VALORANT Champions group stage: Day 1 match ratings
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Welcome to our VALORANT Champions match ratings. As the tournament gets in full swing, Upcomer will rate every match of the first world championship so fans can easily tell which matches they need to watch and remember from the tournament. The matchups from Day 1 of the VALORANT Champions group stage include Vision Strikers vs. FULL SENSE, Team Vikings vs. Crazy Raccoon and Fnatic vs. Cloud9 in a full slate of VALORANT action.

Our rating scale

From one (lowest) to five (highest) stars, here’s what each star rating means in layman’s terms:

* Boring. Utterly skippable and something no one will remember by tomorrow

** Watchable. Possibly recommended based on your rooting interests

*** Good. Something I’d recommend checking out, even if you’re not a fan of either team

**** Must-watch. A game or series that you need to watch if you have any interest in VALORANT

***** An all-time classic. This perfect rating is only achievable if a game or match is at the highest level of entertainment, gameplay and will go down in the lexicon as a moment no VALORANT fan will ever forget

Let’s get started

After months of waiting, the tournament finally begins with a few lopsided matchups and interregional competition. Each team is looking to start the tournament off with a win to secure a more stable path to the knockout stage. Will each series be full of Icebox snooze-fests or banger overtime rounds?

Vision Strikers vs. FULL SENSE: Haven

** stars

The first match of Champions is pretty watchable if nothing else. Vision Strikers showed off why they are a favorite at the event and FULL SENSE put up a decent fight. The map showcased the individual skill of Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan and Yu “BuZz” Byung-chul, which is always going to be worth it.

Vision Strikers vs. FULL SENSE: Breeze

* stars

FULL SENSE got beat so hard they couldn’t afford to give Chanawin “JohnOlsen” Nakchain a sniper rifle most of the time. It’s always hard to watch a bully take a kid’s lunch money, especially when he’s got a cool name. This one is skippable.

Team Vikings vs. Crazy Raccoon: Icebox

** stars

Not the highest level of VALORANT but both Vikings and Crazy Raccoon came out swinging. Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi is incredible on Sova and Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom played one of the better KAY/O games I’ve seen so far. While the broadcast analysts lambasted both teams’ use of utility, a close game is always worth a watch.

Team Vikings vs. Crazy Raccoon: Haven

** stars

The holy trinity of Haven compositions has been adopted at Champions. Jett, Astra and Breach have broken into the map’s meta thanks to Astra and Breach’s combination potential with Jett. Both set up agents are powerful at the moment and every team seems to be able to utilize their abilities to the fullest with Jett’s dash. Team Vikings took out Crazy Raccoon in almost the same fashion as before, worth watching for the compositions.

Fnatic vs. Cloud9: Icebox

*** 1/2 stars

An intense matchup between Europe and North America features the biggest bromance at Champions.

It went to all 24 rounds and had some intense moments from both sides as Fnatic dealt with Nathan “leaf” Orf’s aggression and Cloud9 tried to mitigate Fnatic’s constant flank pressure. While Icebox isn’t my cup of tea, this game is a great watch and probably one that would be interesting to break down round by round.

Fnatic vs. Cloud9: Split

**** stars

One of the first classic matchups at Champions. An improbably comeback by Cloud9 that seemed to scream “we’re not going down that easy.” Erick “Xeppaa” Bach and Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev were both bouncing around and causing chaos on Raze to the point that it looked like the observers were struggling to document the action. This series is wrapping up to be a classic with one more map on the horizon.

Fnatic vs. Cloud9: Fracture

*** stars

Boaster knifed his crush in the back, these are dark times.

Fracture’s first appearance in the VALORANT Champions Tour and Champions was exciting and went to overtime as Fnatic again seemed to play it too safe while up big. They managed to take the map and the series in another classic series of EU vs. NA.

Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.