The Guard to miss VCT Americas, no team promoted for VCT Americas 2024 season

Written By Arnab Baidya Writer
Last UpdatedAugust 29, 2023 at 05:24PM
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After a year-long season in the Americas Challengers VALORANT scene, The Guard has been one of the top teams in North America. The Guard emerged as the victor of VCT Ascension Americas, securing a slot for VCT Americas 2024. But a new update has been given out by the VCT Americas Management stating that The Guard failed to agree to the "Team Participation Agreement" on time.

No Challengers promotion to VCT Americas 2024

Not only will The Guard not be promoted. No team from the VCT Ascension Americas will be promoted to VCT Americas 2024. Therefore the 10 teams who were already in the 2023 season will be the same.

The Team Participation Agreement is common practice that involves the organizers sign an agreement with the participating team. The agreement contains numerous rules and regulations that teams have to follow to participate in the tournament. Although this comes as a surprise to the whole VALORANT community, the year 2023 has been rough for The Guard as an organization.

The Guard let go of multiple staff and players, they only retained their VALORANT roster which was performing exceptionally well throughout the season. The team also retained its CDL and and Overwatch League teams, with the intention of selling both to an interested buyer.

After the VALORANT roster managed to secure their spot for the VCT Americas it was assumed that the organization won’t be leaving the scene. Unfortunately, this may not be the case.

Michael "neT" Bernet tweeted following the news surfacing, saying that, "Everyone please go show all the former employees support as they go through these tough times," among other things.

Update from The Guard and Leo Faria, Global Head of VALORANT Esports

The Guard has officially responded to the Tweet made by Valorant Esports NA, which confirms that they won’t be participating in the upcoming VCT Americas 2024. They have shown their gratitude towards this outcome and are happy to support the players and the staff for the new transition towards new opportunities. The community did not welcome the response from The Guard as they didn’t clarify what happened leading to the current circumstances.

A few hours after the official announcement, Leo Faria, the Head of VALORANT Esports, tweeted about the thought process of why they decided not to let any team participate in the VCT Americas 2024 from the VCT Ascension 2023. According to Leo, there were three different options available on how to go about the situation:

  1. First option: Since the players played under The Guard banner for two years in Challengers and Ascension allowing an acquisition by a different organization. According to Riot, that would open the door for slots in the VCT to be sold, which is not allowed.
  2. Second option: To give the slot to M80, who came second in the tournament; this would defeat the purpose of rewarding the players who came first, in this instance, The Guard players.
  3. Third Option: Riot's final option was not allowing any team or player to qualify from Ascension to VCT Americas 2024.

After Leo's explanations, it became clearer from Riot why they opted for this route, but the fans and the community still are behind the players and staff from The Guard who spent two years grinding for the spot they no longer participate in.

Arnab has been a gaming and esports journalist for over three years. Before that, he used to manage professional esports teams and content creators.

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