T1 have qualified for the third closed qualifier of the Valorant Champions Tour, after defeating Cloud9 Blue.
The Valorant Champions Tour hosted three different open qualifiers for teams to progress to the closed qualifier. T1 fell short at the first two open qualifiers, losing at round 16 and 64 respectively.
After the loss to Headshot Percentage in round 64, T1 released Braxton “Brax” Pierce and Keven “AZK” Larivière. The two of them were eventually replaced by retired Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professionals Timothy “autmatic” Ta and Rahul “curry” Nemani, and the changes have helped.
The third closed qualifier was T1, and indeed Cloud9 Blue’s, final opportunity to make it to the Masters event. Cloud9 Blue has struggled since losing Tyson “TenZ” Ngo in January, and placed 9th and 16th at the last two qualifiers. Their loss to T1 puts them out of contention for the Masters and the rest of Valorant Champions Tour. With Cloud9 Blue out of the picture, T1 will have their sights set on the closed qualifier that takes place next week.
Cloud9 Blue go back to the drawing board
Cloud9 Blue were dominant at the start of the competitive Valorant scene, before they began to fall off. As other organizations brought their rosters to the Valorant scene, Cloud9 Blue began to slowly fade into the background. The last time Cloud9 placed first at an event, was the First Strike Open Qualifier, where they beat Envy 2-1. Since then, Cloud9 have failed to win smaller tournaments like the JBL Quantum Cup and Nerd Street Gamers Winter Championship.
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) March 1, 2021
Cloud9 removed TenZ, and in-game leader Josh “shinobi” Abastado, before the Valorant Champions Tour and haven’t recovered since. They have had impressive showings, like in their recent match against T1, but they haven’t progressed. Cloud9 was able to take ten rounds from T1 in both maps, but were unable to cross that 13-round mark.
While roster changes are not rumored for Cloud9 yet, they may benefit from picking up young talent in the scene. 100 Thieves just released 18-year-old star Quan “Dicey” Tan and replaced him with Ethan “Ethan” Arnold. Players like Dicey should be on Cloud9’s radar, for any future roster changes.