LOCK IN São Paulo: EMEA team update
The LOCK IN Brazil will bring together all the teams from the EMEA, Americas and Pacific regions that will participate in the VCT 2023. This is why we wanted to take a look at each of them, as this tournament will be an opportunity to get a first idea of the forces at work. First, let's take a look at the teams from the EMEA region.
If the results of the Valorant Champions 2023 are anything to go by, Europe is the smallest of the three regions. Although it is full of talented players and the forerunner of many strategies, it has not been able to make a difference in recent international matches.
The region is known for its superior teamwork, rather than strong individuals. It generally favours a more constructed style of play, based on retakes and map control, while the meta is becoming more aggressive again with the return of Jett. Will EMEA be able to adapt and live up to this new season?
The EMEA teams
BBL Esports - Fnatic - FUT Esports - Giants - Heretics
Karmine Corp - KOI - Liquid - NaVi - Vitality
Second Turkish franchise team, BBL Esports initially had no reason to be ashamed of its performance compared to its rival FUT Esports. BBL Esports finished second in the first Masters 2021 playing at home. Despite a respectable run, the team did not accumulate enough VCT points to make it to the Champions.
The team suffered another disappointment as they once again failed to qualify for the Champions against Team Liquid in the Last Chance Qualifier.
As a result of these failures, BBL Esports has gradually changed its roster. These changes are partly due to the departure of its captain, pAura, for Team Heretics. The new headliner is therefore SouhcNi, freshly recruited at the beginning of 2023. It remains to be seen how this change in management will affect the team's style at the LOCK//IN.
First opponent : DRX - 14th February
Emblematic structure, Fnatic proved to be as formidable on Valorant as expected. From 2021 onwards, it won the first European Challengers as well as the Masters Reykjavik. The team even made it to the quarter-finals of the Valorant Champions 2021 before losing to KRÜ Esports. The team was just as successful in 2022, until another quarter-final loss at this year's Champions.
To prepare the VCT 2023, Fnatic rebuilt the team around its star player: Boaster. With the recruitment of Leo and Chronicles, two rising European stars, Fnatic is a strong team for the circuit. The new team seems to be living up to its promise, having won the Superdome against Acend, as well as the Riot Games ONE PRO INVITATIONAL. It remains to be seen whether they can finally confirm the test at the 2023 VCT.
First opponent : Sentinels - 24th February
FUT Esports has a revenge to take in 2023. The team won the 2021 VCT by winning the Challengers and the first Masters of the year, but unfortunate circumstances meant that they were unable to compete in the Champions. FUT Esports then failed to qualify for VCT 2022, losing to their rivals BBL Esports. As a result, FUT Esports then moved on to the Turkish VRL where it dominated the entire competition, winning the VRL Finals against Team Vitality.
However, the team is struggling to improve its image on the international stage and is suffering from a series of defeats despite the new recruits. Their defensive style of play is not yet perfected. So we will see if this was a running-in period or a real structural problem.
First opponent : Rex Regum Qeon - 23rd February
Very active at the beginning of the game, Giants participated in many tournaments before the official circuit was set up. Once in the VCT 2021, the team was not at the level to continue in the Challengers and ended up relegated to the VRL Spain.
Since November 2022, the team has created a new roster to compensate for its failures. The Spanish player Fit1nho still remains in the team and is accompanied by teammates freshly recruited last November. Former players at G2 Esports, nukkye and hoody are important assets for this new team. Despite these changes, Giants failed to win the last tournament of the off-season. A worrying result before the start of the VCT 2023.
First opponent : DetonatioN FM - 13th February
The Team Heretics is another team that got off to a great start before going through a real dry period. The team had been winning throughout 2020 and had even managed to finish second in the first ever Valorant Masters in 2021. But since then, the team has been losing. Relegated to VRL Spain, the former leaders are now close to disqualification.
