Top 5 players to look out for at VCT Americas League
VCT 2023 is about to enter its next phase of tournaments i.e the franchised leagues. Initially, the year began with one of Valorant's biggest events yet, LOCK//IN. It saw all thirty franchised teams plus two Chinese teams invited to battle against one another. A total of thirty-two teams were divided into two groups, Alpha and Omega, and had to compete to qualify for the Playoffs. Fnatic of EMEA won LOCK//IN by defeating LOUD 3-2 in the BO5 (Best of Five) series.
VCT will now commence with leagues in their regions with franchised teams. The VCT Americas League will start on April 2 and will be held in Los Angeles, USA. Here, the ten teams will fight their way to qualify for the Masters Tokyo.
LOCK//IN was a great showcase and a good introduction to all the franchised teams. Numerous players had outstanding performances and will thus play an important role in the Americas League. The following is a list of five such players to keep an eye out for in the VCT Americas League.
Note: This article is subjective and solely reflects the writer's opinions.
kiNgg and 4 more players to look out for in the VCT Americas League
Sam "S0m" Oh is an American esports player who currently plays for NRG Esports. He mainly fills the role of a Controller for his team but has also played the role of a Duelist in the past.
S0m has had a stressful path in the VCT sphere. Historically, he and his team were unable to accomplish much regionally and thus did not qualify for any international LAN events. Due to franchising, S0m has now paired up with former OpTic core and EMEA player ardiis.
At LOCK//IN, S0m had one of the best debuts on the international stage and exceeded everyone's expectations. He was able to get himself an ace on the first map, which ultimately turned the tide for his team in that series. He established himself as one of the event's top Controller players.
Erick "aspas" Santos is a Brazilian esports player who plays for LOUD. He is mainly the Duelist for his team but has also played as the Sentinel Chamber in the past.
aspas and his squad have long dominated the area regionally. In 2022, they also demonstrated their international prowess by beating their arch-rivals OpTic Gaming to win Valorant Champions 2022 Istanbul.
aspas had an incredible showing at LOCK//IN. He'd be the spearhead for LOUD, winning nearly all of his duels. Aspas was regarded as one of the greatest Jett players at the event, and it will be interesting to see if he can maintain that distinction in the VCT Americas League.
Matthew "Cryocells" Panganiban is an American esports player who currently plies his trade for 100 Thieves. He mainly plays the role of a Duelist for his team but has also played as the Controller Omen very recently. He is also the Operator player for the team.
In 2022, Cryocells was the newest and lone player to be welcomed into the redesigned 100 Thieves lineup. He was brought in to bolster the team's firepower. This new team won Red Bull Home Ground #3, establishing themselves as one of the top NA teams and title candidates in VCT. Cryo played a crucial role in this triumph.
At LOCK//IN, Cryo had a great showing as he looked crisp with his Operator and would get some early kills for his team. He is definitely amongst the top NA players right now and will be pivotal for 100 Thieves going into VCT Americas League.
Francisco "kiNgg" Aravena is an esports player from Chile who plays for Leviatán. He mostly fulfills the role of an Initiator for his team but has also played as the Controller Viper when needed.
kiNgg and Leviatán rose to fame as they destroyed some of the top teams during VCT 2022. Their fast playstyle and individual skill impressed many viewers and showed that LATAM was a region to keep an eye on.
At LOCK//IN, kiNgg had an impressive performance. Despite his role, he would be amongst the top players in every series. His 4k with the Guardian against Team Vitality was one of the highlights of the event.
Bryan "pANcada" Luna is a Brazilian esports player who plays for the team Sentinels. He has mainly played as the Controller Agent for his team.
pANcada and his former team, LOUD became World Champions in 2022. The team was finally able to defeat their rivals, OpTic Gaming 3-1. He was a crucial piece to this as he would step up when required and frag out for his team.
Eventually, pANcada made one of the most significant franchise changes when he left LOUD to join Sentinels alongside their other partner, Sacy. However, pANcada didn't get much of a chance to shine at LOCK/IN because Sentinels were beaten in their first match. Nonetheless, he is a tremendously good player who should be on everyone's radar throughout the VCT Americas League.