Riot Games has unveiled the group draw and dates for VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers.
VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers will run from March 10 through 27, with 20 teams set to battle it out for their share of the yet-unannounced prize pool and two coveted spots at VCT Masters 1. Less than two weeks remain before the inter-regional competition returns in incredibly high-stakes clashes for the chance to represent the region at Masters 1.
The eight lower-seed sides from seven sub-regional events across Asia-Pacific will be taking part in the Play-In portion of the competition, where the final four spots in the group stage of VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers will be up for grabs.
Below you can find the Play-In group draw in full:
Play-In 1 (Group A)
- 🇻🇳 Team Big BAAM (VN #3)
- 🇮🇩 ONIC G (ID #3)
- 🇹🇭 FULL SENSE (TH #3)
- 🇵🇭 Action PH (PH #3)
Play-In 2 (Group B)
- 🇭🇰 Griffin E-Sports (HK #2)
- 🇻🇳 Fancy United Esports (VN #2)
- 🇸🇬 No Namers (SG #3)
- 🇮🇳 Global Esports (SA #2)
Taking place from March 10-13, the Play-In stage of VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers will feature eight teams that battle their way through two GSL groups for four spots in the group stage. All of the Play-In matchups will play out as best-of-threes, with the top two teams from both groups advancing to the group stage.
FULL SENSE have been drawn alongside ONIC G, Action PH, and Team Big BAAM, while Ganesh “SkRossi” Gangadhar’s Global Esports will have to take on Griffin E-Sports, Fancy United Esports, and No Namers.
Below you can find the group draw in full:
- 🇮🇩 BOOM Esports (ID #1)
- 🇹🇭 MiTH (TH #2)
- 🇻🇳 CERBERUS Esports (VN #1)
- 🇸🇬 Paper Rex (SG #1)
- 🇦🇺 Bonkers (OCE)
- 🇮🇩 BOYS WITH LOVE (ID #2)
- 🇹🇭 XERXIA Esports (TH #1)
- 🇵🇭 NAOS Esports (PH #2)
- 🇸🇬 Bleed eSports (SG #2)
- 🇵🇭 South Built Esports (PH #1)
- 🇮🇳 Velocity Gaming (SA #1)
- 🇭🇰 Oblivion Force (HK #1)
The draw for the group stage has thrown up some titanic clashes, with VCT SEA Stage 3 Challengers runner-up Paper Rex having been drawn in the same group as the veterans of BOY WITH LOVE and sole Oceania representatives Bonkers in Group B. Meanwhile, the tournament favorites XERXIA Esports have been assigned to Group C alongside NAOS Esports and Bleed eSports.
BOOM Esports are the highest-ranked team in Group A, which also features the new-look MiTH lineup and a long-lasting CERBERUS Esports lineup that has remained unchanged since the 2021 VCT SEA Stage 2 Challengers. Velocity Gaming and South Built Esports have been drawn in the same group, which also includes Oblivion Force from Hong Kong.
The twelve contestants plus four extra teams from the Play-In stage will be divided into four double-elimination groups, featuring a best-of-three format for all matches, which will take place from March 16-21.
The top two teams from both groups will advance to the double-elimination, best-of-three playoffs. The champions will be crowned after a best-of-five match in the grand final.
VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers will reward the two top teams with spots at VCT Masters 1, scheduled from April 10-24.
Cover photo courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games