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Bob makes VALORANT history as the first Game Changers player to reach NA Challengers Dot Esports

History has been made in the North American VALORANT Challengers open qualifier with Supply and Demand Esports claiming victory over Winthrop University today. For the first time ever, a Game Changers player has reached the NA main event.

Bob Tran, who competed on the Cloud9 White roster that dominated Game Changers in 2022 before joining XSET for the 2023 season, has become the first player who competed in Game Changers to qualify for the main event of NA Challengers via open qualifiers. This brings the idea of a Game Changers player making it to VCT—something Riot has been pining for—closer to reality.

Bob "Bob" Tran (L) and Melanie "meL" Capone of Cloud9 White onstage at the VALORANT Game Changers Championship 2022.
Bob (left) is in. Will her former C9 White teammates join? Photo by Wojciech Wandzel via Riot Games

Joining Bob in the main event of NA Challengers 2024 are her SaD Esports teammates Dark3st, scarn, Cohburg, and Zoestrol. SaD Esports started their open qualifier in style by only losing a single round in their first series and went 2-0 in all four of their upper bracket matches en route to qualifying for Challengers, becoming the first team this year to do so via the open qualifier.

But the qualifier is not over, and there’s still a chance for several other Game Changers players—including several of Bob’s old teammates—to reach the main event as well. Bob’s former C9 White teammates Alexis and MeL, alongside the rest of the Game Changers world championship-winning Shopify Rebellion roster, need to win out with three straight wins in the lower bracket. This same gauntlet awaits another former C9 White player katsumi along with her Burgerville teammates.

Winthrop University, who knocked Shopify into the lower bracket to close out Thursday’s qualifier matches, failed to seal their ticket to the main event today but still have a chance to become the first collegiate team to reach NA Challengers via the lower bracket. Blinn Esports will also look to achieve that goal.

For many of these Game Changers players, reaching Challengers through the co-ed open qualifier has always been the goal outside of success in the GC circuit alone. Now, that goal is being realized, and with the potential for more to come as the lower bracket progresses this weekend, NA’s best GC players are coming for the next crown—a spot in the VCT itself.

Scott Robertson

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