Americas Ascension decider match to feature all five VALORANT players from one of last year’s top teams
After missing out on international events and VCT partnership last year, the players of one of the breakout North American VALORANT teams from 2022 are now just one match away from a trip to Brazil and the all-important Americas Ascension tournament. But they’re not playing together.
The upper bracket final of the NA VALORANT Challengers playoffs will see M80 Esports take on Moist Moguls, but most interestingly, it’s a faceoff between the five former members of Ghost Gaming, one of the top teams from the second half of last year’s NA VCT split. The former Ghost trio of koalanoob, NiSMO, and johnqt on M80 will play against the former Ghost duo of aproto and brawk.
In the second split of NA VCT in 2022, Ghost were the best team of the group stage, finishing 4-1 and with the highest positive round differential of any team, including teams like XSET, OpTic, and 100 Thieves. They couldn’t retain their momentum in playoffs, losing their first two matches and getting eliminated early, and because the team didn’t reach the main event in the first split of the year, they just fell short of the points needed to qualify for the NA Last Chance Qualifier.
With no chance to go to Masters or Champions in 2022, the season was over for Ghost Gaming. Just a few months later, the organization would leave VALORANT altogether after Riot did not select them as a partnered organization. None of the players would end up getting picked up on partnered rosters either; coincidentally, the only member of Ghost did end up with a partnered team was coach Adam Kaplan, who is now head coach of Sentinels.
But while that door to partnership was closed to Ghost and the original roster, the players have forged a path back via M80 and Moist Moguls. M80, with the former Ghost trio as a focal point, has been one of the consistently best NA Challengers teams all year, with only two losses in 16 matches across both splits, playoffs, and the Mid-Season Faceoff. Moist Moguls were a middle-of-the-pack team halfway through the year, but are on a seemingly unstoppable winning streak, winning seven straight since the start of split two.
With a meeting between the two teams scheduled for Thursday, June 8, one of them is guaranteed a spot in Ascension, but whoever loses can still make the final deciding tournament with a win over whoever emerges from the lower bracket.
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