Valorant

2022 VCT Stage 1 - Challengers North America: How to Watch

Image courtesy of Riot Games

The 2022 Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 1 - Challengers North America (NA) event is set to kick off the return of the region for the esport.

Here's a breakdown of how to watch 2022 VCT Stage 1 - Challengers NA.

VCT 2022 Stage 1 - Challengers North America: How to Watch

As promised last month with Riot Games' 2022 VCT format announcement, VCT 2022 Stage 1 - Challengers NA is set to be the first step in carrying out the company's vision of increasing the frequency of "exciting matches" with its essentially condensed, "easier-to-follow" schedule.

Each Challenger split will see a single opportunity pathway that will qualify teams for international Masters competitions.

In this event, just two North American teams will ultimately receive berths to VCT Stage 1 - Masters in April.

Starting things off are two Open Qualifiers for teams to compete in to qualify for the 12-team Main Event. Open Qualifiers will be played on Patch 4.01, which means Neon will indeed be available for competitive play starting with this event.

Thanks to their performances in 2021, Sentinels, Envy, Cloud9, and 100 Thieves have each already received Main Event invites from Riot, meaning there are only eight Main Event spots available.

Open Qualifier #1 runs from Jan. 27 through Jan. 30 and Open Qualifier #2 runs from Feb. 3 through Feb. 6. Each qualifier will have four Main Event spots up for grabs and will feature a 128-team bracket with seeding determined by VCT 2021 circuit points (if the roster is still eligible) and recent performance in non-VCT competition.

The Round of 128 and Round of 64 will both be single-elimination format, while Round of 32 and later will be double-elimination. All matches will be in a best-of-three format and the bracket will culminate once all four Main Event spots have been claimed.

After Open Qualifier #1, the teams that placed between fifth and 16th will be seeded 1-12 for Open Qualifier #2, and the process will repeat to find the final four Main Event teams.

The Stage 1 Main Event will then begin a month of competition for its eligible teams on Feb. 11. The 12 teams will be split into two groups of six, and matches will be played every Friday through Sunday for five weeks. All matches will be in a best-of-three format and the top eight teams will advance to the playoffs.

Finally, the Playoffs will begin on March 17, featuring the remaining eight teams squaring off in a double-elimination bracket. Matches will be played Thursday through Sunday for two weeks and will all be in a best-of-three format until the Lower Finals and Grand Finals, which will both be best-of-five.

The entire event will be streamed on the ValorantEsports YouTube channel, as well as the VALORANT, valorantesports2, and valorantesports3 Twitch channels:

Open Qualifier #1 (Jan. 27 - Jan. 30)

  • Jan. 27 and Jan. 28: Matches begin at 6 p.m. EST
  • Jan. 29 and Jan. 30: Matches begin at 3 p.m. EST

Open Qualifier #2 (Feb. 3 - Feb. 6)

  • Feb. 3 and Feb. 4: Matches begin at 6 p.m. EST
  • Feb. 5 and Feb. 6: Matches begin at 3 p.m. EST

Main Event (Feb. 11 - March 13)

  • Matches are played every Friday - Sunday for five weeks
  • All match days begin at 3 p.m. EST

Playoffs (March 17 - March 27)

  • Matches are played every Thursday - Sunday for two weeks
  • All match days begin at 3 p.m. EST

Details regarding co-streaming or potential exclusive rewards via Twitch Drops have yet to be announced.