VCT 2024 China Kickoff Predictions: Favorites, Dark Horses & Early Exits

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VCT 2024 China Kickoff Predictions: Favorites, Dark Horses & Early Exits

Check out our VCT 2024 China Kickoff predictions to know about the favorites and those who might get eliminated early.


Valorant made its official debut in China last year, and the world witnessed some exceptional talents and exciting teams emerge from the scene. To top it off, Valorant China has completely integrated into the VCT circuit this year, having its own regional league featuring 11 partnered teams in total. The League's first event, VCT 2024 China Kickoff, is scheduled to begin on 22 February 2024 at the Valo Arena venue in Shanghai.

Despite the relatively brief time in the limelight, the Valorant teams from China have already proved their mettle with their exceptional results last season. This time around, with the introduction of franchising, the teams are more dedicated than ever. Hence, get ready for an action-packed kickoff event, and if you need help with your China Kickoff predictions, dive into the details below.

VCT 2024 China Kickoff Predictions: Winner

The breakout team of 2023, EDward Gaming, is the undisputed pick as the favorite to win the VCT 2024 China Kickoff.

EDward Gaming

  • Guo “Haodong” Haodong
  • Wan “CHICHOO” Shunzhi
  • Wang “nobody” Senxu
  • Zheng “ZmjjKK” Yongkang
  • Zhang “Smoggy” Zhao
  • Tang “Muggle” Shijun (Coach)
  • Lo “AfteR” Wen-hsin (Substitute)

EDward Gaming hit the Valorant world by storm last season. Debuting in the Masters Tokyo, China’s finest shocked everyone by beating heavyweight teams such as T1, NAVI, and LOUD. Later, they also had a fairly decent showing in the Champions event. Although EDG could not go all the way in last year’s global events, they are right now one of the strongest contenders for international titles, considering the increased experience. Securing a top-2 placement in the Kickoff event can be the stepping stone to their ultimate goal of clinching an international trophy.

The EDG roster remains unchanged for this year, and justifiably so. All five players were outstanding last season. However, for VCT 2024, the eyes will undoubtedly be on ZmjjKK (KangKang), the face of Valorant China.

VCT 2024 China Kickoff Predictions: Other Favorites

As for the other favorites, we will go with JD Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix.

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JD Gaming

  • Yeung “jkuro” Ho-chung
  • Zhuo “MarT1n” Zhengjie
  • Park “stew” Young-chan
  • Ran “Viva” Lifan
  • Chen “YiHao” Yihao
  • Li “Billyo” Xinyu (Coach)

JD Gaming acquired the roster of Rare Atom for VCT China. Once considered the second-best team behind only EDG, the former Rare Atom lineup consistently secured podium finishes in all official Riot events they entered. Despite their impressive track record, the loss against DRG in the Ascension grand finals denied them qualification for the VCT League. Here is where JD Gaming came in.

Interestingly, JD Gaming opted to acquire only four Rare Atom members, deciding to part ways with the IGL. The role is now entrusted to the newly signed player, jkuro. In our opinion, this minor change in the roster will only strengthen the team. We have a strong hunch that JD Gaming will be one of the best-performing Chinese teams of the season.

FunPlus Phoenix

  • Zhang “AAAAY” Yang
  • Chang “BerLIN” Po-lin
  • Qu “Life” Donghao
  • Liang “Lysoar” Youhao
  • Kale “autumn” Dunne
  • Deng “NaThanD” Senqiao (Coach)

In China, if there's a team that can match EDG's raw firepower and tactical prowess, it's FunPlus Phoenix. Previously a prominent org from EMEA, FPX joined the franchise league as a partnered team from China. Being a team with an International trophy in the cabinet already, expectations were high for them. However, BerLIN and Co couldn’t live up to the expectations during the 2023 VCT season.

The newest addition of Life to the roster is seen by the pundits as a huge move. The former Attack Soul Esports player was one of the best-performing players in China last season. With this renewed roster, it would be a massive surprise if we do not see FPX at least get a podium finish in the VCT 2024 China Kickoff.

