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The Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final in São Paulo, Brazil saw four days of all-out VALORANT action, and here's how it played out, day by day.
Teams of university students from nearly 50 countries got their game on in the 2022 World Final, with group stages happening on Tuesday and Wednesday, December 13 and 14, followed by the Top 16 and Quarter Finals on Thursday, December 15, and the Semi-Finals and Grand Final on Friday, December 16, when the new champions were crowned.
LATEST UPDATE: Friday, December 16, 2022
The Grand Final is a wrap and Team USA are the 2022 Red Bull Campus Clutch champions!
The Semi Finals are complete, with Poland and North Macedonia having fallen. Canada LCQ and Team USA will face off in the Grand Final.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: Thursday, December 15, 2022
With fans watching on site at Pacaembu Stadium and live all around the world, the Quarter Finals were the climax of Day 3 – delivering a major shake-up that turns all predictions for Friday on their head.
The stunner came when the o7 team from Canada – who only made it into the World Final as winners of a Last-Chance Qualifier – won the first map against the tournament favourites and reigning champions, Egypt (Team RA’AD), and then refused to back down despite everything the skilled Egyptians threw at them. When the dust settled, Egypt’s dream of a repeat win was over, and the team with the maple leaf march on to Friday’s Semi Finals by a score of 13-7, 13-9.
Egypt didn’t walk away completely empty handed, however: the team was awarded the day’s SteelSeries Moment of Glory for an incredible ace in their Top 16 battle against Indonesia.
Awaiting Canada in the Semi Finals will be cool and collected Poland (Black Team), who have been the talk of the tournament for their mind-blowing training schedule – 10 to 12 hours per day – and for the results of their dedication as they’ve mowed down team after team. Their latest victims were Peru (NITRoUS Gaming). The South American team impressed by making it to the Quarter Finals despite being together for only three months, but Poland dominated their faceoff, 13-5, 13-6.
North Macedonia (OBK) were the victors in their Quarter Final against Slovenia (Jordani), seizing glory 13-8, 13-3. The Macedonians are now preparing for a Semi Final where they will take on the USA (Northwood), who were recently named their country’s top esports team. The North Americans seem to have found their international gear at the World Final, and they eliminated a strong team from the Czech Republic (Národní Garda) in the Quarter Final, 13-5, 13-6.
As the Final Four – Canada, Poland, North Macedonia and USA – plan their strategies, fans can look forward to an action-packed schedule on Friday, December 16. Semi Finals begin at 10:00 am local time (GMT -3), and the Final kicks off at 16:00 pm (GMT -3). To add to the excitement, the day will also include a show match between pro teams G2 and Furia.
Day 3 opened with the knockout phase of the Top 16, and the quality of play was eye-popping. (You can see the World Final's detailed schedule and brackets here.)
The first main stage matchup delivered a shocker, as defending champions Egypt (Team RA’AD) quickly found themselves facing a deficit against Indonesia (Batagor). But the defending champions gradually found their footing and truly came alive on the final map to storm on to the Quarter Final, 11-13, 13-9, 13-2.
Egypt’s drive for back-to-back championships faces its next obstacle in their Quarter Final assignment against the Last-Chance Qualifier winners from Canada (o7), who were living the dream in the Top 16, denying Denmark (ESP Sport) with a 13-3, 13-2 triumph.
Taking the main stage against the Last-Chance Qualifier winners from Chile (CONDRIT0), the USA (Northwood) solidified their status as one of the favourites for the 2022 crown. Although the largely South American crowd cheered their hearts out to support the valiant efforts of the Chileans, the US team had an answer for every challenge, prevailing 13-7, 13-2.
In the Quarter Finals, the USA will go toe-to-toe with the Czech Republic (Národní Garda), who should be feeling confident after charging over Pakistan (Mystic), 13-6, 13-5.
Meanwhile Slovenia (Jordani) made quick work of their showdown against the Netherlands (Viva Hollandia), winning 13-4, 13-5. In the Quarter Finals Slovenia will face off against North Macedonia (OBK), who took out New Zealand (DNC Gamers, aka Team E Blacks), 13-7, 13-4.
The clash between Peru (NITRoUS Gaming) and Great Britain (Casa Noturna) was an absolute thriller from end to end, with a back-and-forth battle seeing the Peruvians execute an upset by overcoming the British team 13-10, 5-13, 13-11. After that massive effort, Peru’s stamina will be tested in a Quarter Final fight against one of the best-prepared teams in the tournament, Poland (Black Team). The Polish players sent off Portugal (Quartetodos5) 13-8, 13-3.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: Wednesday, December 14, 2022
Day 2 wrapped up the Group Stages. Here’s how the battles played out.
