Riot Games Reveal 30 Partnered Teams for VCT 2023

Riot Games has announced the first 30 partnered teams for VCT 2023.
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After months of anticipation, the moment is finally here: the first 30 partnered teams for VCT 2023 and beyond.


VCT 2022 is over, and so is the current format of the Valorant Champions Tour. 2023 marks the debut year of Riot Games' new franchising model, and today, they've revealed the first 30 partnered teams.

Riot Games had three primary determining factors when deciding on which teams that would be partnering in this next phase of Valorant's lifespan:

  1. Organizations that share their values and are committed to supporting the pros in their respective organizations. 
  2. Organizations that have a robust fan base and connection to said fan base via engaging content, community interactions, and 
  3. Organizations that are in this for the long-term and have sustainability (Financial stability, I'd assume). 

The new VCT format will have three different International Leagues: Americas, EMEA, and Pacific. Each League will start with ten partnered teams. Here are the lucky winners of one of 30 partner slots:

Americas

  1. LOUD (VCT 2022 Champions)
  2. 100 Thieves
  3. Sentinels
  4. Cloud9
  5. NRG
  6. Furia
  7. MIBR
  8. Leviatán
  9. Evil Geniuses
  10. KRÜ Esports

EMEA

  1. Fnatic
  2. Team Liquid
  3. Team Vitality
  4. Giants
  5. Team Navi
  6. BBL Esports
  7. KOI
  8. FUT Esports
  9. Karmine Corp
  10. Team Heretics

Pacific

  1. Zeta Division
  2. T1
  3. Detonation Gaming
  4. Gen.G
  5. DRX
  6. Paper Rex
  7. Talon Esports
  8. Rex Regum Qeon
  9. Team Secret
  10. Global Esports

Each League will have four additional slots for non-partnered teams to earn via the upcoming Ascension tournaments until 2028.

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Lots Of Teams That Didn't Make The Cut

I'm sure many of you noticed that many well-known teams did not find themselves one of Riot's first 30 partnered teams. For one, OpTic, the runners-up of VCT Champs 2022, didn't get chosen. OpTic was arguably one of the most consistent Valorant teams of the year and one-half of the top three most viewed matches at Champs this year. 

The NA region overall has a lot of omitted heavy hitters. Of the five top-ranked teams in NA, only one, 100 Thieves, is a partner. FaZe Clan, XSet, OpTic Gaming, and The Guard aren't. The Guard has been incredible this year, and it's a shame they didn't make it.

Remember The Judging Parameters

Many fans are shocked by some of the omissions due to how well some of these teams, like OpTic or The Guard, have performed this year. But Riot Games specifically mentioned that past competitive performance was not a key deciding factor when selecting partners. And while none can deny how well The Guard played this year, they are a very new organization; that no doubt played a role in their not being chosen.

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After Riot Games revealed the entirety of their plans for VCT 2023, specifically the pathway for T2 teams to promote to the partnered Leagues, fans' negative sentiments about the franchising decision started to subside. But now that Riot Games has officially unveiled the 30 partnered teams, those negative sentiments are back. It's finally hitting fans. They now realize that there will not be enough space for every elite Valorant team to compete in Valorant anymore. 

The Most Hectic RosterMania Yet

So, what's next for Valorant in the offseason? Likely the craziest RosterMania in the history of Esports. Partnered teams must submit their first roster to Riot Games in mid-October. They will have until early February of next year to finalize their rosters for the next season. 

Sure, there are 12 additional spots up for grabs, but it makes complete sense for Valorant pros in all three regions to be vying for the same spots on the 30 partnered teams. 

Even if teams have been playing with one another for a while, few current rosters will remain unchanged. Valorant is moving into franchising, and that means securing franchise players. Not only to improve their own chances of winning VCT 2023 but to lower the chances of the competition from doing so. 

Competitive Valorant will look completely different next year. For more reasons than one.

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