VCT 2024 China Kickoff Predictions: Dark Horses

Prepare yourself for some massive upsets caused by the following underdog teams:

Dragon Ranger Gaming

https://x.com/valesports_cn/status/1741076144840118508?s=20

  • Shao “Nicc” Yi-qun
  • Chen “TvirusLuke” Ching
  • Ilya “vo0kashu” Ushakov
  • He “WudiYuChEn” Cai
  • Wei “Dingwei” Ding-wei
  • Tang “TZH” Zhehao
  • Huang “LT” Biaohong (Coach)

During the VCT China Ascension in 2023, Dragon Ranger Gaming (DRG) were far from being the favorite. However, to everyone's surprise, DRG not only reached the finals but also beat a team of Rare Atom’s (Current JD Gaming) stature. It sent a message that DRG are no pushovers. They absolutely earned their right to play in the big-boy League through their performance.

Despite the successful ascension run, DRG were forced to change the roster as they couldn’t keep both the import players of their squad. They chose to let go of Zhi Jun “Zeno” Yu and kept the Russian sentinel-main vo0kashu. In addition to that, the Ascension winners have found a new 5th in the former FPX player, THZ.

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DRG might not have the best H2H record against most teams on this list, but if their Ascension win proves one thing, it is that they can beat any opponent on a good day.

Bilibili Gaming

  • Yang “B3Ar” Zhanxiong
  • Wang “whz” Haozhe
  • Zhong “Biank” Jian Fei
  • Liu “Knight” Yuxiang
  • Wang “yosemite” Lei
  • Lu “Levius” Yinzhong (Substitute)
  • Wang “JeXeN” Linxiao (Coach)

Bilibili Gaming first made a splash by qualifying for Masters Tokyo and delivering exciting matches. While their global impact may not match that of EDward Gaming, they showcased a respectable performance on the international stage last year. Their win against NRG Esports was considered one of the season's biggest upsets.

For the 2024 season, Bilibili brought one single yet very significant change. They signed B3Ar from NTER to replace the former IGL, rin, as the new in-game leader of the team. Under B3Ar's leadership, we anticipate Bilibili Gaming causing some big upsets in this upcoming event.

VCT 2024 China Kickoff Predictions: Early Exits

The two teams we predict to get eliminated early are TYLOO and Nova Esports.

TYLOO

  • Zhang “hfmi0dzjc9z7” Juncheng
  • Zhang “LuoK1ng” Zhanpeng
  • Ding “ninebody” Yi
  • Shi “AakRR” Yekai
  • Cheng “ICE” Wanpeng
  • Sun “slowly” Kelun
  • Zheng “Yiyee” Jiayi (Coach)

Being an extremely popular organization for several other esports, it wasn’t shocking when TYLOO made franchising despite not having the best results in-game. In 2023, they had a few decent showings here and there, like the top 8 placement in the Evolution Series: Act 1, but their season was mostly marred with inconsistency. If the new signing of hfmi does not bear fruit, TYLOO may find it challenging to make a deep run in the bracket.

Nova Esports

  • Ye “o0o0o” Xiaodong
  • Chen “OBONE” Yijie
  • Song “PangH” Wenhao
  • Wang “cb” Qingchuan
  • Guang “GuanG” Honglin
  • Wang “JeXeN” Linxiao (Coach)

With the roster Nova Esports has fielded for the VCT 2024 China Kickoff, minimal expectations should be placed on their performance in the event. OBONE and the team had a disastrous season the past season, with their only notable achievement being reaching the play-ins stage in Act 1 of the Evolution Series. After that, they could not progress past the open qualifiers for the remainder of the year. By maintaining the same roster for the Kickoff event, Nova Esports may just be setting themselves up for an early exit..

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VCT 2024 China Kickoff Predictions: Favorites, Dark Horses & Early Exits
Najib R
Who knew combining a love for cheesy one-liners and Valorant would lead to a writing career?