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Scott Kostov | 20. September 2022

Valorant in North America will be much different in 2023

Less than 48 hours after the competitive season ended in Valorant, all hell is breaking loose.

Roster shuffles are expected

Day two of free agency brought a lot of question marks for the entire scene, especially in North America. Everyone expected a roster mania heading into franchising where only 10 teams from three regions would make the final cut. As talks were going on that 10 teams is not enough representation from the best Valorant regions in the World, a bombshell dropped on Twitter. Only five teams from North America will be a part of the newly formed VCT league for the Americas, which will also include teams from Brazil and LATAM.

Riot turn their back on G2

Various sources throughout the day reported that Valorant’s most popular team, Sentinels, got accepted. They will be joined by Cloud9, 100 Thieves, and NRG from the northern region. The south will be represented by KRU Esports and Leviathan from the LATAM region alongside three Brazilian teams like World Champions LOUD, Furia, and reportedly MIBR. With one spot left in the air, the competition becomes fierce. G2 is making headlines for all of the wrong reasons lately. Apart from their CEO drama, G2 have reportedly been rejected by both the Americas and the EMEA region. Reports say the recent controversy has made Riot reconsider and take away G2’s slot in the Americas.  

Valorant’s greatest team so far didn’t get franchised

What’s more concerning is the fact that the best Valorant team of the entire 2022 season is heading into uncharted territory next year.  Reports are saying that OpTic have failed to secure a slot in next year’s premier Valorant competition. It seems Riot Games have different criteria when accepting franchising applications rather than recent performance. Top three finishes in the last three international events, securing the crown at Masters Copenhagen, and having the best Valorant player on your roster is not enough validation to secure a spot.

As ruthless as the methodology might seem on Riot’s side, the five teams that get accepted better be ready to open the bag. Acquiring a championship-winning roster is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and will require a huge financial commitment. Any team willing to pull the trigger will also like to make adjustments, opening a can of worms on the free agency market. With 25 roster spots to go around, who makes the final cut? We tried to figure it out in this article. Other big-time names missing from the list are TSM, FaZe, T1, Version1 and XSET. Rumors are swirling that The Guard have the best odds to land the final spot, given the financial backing they have and Riot’s franchising checkbox. 

Major decisions regarding tier two scene

Expect major changes to NA rosters heading into next year. A lot is yet to be seen but with 25 roster spots for North American teams, the competition will be fierce. Riot have announced a part of the schedule, but we have yet to see how would importing, traveling, and competing occur, around everything that goes into building franchised rosters. The sad truth is a lot of highly regarded players in the scene might be forced to relocate or settle for tier two competition. With teams coming through the Ascension system, this might make the transition more bearable. But still, being top five in your role has never mattered so much in Valorant up until now.

Header: Riot Games