steel” Nissan was signed to the roster as well, the expectations for this new team rose to astronomical heights.

Unfortunately, this new ‘superteam’ seems to require some further maintenance. 100 Thieves are by no means bad, but they certainly don’t belong to the top of their region either. Even though nitr0 already delivered a fantastic 71-55 performance, this took place against a team called ‘Moon Raccoons’. Facing TSM, his stats looked a lot different.

These CS:GO legends have not yet proven to deserve a spot in a top VALORANT team. At the moment, Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk is doing much better than the old guard and it stands to question whether this lineup is more of a PR stunt and less of a ‘team to beat all teams’. But the squad is still young and there is still the possibility of them growing into a real superteam.

Sentinels, T1, 100 Thieves and Renegades are amongst the Top 16. In the coming week, the NSG Tournament commences and the Top 4 will be able to secure tickets to the North American First Strike event.