The 16-team event is due to begin on Wednesday, March 16, with teams across Asia-Pacific vying for a share of US$150,000 and two coveted spots at Masters 1 Reykjavik.
VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers Group Stage will feature 16 teams who achieved spots through sub-regional VCT events and the Play-In stage. The victorious team of the event will pocket US$30,000 in the grand final, set to be played on March 27, and also be given the chance, alongside the runner-up, to represent APAC at Masters 1 Reykjavik.
The group stage will be played in four double-elimination (GSL) style groups and is set to kick off in less than two days. Eight of the sixteen group stage teams will progress to the double-elimination, best-of-three bracket, scheduled to take place on the third weekend of March.
Twelve teams received a slot as a higher-seeded team from their respective sub-region, while ONIC G, FULL SENSE, No Namers, and Fancy United Esports secured participation from the Play-In stage of the event.
PERSIJA Esports (formerly BOY WITH LOVE), a team that features a handful of tenured Indonesian names including two former BOOM Esports players Nanda “asteriskk” Rizana and Kevin “Eeyore” Gunawan, finished as Indonesia’s second seed following wins over ONIC G and Alter Ego.
Meanwhile, XERXIA (previously X10 CRIT) and Paper Rex directly qualified to the group stage as the top seed of TH and MY/SG, respectively, after an unbeaten run.
Below you can find the group draw in full for VCT APAC Stage 1 Challengers – Group Stage:
|Group A||Group B|
|🇮🇩 BOOM Esports||🇸🇬 Paper Rex|
|🇹🇭 Made in Thailand (MiTH)||🇦🇺 Bonkers|
|🇻🇳 CERBERUS Esports||🇮🇩 PERSIJA Esports (BWL)|
|🇸🇬 No Namers||🇻🇳 Fancy United Esports|
|Group C||Group D|
|🇹🇭 XERXIA Esports||🇵🇭 South Built Esports|
|🇵🇭 NAOS Esports||🇮🇳 Velocity Gaming|
|🇸🇬 Bleed eSports||🇭🇰 Oblivion Force|
|🇮🇩 ONIC Esports||🇹🇭 FULL SENSE|
ONIC G and XERXIA have been assigned to the same group as Bleed eSports, which will make its debut with a Singaporean-Swedish lineup, and NAOS Esports.
FULL SENSE, one of the highest-ranked teams in the event, made it through the Play-In stage after losing to ONIC G in the initial round, but they prevailed, comfortably defeating Team Big BAAM and Action PH. They are slotted into Group D and will go up against teams like Velocity Gaming, South Built Esports, and Oblivion Force.
Cover photo courtesy of Michal Konkol/Riot Games