The 30 teams that will be partners in the VALORANT Champions 2023 international leagues have been announced by Riot Games. The announcement ends weeks of speculation over which teams would be partnered in the new VCT 2023 esports ecosystem.
Although missing out on franchising is not the end of the road for teams seeking to participate at the highest level of the VCT, the expectation is that many of the orgs that weren’t partnered will release their rosters.
Welcome to the next era of the #VCT
We are proud to introduce the 30 teams who will compete in the VALORANT Champions Tour in 2023.
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) September 21, 2022
One of the most hotly contested regions with a high volume of major orgs, only 10 teams could get the nod. Those teams are:
- Evil Geniuses
- 100 Thieves
- FURIA Esports
- KRÜ Esports
Early on, there were some obvious shoe-ins for teams that would be folded into the partner program. Orgs like Sentinels, LOUD, and KRÜ mobilized massive fanbases across North America, Brazil, and Latin America, respectively. The four other NA-based orgs are C9, EG, 100T, and NRG. Notably absent is OpTic Gaming, one of the best teams in the world across the first two years of the VCT, as well as Team SoloMid, FaZe Clan, and more.
Two other Brazilian rosters — FURIA and MIBR — represents the constantly growing VALORANT presence in the country. The other top LATAM team of Leviatán was another easy choice for franchising.
The Americas international league will be based out of Los Angeles, California.
The second of the two “major regions,” Europe, Middle East, and Asia showed a huge depth of strong teams across the first couple years of professional VALORANT. The 10 teams that advanced as partners may not have all fielded the best rosters in 2021, but they have the potential for growth. The 10 teams are:
- Team Liquid
- Team Vitality
- Karmine Corp
- Team Heretics
- Natus Vincere
- FUT Esports
- BBL Esports
Only two names off this list are orgs that have already achieved significant international success: Fnatic and Team Liquid. Beyond that, there’s a heavy lean towards the popular Spanish and French organizations. There are also two Turkish teams (FUT and BBL), as well as Na’Vi, who represent the Commonwealth of Independent States region.
Notable absences from the partnered teams include G2 Esports and FunPlus Phoenix. More than the other international leagues, the EMEA selections show Riot targeting growth and fan support over big names with a history of success.
The EMEA international league will be based out of Berlin, Germany.
VCT Pacific encompasses many different countries, including Indonesia, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, India and the Philippines. Although these are often seen as “minor regions,” the first two years of the VCT proved that a misnomer. The 10 partnered teams from Pacific are:
- ZETA DIVISION
- DetonatioN Gaming
- Team Secret
- Paper Rex
- Rex Regum Qeon
- Talon Esports
- Global eSports
To begin with, there’s a few more unknown names in the VCT Pacific. Rex Regum Qeon, or RRQ, is an org based out of Indonesia. The org has benefitted from massive growth thanks to their mobile gaming teams.
Other names are more familiar, like DRX, Paper Rex, and ZETA DIVISION.
The Pacific region has a nice blend of new and old, with some massive fanbases. The growth of Japanese VALORANT has proven one of the most surprising stories in the early years of the VCT. Three partnered Korean teams in VCT 2023 is somewhat expected given the close relationship Riot Games has established with the company through League of Legends.
The Pacific international league will be based out of Seoul, South Korea.
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.