After the T1xNSG showdown, the PAX Arena Invitational is the second official Valorant tournament in NA. Check out all the information about the event.
The Pax Arena VALORANT Invitational will take place this week in the NA region. The matches are starting today, July 22, and will continue until July 26 when the $25,000 prize pool will be distributed. A total of 20 teams (16 invited & 4 influencer teams) will compete. This makes the Pax Invitational the biggest Ignition Series tournament so far. Let's take a closer look at the event.
Group Stage and Playoffs
As the tournament with the largest number of teams, the PAX Invitational teams are divided into four groups of 5 teams. The two best teams in each group qualify for the playoffs. The groups are made up of the well-known pro teams, who have a firm grip on the North American Valorant scene. Each group will also feature one Influencer Team. It's a wild mix of tier 1 and tier 2 teams, but everyone wants to make it big.
When you look at the groups, it's quite hard to put your finger on a favorite to take the title.
Except for the quarter-finals, the matches will be played at 2:00 pm (PT) [23:00 CET]. The quarterfinal matches will be played at 12:00 pm (PT) [21:00 CET].
PAX Arena Valorant Invitational: The Teams
Two strong teams are represented in group A. 100 Thieves, the team led by Hiko and TSM, the defending champions of the North American Ignition Series. Group B includes the runner-up and organizer of the last NA tournament, T1. Team Envy is also in the group and has only recently acquired a full roster. The FaZe Clan was originally also in Group B, but was replaced by Team Way 2 French.
The most exciting group is probably group C. Gen.G, Immortals, Mixup, and Prospects meet here. In the influencer team Mang0 is VoiD from CLG, who are also building up a Valorant roster of their own. The only member of the CLG roster is Benita. In group D there are also hot candidates like Cloud 9, Sentinels and Renegades. The newly founded team of Complexity is also part of the group.
- Group A: 1st TSM - 2nd 100Thieves
- Group B: 1st T1 - 2nd Envy
- Group C: 1st Immortals - 2nd Gen.G
- Group D: 1st Sentinels - 2nd Complexity
We're not sure about the overall favorite though. This is mainly due to the next point.
First, the tournament is filled with a lot of strong teams. In the group stage alone, some tough opponents meet, and only 8 of the teams qualify for the playoffs. Moreover, it's been three weeks since the last big tournament and during that time not only the performance has changed. Completely new teams were created and they may impact the balance on the pro scene.
Another interesting factor would be a patch just before the tournament. With patch 1.04 the upcoming Sage nerfs could have a huge impact on strategy. While a Sage pick is not always necessary to win, many see the support Agent as the patron saint of the entire squad. We're curious to see the first series of the day and what will happen until Sunday. Who'll be the champion in North America?
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Interestingly enough another Ignition Series tournament takes place at the same time on the opposite side of the globe: the ORDER Oceanic Open.