Valorant esports is beginning to emerge.
In November, Riot announced the upcoming 2021 Valorant Champions Tour, consisting of open qualifiers at three levels - Challengers, Masters, and Champions. The competitions will take place throughout the year, with each level being larger than the next. Champions will be a 14-day event, where 16 teams will be competing to be crowned the Global Champions.
After First Strike NA, many organizations have taken a step back to assess their rosters and make changes. Only 3 teams in North America can qualify for the Champions event, so who will it be? Valorant requires a lot of teamwork, but there are a few players that provide a massive X-factor for their team.
Top 3 MVP candidates for 2021 Valorant Champions Tour
#3 - 100 Thieves Hiko
Spencer “Hiko” Martin has proved to be one of Valorant’s best all-around players since the esports scene emerged. After replacing the entire original roster (besides Hiko), 100 Thieves claimed the NA First Strike Championship.
While 100 Thieves undeniably has a great overall team, Hiko’s individual performance shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, Hiko had the best kill-death ratio in all of NA during First Strike. He regularly comes clutch in Valorant. A one-versus-one against Hiko is certainly not favorable.
Although the 100 Thieves’ Valorant roster has only been together for a few months, they've still managed to win the first major regional championship. The sky is the limit once they build greater chemistry. With a title under his belt and so many kills to his name, he’s an easy MVP candidate for Valorant Champions Tour.
#2 - C9 TenZ
Cloud9’s failure to qualify for First Strike’s main event was seen as a disappointment by many. In fact, the team has already replaced their IGL, Josh “Shinobi” Abastado with Nathan “Leaf” Orf from Chaos esports.
There’s a reason why Tyson “TenZ” Ngo plays duelist-agents only in Valorant tournaments. Cloud9’s success largely relies on TenZ getting lots of kills. In fact, fans and even professionals have referred to C9’s Valorant team as “TenZ and friends.”
C9’s future is uncertain with their roster change. They’ve been dominant, for the most part, but have the occasional hiccup. As long as TenZ is on the team, they can beat anyone.
#1 - TSM Wardell
Only three things are certain in life - death, taxes, and Matt “Wardell” Yu using the Operator in Valorant.
Wardell, with a 1.36 KD in First Strike, was able to help his team reach the championship before losing to 100 Thieves. He is the most dangerous Operator user in Valorant, making him an easy pick as an MVP candidate.
As a Jett main, Wardell is able to provide many first bloods for TSM. His ability to put his team in a five-versus-four scenario is unmatched. Opposing teams must allocate so much to deal with Wardell, making him an endless threat, regardless of his fragging.
TSM has been of the most consistent teams in North America thus far. As they continue to compete at a high level, Wardell will continue to be one of the most discussed players in Valorant. The nerfs to the Operator couldn’t stop Wardell, so maybe nothing can. Get ready for plenty of Bladestorm and sniper highlights in the Champions Tour.
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