VALORANT Challengers Philippines Split 1 gets underway on Wednesday, with ten teams fighting for a share of the PH₱1,200,000 prize pool.
PHILIPPINES – VALORANT Challengers Philippines Split 1 is set to begin on February 14 with the Regular Season stage before the ensuing Last Chance and Playoff stages get underway in the last week of March.
Among the ten participating teams, four have received direct invitations based on their performance from last year: NAOS Esports, Oasis Gaming, ZOL Esports, and Geek Fam who recently acquired the MVP Esports roster.
ZOL Esports are set to maintain the roster that secured a second-place finish at Predator League Philippines. Meanwhile, Oasis Gaming will introduce their revamped lineup, bolstered by the inclusion of veteran and former Team Secret member Jayvee “DubsteP” Paguirigan, who takes the place of Jed “Drax” Jamir, now positioned as the sixth member.
On the other side, NAOS Esports come into the competition as the reigning champions from last year and is considered one of the favorites, despite showing signs of rustiness in the OFF//SEASON. The team’s recent performance likely prompted last-minute adjustments, resulting in the decision to bench in-game leader Riley “witz” Go and most recent addition Jon Michael “Tesseract” Piga. Stepping into the vacated positions are returning player Jerome “Mojer” Literal and former RRQ player Emmanuel “Emman” Morales—both of whom were initially part of the non-backed Valhalla team.
Malaysia-based Geek Fam have also received an invitation to the main event of VALORANT Challengers Philippines Split 1, taking the slot previously held by MVP Esports who secured the fourth position in the previous season’s second Split. GEEK will retain most of the parts within the MVP Esports roster with the additions of former NAOS Esports player Shaun “Blurred” Maglasang and former Bren Esports player Zachary “BraiNfreeZe” Bajarias.
The four invited teams will be joined by an additional six teams who have progressed through two open qualifiers conducted over the past week.
Valhalla, AIM PH, and JustUs earned their places from the first Open Qualifier, while OLD STINKY CAT, TheBAIS, and Carti Esports made the cut from the second one. Out of the six qualified teams, only two of them have organizational backing. Valhalla are headlined by former RRQ player Eroll Jule “EJAY” Delfin, while TheBAIS see the return of the now-retired Enrico “Ching” Perez together with Gian Carlo “GianSanity” Abilla.
The Regular Season will take place from February 14 to March 13, featuring a best-of-three single round-robin bracket. Following the group stage, the top two teams will progress directly to the semi-finals scheduled for March 30. Meanwhile, teams finishing third to sixth will participate in the Crossover (Last Chance) Stage Matches on March 28, where the top two squads will also advance to the semi-finals while the remaining bottom two will be eliminated.
The semi-finals will utilize a single-elimination, best-of-three bracket format to determine the grand finalists, who will compete on the subsequent day, March 30. The grand finals will be a best-of-five series, where teams will vie for the lion’s share of the PH₱1,200,000 prize pool.
Cover photo courtesy of VCT Pacific