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The VALORANT Champions Tour 2022 season brought a lot of talent to light. From rookies to FPS veterans, VALORANT players have showcased an incredible amount of mechanical skills, teamwork, and communication.

So here are some of the best VALORANT players of the year based on individual performances and tournament outcomes.

Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, OpTic Gaming

yay VALORANT 2022
Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, formerly of OpTic Gaming. | Photo by Lance Skundrich for Riot Games.

Where 2021 was the year of Sentinels and the clear star was Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, 2022 had a very clear new star in yay. Considering how consistent OpTic Gaming were both regionally and internationally, yay was the focal point as the best duelist in the region. Plus, when he fought internationally, he only got better, and it showed in every win they had at Champions in 2022.

Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban, XSET

As a young talent, Cryocells helped keep XSET competitive in their region and showed off how high his peak is in his games internationally. While his performances really got better as the year went on, 2022 was his breakout year as another star duelist from North America.

Erick “aspas” Santos, LOUD

The Champions 2022 MVP aspas was one of the key players on the championship roster of LOUD. Not only was his play crucial to the team, but he also only got better internationally despite how easily they swept through their region. Much like LOUD, he didn’t have the best time internationally in the middle of the year, but that’s the only time that both LOUD and aspas showed weakness.

Felipe “Less” Basso, LOUD

Where aspas was one of the critical members of the championship team LOUD, Less was the other. Any time one was underperforming, the other stepped up and kept LOUD as one of the best VALORANT teams in recent memory. One thing that Less surprised fans with was how he played for his age, only 17 years old. For one of the youngest rookies in international competition, Less proved that he could be a top-five player in the world for years to come.

Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks, FunPlus Phoenix

ardiis
Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks of FunPlus Phoenix speaks onstage after victory at the VALORANT Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters Grand Finals on July 24, 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. | Photo by Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games.

One of the most underrated VALORANT teams across 2022 is FunPlus Phoenix, mainly due to their unfortunate circumstances leading to a no-show at the first international tournament of the year. As soon as they got that opportunity, ardiis showed off just how talented he is. On a team stacked with potential, ardiis had some of the best moments of the year both on his team and across the world. Hard to ignore the clutch against DRX that still lingers in fans’ minds as he moves to North America for 2023.

Yu “BuZz” Byung-chul, DRX

While the year started off oddly similar for DRX fans, they ended with international victories and a great run at Champions 2022, mainly thanks to BuZz. Despite how team-oriented DRX plays, BuZz was the player that stepped up and finally took DRX out of their perennial quick tournament exists.

Jing Jie “Jinggg” Wang, Paper Rex

f0rsaken Jinggg
Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto (L) and Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie of Paper Rex make an entrance at the VALORANT Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters Grand Finals on July 24, 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. | Photo by Colin Young-Wolff for Riot Games.

The two players ending off this piece are both from Paper Rex, both equally important to the roster and equally entertaining. To start, Jinggg exploded on the scene in 2022 with Paper Rex, playing so aggressively alongside his team that it was almost uncounterable. The way that Jinggg plays is equally chaos and skill, especially as a player with insane aim and one of the quickest reaction times in the league.

Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto, Paper Rex

Last but not least, the other key member of Paper Rex: f0rsakeN. From finally making Yoru work, to some of the flashiest plays known to man, f0rsaken was the second half of the aggressive strategies that Paper Rex ran to both regional and international success. Despite a disappointing finish in VALORANT Champions 2022, Paper Rex had one of the best underdog runs in recent memory at 2022 Stage 2 Masters, thanks to f0rsakeN.