Team Liquid become first EMEA VALORANT team to play Neon in VCT
Neon from VALORANT

Team Liquid become first EMEA VALORANT team to play Neon in VCT

Neon was used in place of Jett on Haven

Neon, VALORANT’s latest Agent, officially made her first appearance in professional Europe, Middle East and Africa VALORANT Sunday. Team Liquid’s Dom “soulcas” Sulcas became the first VALORANT player in EMEA to utilize the speedster in the first map of the team’s group stage match against Natus Vincere, also known as NaVi.

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The two teams faced off on Haven. Along with Neon, Team Liquid’s team composition comprised of Chamber, Skye, Astra and KAY/O, all of whom were Agents added post-launch. The usage of Neon was an interesting deviation from the norm; for as long as pro VALORANT has existed, Jett has been the go-to Duelist and a mainstay in most compositions. Every other EMEA team that has played Haven so far has used Jett, including NaVi.

However, Team Liquid is in the rather tricky position of not having a designated Jett player. Towards the end of 2021 the role bounced around the team, with both Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen and Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom trying their hand at her. The decision to run Neon was likely born of the fact that Team Liquid seems to be pivoting away from using Jett at all, rather than trying to make her work with players who aren’t fully comfortable playing her. In their match loss against Gambit Esports last week, Team Liquid did not play Jett either.

Experimentation at the professional level is always a welcome sight, and Neon’s mobility allowed Team Liquid to take advantage of the unique three-site layout of Haven. Soulcas was able to move around the map quickly and responsively depending on his teammates’ calls and the position of the opposing team. Neon’s Fast Lane ability also allowed the team to enter sites and take space quickly.

Ultimately, the experiment paid off for Team Liquid and they won the map 13-9. Soulcas racked up 19 kills as Neon, the second highest in the lobby. It was not a convincing argument in favor of Neon’s ability to replace Jett across the board, but it showed that Team Liquid, in particular, have been strategizing smartly to get around their lack of a Jett player. Hopefully fans see more of Neon in EMEA VALORANT in the future, now that Team Liquid has given the region an idea of what she is capable of.

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Bonnie Qu
Just a fun guy who likes playing games and also likes writing about people playing games.