Road to Radiant Summer Series | Season Recap & Invitational Preview

Road to Radiant Summer Series | Season Recap & Invitational Preview


We've reached the end of the regular season in the Road to Radiant Summer Series, and with the field now set, we can take a closer look at the teams and players competing for the $1000 prize pool and the collegiate scholarship opportunities that could come from making the final eight. Like clockwork, we saw new teams shake up the standings this week again. For the new teams, it was too late to earn the points necessary to receive an invite to the post season, but they definitely played spoilers in the seeding of it all. Let's look at who received the final segment's $200 prize, and analyze the season results of all of the teams you will get to see square off next week.


Since their hot start to the Summer Series starting with a 13-10 win over Bald Babies in Week 6, Eclectiq Academy earned a total of 171 points over the course of the two-week segment to win Segment 3. During their run, they were also the first in the series to leave Iron Head Tappers with an "L" on the books, and by a +7 round margin, no less. That particular margin went a long way in the round differential that put them ahead of the '96 Bulls in their end-of-season tiebreaker for seeding, but more on that later. Eclectiq Academy did end up being bested in this final week by "Victory 6", a team that had arguably an even more impressive debut with their wins over Bald Babies and Iron Head Tappers too. Unless an invited team is unable to attend, we won't see Victory 6 in the Invitational, since their 101 overall points won't be enough to land them a spot. We will see Eclectiq Academy though, as their 171 points that won them the segment also won them a trip to the post-season as the #7 seed.


1. Iron Head Tappers [16-2] - 544 Points

The team that was perfect through the first four weeks of play has suddenly showed signs of vulnerability here in the late stages of the season. Granted, the teams that have beaten IHT are relatively well known in the Valorant scene. Both Eclectiq Academy and Victory 6 have maintained a borderline VCT Challengers skill level in recent times. However, as mentioned previously, Victory 6 saw the Invitational ship sail after they arrived late to the party. So Eclectiq is now their biggest concern, right? Wrong. This week I have also gotten word from captain Smrty that he will be handing over the role to WAVES, as he is unable to attend the final bracket. How IHT does with out the multi-week MVP is a toss up. Their performance will be determined by how willing the team is to accept the misfortune, and how quickly the team can get into scrims to get their new strategies figured out.

2. Bald Babies [9-6] - 320 Points

The tough final stretch of the season for Summer Series top teams is quite apparent in Bald Babies' Week 6 adventures. Shell shocked by the Victory 6 train that seemingly came from nowhere in Round 1, and again in their tough loss against the Spartans (formerly VPHS Esports VAL) in Round 2, Bald Babies are now approaching the Summer Series Invitational coming off of their worst week to date. Their hot streaks earlier in the season will keep them at number 2, but with the level of talent attending, this squad will need a factory reset in order to push into the later stages of the post-season.

3. CHS Esports [6-9] - 230 Points

Clifton High (CHS Esports) happens to be one of those teams that pulled off a big win once in a while that they were not supposed to, at least not on paper. Their record has never been too impressive, yet these upsets kept me continuously wanting to see more from the CHS club. Luckily for me and CHS Esports supporters, we will be able to see at least one more week of the team when the Invitational kicks off on August 3rd. With the random nature of their upsets, one good map might help guide the way through stormy tides into the later stages as well.

4. Claremont High School [5-13] - 220 Points

I absolutely love this squad. Not as a favorite to win it all, or even their first round match quite frankly, but rather as a team that understands how to improve. To continuously show up over the course of a long regular season knowing quite well that a majority of teams they would have to play are currently better than they are says a lot about the team's culture. I say currently, because research has proven that going up against competition better than one's self will ultimately raise personal skill ceilings. This is true so long as the opposition is within a reasonable range of skill, which I believe to be the case. Plus, you will never find them being toxic, and for that reason they seem to be quite coachable, and always a pleasure to be around. Claremont High will probably not win it all, but you better believe that a part of me will be pulling for them to do well.

