The field of North American teams has already outperformed the field from last year's world championship, with both XSET and OpTic going through to the playoffs, and 100T might join the playoff team as a result of a repeat victory against Fnatic.
Other regions began to emerge and step up as North America began to fall, beginning in 2021, according to XSETs Jordan AYRIN He. This pattern has served as a wake-up call for the region and for XSET in particular.
Two additional teams have been sent home, and another has qualified for the Playoffs in Istanbul! Enjoy the best moments from Day 6 on pic.twitter.com/U9hBSU0pvL
I just think NA was on a tear [last year]. Sentinels won Masters Reyjkavk, [Envy] was outstanding, and they were the pioneers, according to AYRIN after XSETs' victory against FPX. Now, I think everyone on this team and everyone representing North America is more hungry than ever.
It just goes to demonstrate that this game is evolving at a rapid rate, and people are just more hungry than ever before. We are also here to prove that we are one of the hungriest people.
NA hopium wasn't as high as it had been heading into Champions 2022. Even OpTic appeared to be taking their foot off the gas a bit at Masters Copenhagen. Both teams that accompanied OpTic to Masters events (The Guard in Reykjavik and XSET in Copenhagen) fell flat due to direct byes to the playoffs.
With just two months to prepare, XSET was able to maintain their spot in the Champions Cup. They then had to rally ahead of the more intense competition at a world championship. Coach Don SyykoNT Muir said the team identified comfortability and confidence on stage as their major concern at Masters and worked on different approaches to improve their fitness.
ZEKKEN IS A CLUTCH MONSTER | #VALORANTChampions on twitter.com/Ji5tvNQRe7
The results of that practice in two series are more than impressive. The young zekken, who appeared nervous on stage in Copenhagen, appears much more comfortable at Champions and is currently one of the top entry players in the tournament. XSET's star yay has escaped the cold start that plagued him in Copenhagen.
All three NA teams would be eligible for the playoffs if 100T can repeat their victory against Fnatic. However, 100T would face off against XSET in the first round.