5 things to expect from VCT EMEA 2023

VCT EMEA 2023 (Image via Sportskeeda)
VCT EMEA 2023 (Image via Sportskeeda)

The Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) will follow a brand-new format in 2023 that was announced by Riot Games during Champions 2022. Under this, only Riot-partnered teams will play at the highest levels of the tournament circuit.

The EMEA split of the International League will consist of teams from Europe, Middle East, and Africa. The partnered teams will come together in the Messe Berlin Charlottenburg in Berlin to play against one another on LAN from March to May 2022.

The next section of the article will take a look at the global Valorant community’s expectations from the EMEA League of the International Split of VCT 2023, as well as Challengers Circuits and the Ascension Tournament of the region.

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The world will see some grueling action during the VCT EMEA 2023

1) New teams will be playing at the top-most level in the region for the first time

The teams participating in the EMEA League of VCT 2023 are Fnatic, Team Vitality, Team Heretics, Natus Vincere, BBL Esports, Team Liquid, Karamine Corp, Giants, FUT Esports, and KOI.

Eight of the ten partnered organizations have never made an appearance in the top-most levels of the VCT in the region. Many of the players will also appear to be new names to non-regional fans.

However, all the teams have experienced leaders and players to provide guidance and lead the way.


2) Format that will put teams through rigorous competition

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The regular season of the EMEA League will start on March 26, 2023. It will consist of a single round robin, which means each team will face off against every other team in the league in a best-of-three (Bo3) format. This will add up to a total of 45 Bo3s.

This is the first time such a format will be followed, and it will give teams multiple chances to assert their dominance. It will also show fans where each team stands with respect to the others in their region.

The top six teams will advance to Playoffs, and the remaining four will be eliminated from the season’s competition. The top teams from among those in the Playoffs will face off against partnered teams from other regions in the year’s only VCT Masters.

Considering that all partner teams are secure in terms of having a spot in the league for the next season, it will be fascinating to see who pushes themselves the most in the first step to claim the first Champions slot of the year.


3) Fantastic mix of slow-burning and fast strategies

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European Valorant teams have always been known for their slow and methodical site execution style. Fnatic’s IGL Jake “Boaster” and coach Jacob "mini" have been instrumental in leading the way the game’s meta is shaped. The way they plan out utility usage is hardly matched by any other team in the world.

On the other hand, there is the burst potential that comes from the Turkish side of the region. Players from the region, like Mehmet "cNed," are so notorious for being hyper-aggressive that there is a meta-concept called the ‘Turkish Jett.’

cNed is going to join the former FPX squad replacing Ardiis as the star Duelist/Operator player under the NAVI banner in the upcoming season of VCT. With ANGE1 calling the shots and cNed’s gun power, they will be a force to be reckoned with.


4) Stellar performances by star performers

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When the best players in the region across different roles clash against one another, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

Notable entry-fraggers include ScreaM, zeek, cNed, and Derke. Their sheer mechanical prowess gives them an edge over whoever is on the defending side. They're able to create lots of space for their teams and, more often than not, end up on the top-end of whatever server they play on.

Controllers are a very niche and underrated role in the game, but so much of a team’s performance on any particular day depends on how well the Controller is playing. Players like AvovA, Boaster, and koldamenta make sure that they strategically cut up the map so that their teams can execute advantageous strategies.

With the Chamber-meta now behind us, a varied range of Sentinel agents will hopefully make a comeback. It will be quite amazing to see players like SUYGETSU, mixwell, and ceNder single-handedly lock down sites as Killjoy or Cypher.


5) Stiff competition in Challengers and Ascension

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EMEA has the second-highest number of minor regions under it. They are Northern Europe, Spain, France & Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), DACH (Germany, Austria, Switzerland), Turkey, Eastern Europe, Italy, Portugal, and MENA (Middle East & North Africa).

All these regions have a wide range of excellent local talent that has not made its way into the VCT scene yet. Moreover, there are erstwhile professionals who got dropped in the post-franchising roster change. Such players include L1NK, starxo, Enzo, and Mistic, all of whom have been playing relatively consistently in the big leagues since the inception of the VCT.

With only one spot at the end of what is going to be a very long path, consisting of two Challengers Splits (each with two rounds of open qualifiers and one closed qualifier to make it to Ascension), teams and players have to fight tooth and nail. Whoever comes out on top at the end will pose a substantial threat to the EMEA League in 2024.

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Edited by Siddharth Satish