The VCJ Split 1 team list has been finalized following the conclusion of the qualifier, which will see Murash Gaming make their VCJ main event debut while FAV Gaming, despite winning the 2024 Predator League Japan not long ago, failed to secure a spot.
JAPAN – The team list for VALORANT Challengers Japan Split 1 is now complete with the conclusion of the open qualifier today.
FENNEL and SCARZ lived up to their expectations as the heavy contenders in the Japanese scene by navigating through their respective groups in the open qualifier, securing three consecutive wins each and achieving a flawless record without dropping a single map.
No such luck was found for FAV Gaming, Crest Gaming Zst, BLUE BEES, NOEZ FOXX, and RIDDLE, who all failed to qualify. The unexpected early exit of FAV Gaming from the competition is particularly surprising, given their recent triumph in the 2024 Predator League Japan and their second-place finish in the APAC stage where they defeated the likes of Oasis Gaming, NuClear GC, Antic Esports, and BOOM Esports in the process.
Murash Gaming are set to make their inaugural appearance in the main event of VCJ, emerging from Group G at the expense of another content creator-owned organization, RIDDLE. The team faced defeat against RIDDLE but managed to turn the tables in the Lower Bracket, exacting revenge to secure their spot.
MG’s debut will also bring Ryumon “Reita” Oshiro back to the Challengers circuit together with former DetonatioN FocusMe teammate Tomoki “xnfri” Moriya, who also successfully qualified with his team, VARREL. VARREL had no trouble navigating through Group E, where they successfully defeated BLUE BEES on the final two occasions.
Meanwhile, NORTHEPTION quickly rebounded from a full roster overhaul, presenting a new Japanese-Korean combine headlined by former F4Q and Dplus KIA member Jung “Esperanza” Jin-cheol. Despite being placed in a group featuring notable names like NOEZ FOXX, REIGNITE, and DRX Changers, NORTHEPTION had little difficulty advancing past the group particularly against Hideki “Fisker” Sasaki and co. in two separate series.
Sengoku Gaming and IGZIST are making a comeback to Challengers Japan, each presenting a completely revamped roster. The attention will be focused on the intriguing dynamics within Sengoku Gaming, featuring Korean twins Kim “Jinboong” Jin-won, previously of SLT and World Game Star, as well as Kim “Gwangboong” Gwang-won, a former player for New York Excelsior in the Overwatch League. All eyes will be on SG as one of the strong contenders on paper to go up against more established names such as FENNEL and SCARZ.
IGZIST punched their ticket to the main event with a new core roster, now boasting former Dplus KIA member Park “allow” Sang-wook. The team did not have the most straightforward of campaigns as the team fell to the lower bracket following their upper final defeat to Crest Gaming Zst before faring better in the subsequent encounter to claim their spot.
After falling short of reaching the main event in the last season’s second Split, REJECT have made a successful comeback, securing their spot by defeating Kim “TenTen” Tae-young’s FAV Gaming twice.
The VALORANT Challengers Japan Split 1 event will be played in a round-robin best-of-three format from February 3 to March 10, with the top two teams at the end of the regular season advancing directly into the upper bracket finals, while the third to sixth-placed teams proceeding to the lower bracket quarter-finals.
The competition will resume on March 12 with a six-team double-elimination playoff structure. The initial three matches, including the lower bracket quarter-finals and semi-final, will be contested in a best-of-three format. Subsequently, the final three matchups, comprising the upper bracket final, lower bracket final, and Grand final, will transition to a best-of-five format. The last two matches will take place offline at a location in Japan, yet to be announced.
Cover photo courtesy of VCT Pacific