Canada’s wildcard team and Team Poland rose to the top, advancing over rivals from Argentina, Montenegro and Turkey, as well as the Egyptian wildcards. The Canadian o7 team are a Cinderella story: Although they secured their place in the World Final as wildcards through a Last-Chance Qualifier, they handily swept all five of their World Final group stage opponents without a single loss. Poland’s Black Team, who happen to include a national silver medallist in mountain cycling, are living up to the high expectations that come with being among the tournament’s most well-practised contenders. (They often train up to 12 hours each day.)
Team Egypt and Team Great Britain also joined the Top 16, thanks to their success against fierce opponents from the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, Spain and Lithuania. Egyptian team Anubis Gaming won the world title last year – an incredible underdog story – and even though the country’s wildcard team just fell in Group E, the 2022 national champion team Ra’ad, which includes Anubis veteran Omar 'chrollo’ Hussein, defeated every Group F opponent to assure advancement. Another potential favourite for this year’s overall title, Britain’s Casa Noturna, leveraged their formidable agent pool as well as their ability to quickly adapt to maps and conditions in winning four of their five group stage showdowns.
Team Peru and Team Indonesia aimed for the Top 16 and hit the target, overcoming sharpshooters from Kenya, Norway, Austria and France to get there. Peru’s Team NITRoUS, which includes a trophy-winning footballer, was an unknown coming into the World Final, having formed just three months ago, but what started as a hobby for some of the teammates has rapidly turned into a quest for glory. Indonesia’s Team BATAGOR, whose five members include two former futsal players, are over the moon with group-stage success in their very first world tournament. Now that they’re in the elite group of 16, there’s no telling how far they can go.
Team Portugal and Team Denmark will round out the Top 16 having blasted past the national champions from Chile, Japan and Bosnia. Keep a close watch on Portugal’s QuartetoDos5 team which features Miguel ‘Bati’ Batista, who was on the second-place team at the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final in 2021. He says that this year their sights are set on the top step of the podium only. The Danish team Espergærde Esport (ESP Esport) seems equally as focused. This team was formed with the singular purpose of creating a unit that would be competitive in Brazil. Already a strong force on the Danish VALORANT scene, they’re quickly proving they’ve got what it takes to face down the best on the international stage.
With the close of the group stage battles, the Top 16 is now confirmed: Canada (wildcard), Chile (wildcard), the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Great Britain, Indonesia, North Macedonia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia and the USA advance to the Top 16 on Thursday, December 15.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Team Slovenia and Team USA moved on to claim their spots in the Top 16, but not without tough challenges from Guatemala, India, Sweden and Belgium. These two very different teams are each impressive in their own way. Slovenia’s Jordani, which include a handball player, a football player and a basketballer, are relatively new as a team but are longtime friends who seem to have an instinctive feel for playing together. Meanwhile, the Northwood team from the US state of Michigan has a multi-year heritage, and Northwood was recently named the country’s best esports program. They topped 500 US collegiate teams to get to the World Final and aim to roll on.
Team New Zealand and Team Czech Republic can look forward to the Top 16 after prevailing against determined foes, including home team Brazil as well as South Africa, Romania, and Switzerland. The profound motivation of the Kiwis is reflected in the name conferred upon them, the New Zealand E Blacks, which is deeply tied to the national and Maori culture, and the players hope to repay the honour by bringing home the crown. The Czechs, Team Národní Garda (NGCZ), were already masterful in their winning their National tournament, and this initial success at the World Final will only boost their confidence for Thursday. “We swept through our group like a hot knife through butter,” said team member Petr Janis. “So far, I’m having the time of my life.”
Team Pakistan and Team North Macedonia are celebrating their advancement to the Top 16, having defeated the best efforts of Colombia, Canada, Ireland and Slovakia. Pakistan’s Mystic team practise roughly six hours a day, and their work clearly paid off on the opening maps. The OBK team from North Macedonia was first formed soon after VALORANT’s launch in 2020, but the group found it hard to practise consistently until this year’s Red Bull Campus Clutch tournament rekindled their desire to compete. Now that the fire is burning bright, they’ll be looking to heat things up on Thursday.
Team Netherlands and Team Chile (wildcard) passed the first hurdle in the World Final, shooting down the hopes of Australia, Germany, Bulgaria and Italy. The Dutch team – known as Viva Hollandia and featuring Yordi VaLi van den Meijdenberg, a former 3rd Division football player among its members – formed specifically for this year’s edition of Red Bull Campus Clutch, and their sharp focus is apparent. Chile’s team CONDRIT0 is shaping up to be a special story. They didn’t have an easy path to the World Final, having to defeat an incredible field in Latin America’s Last-Chance Qualifier to earn their place in the lineup at Pacaembu Stadium. And now that they're in Brazil, they're definitely firing on all cylinders.