VCT Japan: Challengers 1 Main Event Results
VCT Japan Challengers 1 has come to an end with some absolutely exciting and unexpected wins and losses. Lucky for you, we’re here to walk you through the results of every match of both Group A and B so without further blabber, here are the results! Make sure you read our event preview to see who the participating teams are and how they’ve fared in the past.
We mentioned that FAV Gaming was going against their First Strike rival in VCT Japan. FAV managed to take the lead in the first half of Ascent, despite dropping the first three rounds to DetonatioN. A 7:5 halftime score seemed to spell victory but Hiromichi “mittiii” Urahigashi and Takekawa “STABA” Munehito said otherwise. Things kicked into high gear on the blue team and Ascent went to them 13:9.
The first half seems to be FAV’s time to shine and they quickly took the lead on Haven as well. Unlike Ascent, that lead continued into the second half which quickly ended 13:9 in favor of FAV. That means that FAV got their revenge on DetonatioN on this map and my prediction came true. Miracles do happen.
The team that I called “The Kings of Japan” seemed to struggle a bit in their first match against LAG Gaming. Sure, they won both Haven and Bind, but Haven came to a pretty close 13:10 score with JUPITER getting a bigger edge on Bind with a 13:7 score. Koji “Laz” Ushida showed what he’s made of in this one, pulling off the highest ACS in the match.
It’s the battle of the three letter team names! First up was Haven and FAV looked pumped after their victory against DetonatioN. Remember when I said first half is their best half? Yeah I was right. Looking at the scoreboard, everyone on FAV contributed equally, with the top fragger being only 5 kills away from the bottom. That team effort led to an 8:4 half and I won’t sugarcoat it, a 13:5 victory.
Onto Ascent, and the FAV train kept on rolling. The first half was even more brutal for LAG as FAV only gave up two rounds against them. The second half of Ascent was even worse and the game went to FAV 13:2, bringing the match to a 2:0 win for them.
Their next match was against FAV Gaming, the team who took first place in the Challengers 1 Qualifier. The unthinkable happened in the first match ladies and gentlemen, Absolute JUPITER lost. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. What’s interesting to note here is how close the teams were on Haven, I mean these guys were swapping rounds like it was nobody’s business. On FAV’s side, it was Daiki “Minty” Kato and Hisao “SylFy” Yone who came out on top and took the map 13:9 in their favor.
As for Ascent, take Haven and flip it on its head. Minty and SylFy once again took the lead on FAV but this around, that proved to not be enough. After a tied 6:6 half, JUPITER came out swinging with a five-round advantage. FAV took four more but that was all she wrote as JUPITER closed Ascent out 13:10. A win and a loss meant an overall 1:1 tie between Absolute JUPITER and FAV Gaming.
DetonatioN didn’t have the easiest time against FAV Gaming and it looks like that didn’t change against the other three-lettered team. I think LAG learned a little something from FAV because they rolled DetonatioN in the first half, establishing their domination over DetonatioN with a 7:5 halftime score. The latter didn’t gain their footing much in the second half, winning only two rounds to LAG’s six. If you do the match, that’s a 13:5 win for LAG on Bind.
Ascent was a much closer game but the first half was almost the same, with the same 7:5 score for LAG. Unlike the first map, DetonatioN actually did stuff in the second half of Ascent, putting another five rounds to their name. I could talk about how STABA took the reins for DetonatioN but I’m instead going to say that LAG won again with a 13:10 score. Props to LAG for taking both maps against a team with a better record than theirs.
The final match of Group B saw the Roman God go against DetonatioN. Two big teams in a head-to-head clash. The latter had a very hard journey in Group B and were looking to redeem themselves somewhat in their last match. JUPITER had other plans in mind and Tomoaki “crow” Maruoka made sure it was carried out through a 9:3 halftime score. The latter half was a bit more equal with DetonatioN fighting back but it wasn’t a fruitful endeavor as Absolute JUPITER won Bind 13:7.
Moving on to Ascent and we saw Absolute JUPITER bring out a dominant first half, despite losing the first two rounds. DetonatioN seemed a bit tired in the second half, and it looked like they almost let JUPITER take the 13:4 win, ending their matchup 2:0 in JUPITER’s favor. While they might not have won the entire Challengers 1 tournament, they are still at the top of VCT Japan Group B.
