Every Esports Team With a Valorant Roster Thus Far
Valorant has taken the esports and gaming world by storm, smashing through viewership records on Twitch as gamers flock to attempt to get beta keys. This has not gone unnoticed by almost every esports organization on the planet, with some already making early efforts to establish a roster despite everyone still trying to figure the game out.
These rosters have been made up of professionals from other games mostly, with some hailing from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and even Paladins esports. By and large, teams are looking for either proven entities or those that are very popular choices in their respective titles.
Here is all the esports teams and rosters committed to competing in Riot’s newest (and hottest) new FPS title, Valorant.
Major Teams With Competitive Valorant Esports Roster
T1 Esports Roster: Braxton “Brax” Pierce, Keven “AZK” Larivière
The legendary SK Telecom T1 (now known as T1 Esports) was one of the first esports teams to announce that they would be entering the Valorant space with a competitive team, and this should come as no surprise. They are an organization with a massive pedigree in League of Legends that’s truly second to none, as the owners of the most World Championships in that game’s history, and that has given their management some close ties to Riot Games. This would, presumably, lead them to bet big on Riot’s second major esports title, and they’ve done so with a fantastic core that hails from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive in the form of Braxton “Brax” Pierce and Keven “AZK” Larivière.
Both players are promising young stars that had their destinies in CS:GO forever rocked by the iBuyPower match fixing scandal in late 2014/early 2015. As a result of their participation in throwing a match against NetcodeGuides.com in exchange for skins, they were banned from all Valve competitions, but have since been reinstated to community events where they’ve proven themselves again and again in Tier 2 and 3 competition.
Now, with a fresh slate, and armed with T1’s bankroll, they’re looking to fill out the rest of their roster as the Closed Beta continues and esports tournaments begin to get underway.
Ninjas in Pyjamas Roster: Malkolm “bonkar” Rench, Dylan “DiGeDoG” Chainski, Leander “isbittenner” Aspestrand, and Aleks “Alex” Suchev; Coach: Erik “Bird” Sjösten
Ninjas in Pyjamas is almost the exact opposite of T1 Esports. They’re one of the most complete, robust Valorant rosters to enter the game’s closed beta and they come with championship pedigree from Hi-Rez’s Paladins. The organization itself does have some experience with Riot Games through the EU LCS, but they were never really a competitive roster despite being involved in several splits. They ended up exiting the League of Legends scene when the EU LCS became the LEC and went to a franchised model due to the cost of buy-ins and relatively modest failure during the LCS itself.
However, they’re looking to change all of that for Valorant. Bringing back a known quantity to them that they had success in with Paladins is going to give them a serious leg up on the competition as their entire team is already playing together, figuring out strategies, and will likely give them at least a month’s head start in the game.
This should make them a force to be reckoned with in the early stages of Valorant esports, especially since the organization will not have to pay exorbitant amounts just to play in them. While at present, most teams are operating their invitationals, NiP has been invited to a few of them as a four stack while they search for their final member.
They have the distinction of being the only Valorant esports roster at present to field a coach in the game’s early days. They also are far more experienced in the tactical FPS space as an organization than T1. While T1 is associated with the Philadelphia Fusion indirectly, they do not share resources, and this could likely be a leg up on their competition in the early days of Valorant.
Cloud9 Roster: Tyson “TenZ” Ngo
Cloud9 has started their Valorant division with only one player, and it’s one that’s familiar to them through their CS:GO division. Tyson “TenZ” Ngo impressed the team enough during his period standing in for Golden that they brought him back to found their Valorant division.
Of course, C9 is one of the oldest teams in Riot’s League of Legends ecosystem, so it makes sense that they would be looking to get involved in the nascent Valorant scene.
Major Teams Scouting for Talent
Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag has already gone on record stating that he’s looking for a team to recruit for Valorant. These efforts, along with wanting to take advantage of the content hype for the game, have led the team to host the 100 Thieves Valorant Invitational.
100 Thieves has roots in Call of Duty but was unable to join the Call of Duty League due to the cost of entering the franchise system. Perhaps with Riot’s Valorant, they will look to replicate the successes their League of Legends roster has seen.
Envy is another organization that has stated intentions of looking for a competitive Valorant roster, with owner Mike “Hastro” Rufail already tweeting asking who he should be talking to in the early days of the game.
Envy has a serious pedigree in FPS titles, fielding rosters and teams in both the franchised Overwatch League and Call of Duty Leagues. They also had a CS:GO roster at one point, so they are no stranger to the more open titles, either. This management could come in handy as they look to scout out talent.
Amateur Scene Already Looking Bright
Many organizations have sprung up around Valorant itself, looking to make a name for themselves from regions you might not expect. Notably, there are already two full teams from Japan looking to make a name for themselves. The League of Legends Japan League has proven that there’s interest in Riot’s titles in the region, despite a lack of monetary support, and it seems that players in the region aren’t interested in being left behind this time around. The two teams that have caught our attention so far are Absolute JUPITER, made up of the former Absolute CS:GO roster, and captained by Oshiro “Reita” Ryu.
The Middle East also has a notable organization, the Istanbul Wildcats, which is an organization that has been around since 2008. It’s unclear who the captain of the organization is, but they are relatively well funded for the Turkish scene, sponsored by FastPay.
Where Will Valorant Esports Go From Here?
Riot has stated that their early plans for Valorant esports are to follow the community’s lead, but it seems likely that after a few years of this and the game’s full release, they could come back in with a franchised system or a league similar to the launch of the LCS back in 2013. This could only be a boon for the teams looking to compete, but it could leave some TO partners in the lurch if Riot is not careful to include them when the time comes.
Either way, the future is looking bright for Valorant prospects as esports teams beef up their recruitment efforts.