However, the team was invited to participate in VCT 2023. Determined to be successful again, the structure recruited 3 former G2 Esports players who were well known in the early days of Valorant: mixwell, AvovA and keloqz, a French prodigy.
However, this new team did not really impress at the Red Bull Home Ground in December 2022. Let's hope for their sake that it was just a warm-up.
First opponent Evil Genuises - 15th February
After becoming an unmissable organisation in League of Legends, Karmine Corp launched itself on Valorant in the middle of 2022. The team got off to a great start in the VRL France, but quickly ran out of steam as the competition progressed. The team eventually finished third, tied with Mandatory in the Split 2 and fourth in the Lyon Esports, but was still invited to the VCT in 2023.
Faced with this new challenge, the structure had to raise the level of its team. This is why it recruited ScreaM and his brother Nivera, two monsters of skills, as well as xms. We will have to see what this new formation is worth during the LOCK//IN.
First opponent : FunPlus Phoenix - 14th February
KOI is to Spain what Karmine Corp is to France. This structure led by the streamer Ibai and the footballer Gerard Piqué, is still new to Valorant and its results still leave a lot to be desired. After almost being eliminated from the VRL Spain, the team is still in the competition and has even been invited to the VCT 2023.
The structure has changed its entire roster to meet the challenges ahead. Thus, it has recruited, among others, starxo, the first Valorant world champions and Wolfen, Spanish champion in VRL Spain. It can also count on koldamenta, a former player of Acend, G2 Esports and Guild Esports. In a nutshell, KOI is giving itself the means to succeed at the VCT and to make people forget its past defeats.
First opponent : NRG - 13th February
From 2020, Team Liquid quickly participated in the competitive events of Valorant. As one of the best teams in Europe, the structure continued to develop during the VCT 2021 and managed to reach the 4th place in the Reykjavik Masters. After that, the team reached the semi-finals of the VCT 2021.
Team Liquid continued its momentum by participating in the VCT 2022. Despite the departure of Dreamas and L1NK during the year, the team still managed to qualify for the Valorant Champions through the Last Chance Qualifier. However, they did not make it past the playoffs.
During the off-season, Team Liquid has lost its two headliners, as ScreaM and Nivera have left to join Karmine Corp. The team has not played since Champions 2022, except at the Red Bull Home Ground where they lost in 6th place. Will the team be able to get back on track?
First opponent : Team Secret - 22nd February
Until a few months ago, Natus Vincere, aka Na'Vi, was not particularly brilliant on the Valorant scene. The structure has had one setback after another, both in the VCT and in the more minor tournaments.
However, with the departure of FunPlus Phoenix from the EMEA region, Na'Vi was able to get hold of the best players on the continent. As a result, the team now consists of four monsters, ANGE1, Shao, Zyppan and SUYGETSU, joined by none other than cNed, the Turkish prodigy, Valorant world champion in 2021.
It is to a completely different Na'Vi that we now have to deal with. The team has already proved its worth at the G-Loot Valorant Clash and it's likely that it will make a splash at the LOCK//IN.
First opponent : KRÜ Esports - 22nd February
After a disappointing performance at the VCT 2021, Team Vitality had to fall back on the French national league, the Valorant Regional League. Despite this apparent regression, the team took the opportunity to rebuild itself and start again on a good basis. They dominated at this level of the competition until they won the VRL France. With this victory at the French level, the team was able to illustrate itself during the VRL Finals by reaching the final against FUT Esports, another team from LOCK//IN Brazil. The team is now ready to re-enter the VCT in 2023.
Always with BONECOLD and ceNder as a base, the structure seeks to consolidate the team in view of the return to the VCT by recruiting 3 new players; MOLSI, Destrian and Twisten, and the former Fnatic coach, marcus_askildsen.
This new team had the opportunity to try out their skills in the G-Loot Valorant Clash but had to lose to European favourites Na'Vi.
First opponent : Global Esports - 23rd February
Follow the results of the LOCK//IN matches.