5. Spartans (VPHS) [6-3] - 210 Points

Spartans have held high hopes of receiving recognition as a top 3 team in the league ever since their [2-1] debut back in Week 3. Their most notable win prior to this final week was over CHS Esports. Decent, but it didn't really justify the consideration. In the final week, they began with a loss against segment winners Eclectiq Academy, but bounced back with two more wins, including their final match against Bald Babies. Finally, a win over a big name to make a case for top 3 in talent, and in perfect time to ride the momentum into the Invitational.

6. Bad Aimers [5-4] - 180 Points

Regular participants in Road to Radiant since even before the Summer Series, it's a bit odd that Bad Aimers have been essentially MIA since Week 3. In a Series stacked with talent, it is impressive that they had even earned enough points during their limited time in competition to receive the bid, but it won't do them any favors trying to rush back in the swing of things for this coming Wednesday. A Quarterfinal win for Bad Aimers may be possible to give them a piece of the prize pool, but I don't see the "Series Champion" role next to their names in the Stay Plugged In discord when it's all said and done.

7. Eclectiq Academy [5-1] - 171 Points

For a team that joined a week ago, things have certainly escalated quickly for members of Eclectiq Academy, who pulled in a cool $40 each after their Segment 3 win. What really matters for Eclectiq Academy is that they made it into the Invitational, and will have a shot at the top $500 top prize, and to become the 2022 Road to Radiant Summer Series presented by Coca-Cola champions. From what we've seen in their rookie weeks, they have one of the best chances to pull it off, especially with Smrty of IHT having to miss the show. Their match history includes wins over IHT with Smrty included, as well as over (#2) Bald Babies and (#5) Spartans. If they aren't already, this team should be on your list as the team most likely to take the title.

8. 1996 Chicago Bulls [5-1] - 171 Points

Catch me in one of the two weeks that the '96 Bulls were able to compete and I'd tell you this team can win it all. Now with the introduction of Eclectiq Academy into the Series, their lack of experience against one of the best teams in the circuit could very easily move them out of the bracket early. In addition, due to their low Series attendance, they come into the final bracket at number 8. This means that if all invited teams accept the exclusive offer to the post season as expected, they will go up against IHT, the only team to defeat them in the regular season. It will take some serious rallying of the troops for '96 Bulls in the cut-throat best-of-one Quarterfinals if it is IHT, whether Smrty is present or not.





KDA Ratio: 1.846

Notes: Poptart ends Week 6 with an even 20 kills per map, trailing only award runner-up, V6 danny (20.67). Poptart edged out danny for the award having a clear ability to create more favorable matchups through early engagement wins, indicated by the 4.33 first bloods per map. Since this stat is over 2 points higher than V6 danny (2.00), poptart earns the Week 6 Top Fragger award.


Name: V6 ACES


KDA Ratio: 1.615

Notes: It's tough to get a grasp of just how good the full Victory 6 roster is when you consider the fact that they were forced to use a sub and yet still beat the Series' best. To pull that off, you need some serious support from your heavily util-focused players. V6 Aces led the league in average assists with an insane 8.33 per map. You won't find V6 Aces anywhere near the top of the team's final KDA list, but you will find Aces settling into the assigned controller role with Brimstone and utilizing sky smoke and stim beacons to make life much easier for sub catgirl and the original roster to get accustomed to the changes quickly and efficiently.




KDA Ratio: 2.583

Notes: I'll give Week 6 Survivalist to sambae of IHT who had the least deaths per map of anyone in the league at 8.00, but sambae can share the award with the rest of the team, seeing as ALL FIVE OF THEM were in the TOP FIVE. I've never seen anything like it. Not a single member of IHT had an average death per map higher than 10.67, even though they LOST to Victory 6 in Round 2. I'm no expert on how the math works there, but I assure you it is correct and completely unprecedented.

Make sure to keep yourself parked right here in the news section early next week, as we announce the end-of season Player Awards, and make predictions for the first round of Invitational matches. In the meantime, get your fix of Summer Series content by visiting the main page here.