With the Valorant Champions Tour in full swing, we finally have the chance to witness teams from around the world competing under a single roof. When compared to veteran esports titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends or CS: GO, Valorant is still relatively new. The game was released just last year and it’s already making strides in the esports scene, boasting a large number of teams and players, both old and new.
We would like to use the opportunity to shed some light on the North American region, focusing on the team power ranking and mentioning some of the key players.
The NA Scene
The North American Valorant is a well-developed scene that is home to some of the strongest and most prominent teams right now. It holds the largest number of teams compared to any other region, with Europe being right on its tail.
Everywhere you look, you’ll find no shortage of talent, whether it’s Sentinels with ShahZaM at the helm, Hiko’s 100 Thieves, or some household names such as TSM, Immortals and Cloud9. Despite that, the scene is still young and developing, and it will take time before things fully settle down.
The boys from LA are doing incredibly well, currently sitting at the very top of the North American scene. The stellar performance so far has earned them respect from their peers and placed them as one of the top-grossing Valorant teams in the world right now.
— Sentinels (@Sentinels) February 23, 2021
What makes this team so strong is their versatility, where they function perfectly as a team and cover each other’s back, but when it comes down to those clutch 1vX situations each member is a deadly killer. ShahZaM is arguably the strongest Jett player in NA, capable of shutting down entire teams. With sinatraa and SicK by his side, the trio quickly turns into a real wolf pack.
2. 100 Thieves
The First Strike champions are in great shape. They’ve qualified for Challengers 2 along with seven other teams, and now they’re just waiting and preparing for the upcoming clash with Luminosity Gaming.
Statistically speaking, the crew was at the top of their game through the second round of open qualifiers. They blazed through the event and finished with an impressive 100% win rate across 5 different matches, cleaning up both maps each time. Hiko tactfully dismantled the opposition with his Sova, and scored not one, not two, but six clutches, showing the world that he’s not called “the king of clutch” for no reason. When you add steel’s defensive capabilities, and the deadly duo that is Asuna and dicey, you get a full package that’s hard to beat.
TSM have been down in the slump lately after two unsuccessful qualifiers. Both rounds saw the team powering through until Top 16, but to the team’s dismay, that’s as far as they would go.
TSM still has the third round of qualifiers ahead of them, but things are not looking great. Wardell is clearly the MVP, but the overall flow of the team seems to be lacking. Whether it’s the current team composition, or the synergy between the players, it’s hard to say. Some might argue that adding more control could lead to a spike in performance, while others see a potential roster change as a way out.
4. Team Envy
Team Envy are climbing up the ranks and demonstrating incredible performance in the current event. Just recently, the crew took out Renegades in the last round of open qualifiers and made it into Challengers 2.
The squad has a formula that works. Kaboose is an excellent Duelist, stalking his prey with Raze in most of the matches, but he’s also capable of swapping to a Controller role at the snap of a finger. His Omen is just as deadly. Crashies fills the Initiator spot perfectly with his Sova, and sometimes Skye, while the Sentinel role falls on FNS, who’s an expert with Cypher and Killjoy.
5. FaZe Clan
Even though FaZe is currently among the top 8 teams scheduled to compete in Challengers 2, they’ve been walking on thin ice. A lot of the previous matchups they won were close calls, with FaZe barely squeezing through with 2:1 victories.
They are doing well, but they need to start pushing for some more decisive victories from this point onward. They have the tools for it.
Babybay is yet another Jett main that strikes fear into the hearts of everyone on the opposite team. With an aggressive playstyle, he was one of the highest performing players in the previous round of qualifiers, showing excellent scores. While the rest of the crew is backing him up, he’s a monster carry.
6. Luminosity Gaming
This team is incredible. Not only has LG’s roster gone through a number of changes over the previous year, but they’re currently competing with 3 core members and two stand-in players – YaBoiDre and moose.
Don’t let this fool you, though. Just a month ago, they beat Sentinels in the finals of NSG – Winter Championship, and then again in the first Challengers round of Valorant Champions Tour. Sentinels just can’t seem to shake them off.
We’ll have to see what will happen to the roster later down the road, but right now they’re showing no signs of fatigue, and are ready to face 100 Thieves in their next matchup.
Coming from Challengers 1 at the 2nd spot, the boys from Immortals are hungry for more. They’ve had a relatively smooth cruise so far, but the second round brings new challenges that the crew will have to overcome.
The team they’re facing next is Gen.G Esports, the same team they beat back in the first round. Gen.G will have to figure out a way to counter ShoT UP since he completely demolished them in the previous matchup with his Reyna, making it look like he was smurfing.
As arguably one of the biggest surprises we’ve seen this year in Valorant, team XSET went on and qualified directly into both Challengers, snatching the spotlight and announcing to the world “we’re here!”.
About a month ago, the organisation signed BcJ, who has secured his spot with his flexible playstyle and the ability to fit multiple roles. They’ve got PureR, a tried and true Jett player, but they’re also not scared to step outside the meta and bring in Wedid’s Viper from time to time.
The guys from XSET are fun, they play well, and are completely fresh and unpredictable.
9. Gen.G Esports
Gen.G can’t seem to find a stable roster, making constant switches and assigning different roles all the time. Just recently, they’ve reshuffled their CS:GO team and moved koosta over to Valorant, while autimatic retired and went to T1.
You know and love him from our CS:GO team, but now it’s time to #ChangeTheGame
— Gen.G Esports (@GenG) January 21, 2021
When it comes to their performance, they’re still in a decent spot, but it also seems they’re in a slow decline. Very average performance during Challengers 1, with perhaps one saving grace being the match vs. Sentinels, where they opened up with a surprising win on the first map, but lost regardless. Low stats across the board, and a very passive play. Seems like they need to take more chances and introduce a bit of risk into the mix.
10. Cloud9 Blue
Cloud9 is hanging by a thread on this last 10th spot, but by the look of things, they won’t be hanging much longer.
If we could sum up the team’s performance in the Valorant Champions Tour with one word, it would be mediocre. They do have a good record from the past year, but now when matched with the best of the best, they just buckle under pressure.
They have a 6-man roster, so there’s plenty of talent to move around. Further restructuring might be necessary before they’ll be able to pick up the pace and try again.