It’s either their crowning achievement or a return to glory for these teams.
Champions Los Angeles has gathered 16 top teams to see which one earns the right to call themselves the best Valorant team in the world. Everyone’s already whispering Fnatic’s name as the undisputed champions but there are few teams that can challenge Fnatic’s dominion.
From underdogs to old favorites, we’ve listed five teams who can take it all the way in Champions Los Angeles.
Chinese Valorant is still a young region but that youth brings with it an unquenchable flame. Right now, that fire is burns brightest in EDward Gaming who’ve already proven themselves back in Masters Tokyo. Even though they bowed out in the lower quarterfinals, EDG were able to take down LOUD, the 2022 champions, 2-0 and show that they’re a real threat.
Leading the way for EDG is Zheng “ZmjjKK” Yongkang. The 19 year old firebrand is both daring and deadly and he has the numbers to prove it. He had the most kills and kills-per-map in all of Masters Tokyo despite a lower number of games. If EDG are going to make a deep run in Champions Los Angeles, it’s going to be off of the back of this man.
There’s no scene as passionate about their teams as the Brazilains, and with LOUD being the 2022 champions that passion is understandable. They have established themselves as the best team in VCT Americas but can’t seem to repeat that success internationally. They fell short to Fnatic in LOCK//IN Sao Paulo and were quickly booted out by EDG in Masters Tokyo.
It’s clear however that the team is still hungry for that Champions trophy. With three of the five 2022 world champion players still on the team, they’re determined to defend their title from all comers.
Consistency is the name of the game for the Korean powerhouse. Ever since DRX was established in 2022, they have not missed a single international event. They are the team that showed the world that Korea does know how to play FPS’ and they’re looking to push that further by becoming the World Champions.
Their player to watch is the 18 year old sharpshooter Jung “Foxy9” Jae-sung. He has the third highest Average Combat Score (ACS) in VCT Pacific and is DRX’s main man when it comes to cleaning up a round.
Team Liquid has long been playing under Fnatic’s shadow. Even though they are the VCT EMEA champions, the discussion has always painted them as the second best team in Europe. It’s most likely due to their lack of international success, always falling in the early bracket stages while other teams push forward.
If there ever was a moment for Team Liquid to shine, it’s here in Champions Los Angeles. The team is filled with veteran talent such as Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel and Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin who are more than capable of winning the championship. Only time will tell if they’ll be able to best their demons in the tourney.
ZETA Division are coming into Champions Los Angeles as real underdogs. As the most successful Japanese team in VCT Pacific, they had a very disappointing playoffs run after going 0-2 in the bracket. Undeterred, ZETA went to work shoring up their weaknesses and earned the right to play in Champions after a convincing run in the Pacific Last Chance Qualifiers.
The team has shown that they have both the skill and strategy to take games. However, they always find themselves crumbling when the pressure gets high. It’ll be up to team captain and FPS veteran Koji “Laz” Ushida to keep everyone’s heads cool as they play through the biggest tournament of the year.
Banner photo by Riot Games.