SCARZ’s performance pre-VCT was kind of scattered so we weren’t sure what to expect going into this match. They were off to a fairly strong start on Haven, winning enough rounds to tie it 6:6. Thaaaat was as far as the goodness went however, as REJECT kicked it into overdrive in the second half, taking every single round for themselves and won 13:6. Greedy, greedy.
Bind was pretty painful to watch. SCARZ, again, had a strong start and won the first round but in CS:GO Team Liquid fashion, choked and lost every.single.round after that. 13:1 was the name of the game and REJECT truly rejected SCARZ’s win on both maps.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t expect much from FIRST Gaming here. BlackBird had such good results in First Strike that I expected them to totally steamroll FIRST. That wasn’t the case here, and they actually put up quite a fight on Split, despite losing the map 9:13. Even so, Anthem was the standout player on FIRST’s roster, with double the second fragger’s kills.
His dominating performance continued into the second half and his team took 10 rounds away from BlackBird in the first half! That victory almost slipped away from them in the second half though, with BlackBird winning all but three rounds. Those three rounds were thankfully enough and FIRST Gaming took Haven, bringing the game to a tied 1:1 finish. Wow!
Sure, SCARZ lost to REJECT but they were on a whole other level. How did they fare against FIRST Gaming? Pretty well actually. Both teams were very evenly matched. After six rounds of back and forth from the two and another two back-to-back wins from FIRST, SCARZ took the last three rounds of the first half to tie it up 6:6. Despite high tensions, SCARZ kept up their momentum to win Haven 13:7, allowing FIRST to take just one round in the second half.
At this point, I didn’t know what to expect from Split but five rounds in a row from FIRST Gaming gave me an idea. Add three more on top and you have an 8:4 half in favor of FIRST. SCARZ tried their best to take it back in the second half but all they were left with were tears and two rounds with FIRST taking the victory 13:6.
This matchup right here is why I don’t make predictions for these things. The team that took second place at First Strike versus an open qualifier winner. Upset? Hmm, well SCARZ winning the first half of Haven 9:3 might be an indicator of that. Just kidding, it totally is. BlackBird got a measly two rounds in the second half and SCARZ, by the grace of the gods, won the map 13:5. Solid bruh moment.
Bind was even closer somehow. I don’t know where this part of SCARZ was when they went against REJECT but wow. If we’re talking MVPs, we have to mention Ryota “ryota-“ Okayama and the effort he put in to win the first half for SCARZ 7:5. Unfortunately, like in their match against REJECT, that was as far as the goodness went. BlackBird decided an 0:2 loss wasn’t acceptable and like a kid stealing lunch money, they stole eight rounds in the second half and the map win. Still, an impressive 1:1 tie between these two teams.
REJECT was feeling pretty strong after their win against SCARZ and it showed. They had a pretty dominant half, only dropping four rounds and bringing the match to 8:4 at halftime. Yuma “Dep” Hisamoto was a big part of their performance, pulling a 379 ACS by the end of the game and bringing his team a 13:7 win on Icebox.
Haven was almost a carbon copy of Icebox. Eight rounds in the first half, five in the second, 13:7 win for REJECT. This time around it was Masahiro “Feez” Morisaki who stepped up for REJECT while Anthem and TORANECO did the same for FIRST Gaming. Sadly that wasn’t enough to win the game and FIRST were handed their first 0:2 loss.
Last match of the day and my fingers are very glad. To recap, REJECT had two 2:0 victories while Blackbird had two 1:1 ties. Speaking of ties, BlackBird brought the first half of Split to a tie despite a strong four round head start from REJECT. Shibasaki “poem” Yumeki stepped down from his top fragger role of the past matches to give way to Souta “popogachi” Morita. That didn’t seem to be enough to propel the team into a victorious second half as Dep stepped up for REJECT again to win Split 13:10.
Speaking of close matches, Ascent was nothing of the sort. REJECT took a whopping nine rounds in the first half while BlackBird only scrounged together three. Feez joined Dep at the top of the leaderboard in the second half and closed out the game 13:3 with a flawless second half, bringing them to the top of VCT Japan Group A.
Thanks to their results, REJECT, FIRST Gaming, Absolute JUPITER and FAV Gaming are the four teams invited to VCT Japan Challengers 2 on February 27 and 28. If they continue their winning streaks, they are on their way to the VCT Masters stage. To make sure you don’t miss our coverage of Challengers 2 and Masters, follow us at Run it Back and join our Discord for all your latest news, extensive guides, and exclusive interviews in the world of Valorant.
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