VALORANT released officially earlier this month, on June 2nd, 2020, following a massively successful closed beta period. Riot Games are well known for their support to grow healthy and stable esports ecosystems for League of Legends. Although we only have one game to base the studio’s esports track record on, you can’t deny the company’s innovative marketing mechanics and extremely popular esports competitions.
The likes of Kia, Alienware, Logitech G, Warner Music, Beko, Tchibo, AK Racing, Huya, and Kit Kat all sponsor the League of Legends European Championship, LEC, and similar names in magnitude support the League of Legends Championship Series, LCS. Riot Games are bound to bring the attention of some of them towards VALORANT.
Teams including Gen.G, Immortals, Sentinels, T1, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and more already have their teams formed and ready to compete. In addition to that, Brazil’s paiN Gaming started off creating their team around ex-Overwatch pros and South Korean’s Vision Strikers are just some examples of international esports teams eager to join the scene, with Japanese organizations JUPITER and Nora-Rengo soon to follow suit. All these are ready for Riot Games to officially reveal their esports plans for VALORANT.
However, even with all the names I mentioned, there are countless other teams and prestigious organizations that are yet to recruit any VALORANT pros. We will go through them one by one, so sit back and enjoy the ride.
We will kick it off with one of the biggest, most successful, and well-established esports organizations in the world. From the surface, their social media shenanigans might throw you off from just how decorated G2 Esports truly are in several games. They are probably known for their League of Legends, Rainbow Six Siege, and CS:GO rosters, a home for the likes of Caps, Perkz, Pengu, KennyS, and other charismatic personalities.
It is worth noting that G2 Esports were probably the first to organize not just one but two European tournaments, the G2 Esports European Brawls. The first one featured €10,000, with the second iteration raising the prize pool to €12,500. Both tournaments followed a regional theme, with every team representing a part of the world or a country. G2 Esports European Brawl II featured a number of CS:GO, Rainbow Six, and other games’ pro players and content creators, namely ScreaM, ONSCREEN, and many more.
Recently, the organization kicked off their VALORANT roster with their first recruit, Oscar “Mixwell” Cañellas Coloch. The four remaining players to complete the squad are yet to be confirmed However, the competitive nature of G2 Esports means it won’t be long till we see Carlos “ocelote” Rodríguez, the owner, kicking off negotiations with potential candidates to bring them on board. You have to take into consideration the organization’s constant desire to win everything they compete, so this silence might just be a VALORANT powerhouse in the making.
Cloud9 are the second organization on the list, and there is no denying that the name itself oozes championships. Since its inception in 2013, they have managed to dominate several competitive scenes, with the latest being a historic League of Legends’ LCS Spring Split 2020 title run. You can say Cloud9 has already started recruiting for their VALORANT squad, picking up former CS:GO pro, Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo.
C9 TenZ was one of the earliest people to ditch CS:GO in favor of Riot Games’ competitive tactical shooter, VALORANT. His words at the time of the announcement might have given away the organization’s plan to build around him a strong VALORANT squad capable of competing at the highest level. In a brief interview with Red Bull following his switch, he expressed his plans to compete professionally under Cloud9’s banner.
“My plan going forward is to assemble the best team that I think is possible relatively soon. I hope to see a pro scene similar to the League of Legends structure and compete at a world-class level.”
It makes sense for Cloud9 to take a risk on building around TenZ, considering he was the first ever North American VALORANT player to reach the highest rank in the game’s competitive mode during its beta.
We already heard rumors around signing Nathan "leaf" Orf and Gage "Infinite" Green to C9, slowly shaping up VALORANT’S five-man roster. Do you believe Cloud9 is building a strong team that can compete domestically and internationally?
FNATIC is known for its prestigious history, and is one of the oldest esports organizations in the industry. It is a home for competitive teams in games like CS:GO, League of Legends, PUBG Mobile, and Rainbow Six Siege. Just to list some of their accomplishments, their CS:GO team managed to pick up three Global Offensive Majors over the years. In addition, the League of Legends team has lifted seven LEC trophies to date, equal with G2 Esports as the most decorated LEC team.
Following their own footsteps of success in first-person shooter games, it is only natural to see FNATIC pick up a strong and frightening VALORANT roster to even come up against. The organization still doesn’t have anyone related to VALORANT under their name, neither has any of its members really streamed the game much. However, they hosted the FNATIC Proving Grounds Open Tournament, in which ScreaM’s team came out victorious.
When it is time to form a team, you know the name alone will attract the best VALORANT players out of the community to represent FNATIC.
Another North American esports juggernaut with a name recognizable anywhere in the world, Team Liquid’s dominance over the League of Legends and CS:GO scenes is undebatable. Their CS:GO roster in 2019 is arguably one of the best of all-time, winning ESL One: Cologne 2019, ESL Pro League Season 9, BLAST Pro Series: Los Angeles 2019, and others as well.
Some of those decorated players, such as nitr0, Stewie2k, and EliGE, all play VALORANT from time to time. However, it is safe to say that Team Liquid won’t tweak anything in their CS:GO roster so these three players can play VALORANT as much as they want in their free time. On the other hand, we have Lucas “Mendo” Håkansson, considered mainly a VALORANT content creator for now.
Prior to that, he was one of the Apex Legends’ team members, but didn’t get to prove themselves much due to the lack of competitions. Is it possible for Team Liquid to consider his skill set enough to build their VALORANT roster around and mark him as the first piece of the puzzle?
The VALORANT competitive scene is still young, and these are all undoubtedly some of the biggest esports organizations in the game. All these teams are probably waiting for Riot’s official word on their competitive infrastructure and ecosystem to officially start their team’s creation. A number of them already started recruiting the cream of the crop as we discussed throughout the piece. We can call them the “chosen ones,” having found a home to represent prior to any actual competitions. Make sure to stay tuned for Part II, and let us know in the comments section of what teams you are waiting for to reveal their VALORANT roster.
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