Head of Valorant Esports Leo Faria explains why Riot Games will not allow The Guard’s roster to participate under other team banner and more on the situation
Riot Games recently announced the disqualification of The Guard from VCT Americas 2024 due to the organization’s failure “to meet the deadline to agree to the Team Participation Agreement.” This was a short announcement, and to explain it further, Valorant’s Head of Esports, Leo Faria, talked about the situation in detail on X (formerly Twitter).
Hey everyone. This situation is very unfortunate and none of us wanted this outcome. We designed Ascension hoping to see new teams and players joining our International Leagues every year, and it’s disheartening to see this happening in year one. That said, I want to share some… https://t.co/pdXWDVtP2Z
— Leo Faria (@lhfaria) August 30, 2023
Why Can't The Guard Participate in VCT Americas 2024?
In the long post, Leo Faria started by explaining why The Guard failed to secure the spot in VCT Americas 2024 even after winning the Americas Ascension event, which promises to give the team VCT slots for 2024 and 2025.
According to the Head of Valorant Esports, every Ascension team signed the Team Participation Agreement before the tournament began, and those signatures were held in escrow, referring to a legal holding of documents that are released when the predetermined conditions are met.
Credit: Leo Faria via X
“Immediately after the conclusion of Ascension, we started the onboarding process with the three winning teams, expecting them to release their signature from escrow to finalize their promotion to the International Leagues.” – Faria explained, adding, “Unfortunately this was never completed by The Guard, and after two months and several follow-ups, we had to make a very hard decision in order to not compromise the start of the season next year.”
To sum it up, The Guard failed to release their signature that would have finalized them as one of the VCT Americas contenders. This mismanagement from the organization has led the Americas Ascension winners to miss their chance to compete in the Tier 1 scene after their long and tough journey in the Challengers League this year.
I am devastated. All the hard work and sacrifices we have went through as a team just to have it stripped away from us through Twitter… At the end of the day some things in life are truly out of your control and it is unfair but to be punished for putting my heart and soul into…
— GUARD neT (@neT_valorant) August 29, 2023
Not Allowing The Guard Players to Compete Under Another Organization
One of the immediate solutions to this situation was to allow the roster of The Guard to compete under a different organization, according to prominent figures of Valorant Esports. Even the Head of Valorant Esports mentioned considering this path. However, this is not allowed, according to Faria.
i might be broke but i'd sign these players if it means them getting to play in franchising and keep the spot they earned
— DSG Toast (@DisguisedToast) August 29, 2023
Faria explained that a free-agent team (a squad with no organization backing it) making it to an international league would naturally mean that the members of the group would find an organization. However, The Guard was already signed under an organization and became free agents afterward. “Allowing an acquisition by a different organization now opens the door for slots in the VCT to be sold, which we do not allow.” – Leo stated.
Why Not Allow M80 to Compete In The Guard’s Place?
According to many, another option to this dilemma was letting M80 play in VCT Americas 2024 instead of The Guard, as they were the runner-ups of Ascension Americas and had a dominant Challengers run in North America.
LET THE PLAYERS KEEP THE SLOT AND ALLOW SOMEONE TO BUY THEIR CONTRACTS+FRANCHISE FEES
OR LET M80 GO AS RUNNER UP
MAKE THE LAST YEAR OF MY LIFE NOT A WASTE
— ludwig (@LudwigAhgren) August 29, 2023
This solution was also denied by Riot Games as, according to Faria, it defeats the purpose of Ascension – “The point of Ascension is to reward performance, and as great and talented as M80 is, qualifying a team that didn’t win the tournament defeats that purpose. Promotion is earned in-game, not out of it.”
Will Riot Games Reconsider the Solutions?
After Leo Faria’s explanation, many Esports figures and players were still not happy with the decision. Goldenboy, Valorant’s prominent host, hoped for reconsideration from Riot so the players could compete after rightfully gaining their spot.
While I appreciate the detailed response what you said about "five friends making it" truly applies here and yes the circumstances are different but they earned the chance to compete together.
I really hope this gets reconsidered for the sake of the players and nothing else.
— Goldenboy 🇵🇷 (@GoldenboyFTW) August 30, 2023
The Guard’s coach, Josh “JoshRT” Lee, asked the Head of Esports if any exceptions could be made for the players so that they could find a different organization to compete under.
With the Guard ceasing Valorant operations, can an exception be made to allow us to find an organization for the spot?
— GUARD JoshRT (@JoshRTz) August 30, 2023
For now, the announcement from Riot Games stays the same, and we are likely going to see VCT Americas 2024 without the Ascension winners until further notice.