LOCK//IN São Paulo: update on Americas teams
All teams from EMEA, Americas and Pacific regions will be brought together at LOCK//IN São Paulo to open the competitive season. In order to get to know the different structures that will be present, we thought it necessary to take a look at each of them. This time, we are interested in the American teams.
Despite a slow start in 2021, the American region has done well in 2022. This was due in part to the explosion of Brazilian teams that proved to be formidable, even winning the 2022 World Championship.
Known for their aggressive play, American teams tend to emphasise individual skill. With an increasingly offensive meta, the Americans start with an advantage over the EMEA and Pacific teams.
The NA teams
100 Thieves, a well established organisation in the esports scene, launched its team at the beginning of Valorant. The team had a promising start before a difficult time, failing to reach the Valorant Champions 2021. But the team bounced back and qualified for Champions 2022. Their journey there was short-lived, however.
In order to prepare for 2023, the team has recruited Cryocells. This Operator player proved himself during the last off-season tournament. He joins Asuna, star player who has been with the team since its inception, and the rest of the roster was assembled during 2022. With this new addition, 100 Thieves will be able to try its luck again.
First opponent : EDward Gaming - 24th February
Cloud9 is one of the most important structures in North America. From 2021, they entered the VCT circuit and managed to reach the Valorant Champions. However, they were eliminated by Team Liquid at the semi-final stage. The team struggled to maintain its performance in the 2022 VCT.
During the off-season, the structure acquired three renowned players: Zellsis, qpert and especially yay. The latter played in the final of the Valorant Champions for OpTic Gaming in 2022. However, he will have to adapt to the nerf of his agent of choice: Chamber. In the meantime, Cloud9 changed headcoach mCe. In other words, the team wants to give itself the means to succeed in 2023.
First opponent : Paper Rex - 15th February
After a very poor performance at the VCT 2021, Evil Geniuses decided to revise its team to tackle the next edition. Despite the integration of 4 new players, the results were not there and Evil Geniuses remained at the bottom of the Challengers in 2022.
As a result of these numerous setbacks, EG continued to add new recruits to its team without losing any of its regular players. Thus, we have seen Ethan, BcJ, Demon1 and ScrewFace join the team, now led by Boostio. Evil Geniuses is ultimately the team with the most players in the LOCK//IN, along with Global Esports.
As the team has not participated in any tournaments since these additions, EG leaves it unclear which roster it will present at LOCK//IN. A strategy that may pay off if it offers versatility necessary to adapt to each opponent.
First opponent : Team Heretics - 15th February
Second Brazilian esport structure to be franchised, FURIA Esports started its journey during the VCT 2021. After a very good start with a qualification for the Valorant Champions, the team failed to make it out of the group stages. They qualified for the group stages of the Valorant Champions 2022, but failed in playoffs.
Following the departure of some players, FURIA has recruited mwzera and kon4n, two promising young players. The LOCK//IN will be the opportunity for this 100% Brazilian line-up to test themselves during an international competition.
First opponent : T1 - 25th February
Created at the beginning of 2021, this Argentinian-Chilean team has had a very good run to reach the Valorant Champions of that year. Finishing at the gates of the final, KRÜ Esports has proven to be one of the best teams in the world.
Not wanting to stop there, the team re-entered the VCT the following year. Not without difficulty, the team eventually qualified for the Valorant Champions 2022. However, they were unable to repeat their 2021 achievement and KRÜ Esports was eliminated before reaching the playoffs.
Since then, KRÜ Esports has recruited 4 new players to join Klaus, the team captain, and NagZ, a player who has been there since the beginning. If their results at the Red Bull Home Ground #3 are anything to go by, the team is well on its way to this LOCK//IN... at least if they can get past their first opponents, NaVi.
First opponent Natus Vincere - 22nd February
Second Argentine and Chilean team of the tournament, Leviatán had a complicated start in VCT 2021. It was in 2022 that the team shone against its rival: KRÜ Esports. This achievement allowed the team to qualify for the Valorant Champions 2022. After dominating the group stage, they eventually fell to the eventual title holders LOUD.
Following this defeat and the departure of some players, Leviatán recruited 3 new elements in the team, including the current captain Nozwerr and some of his former adversaries: kesnit and Mazino. Latest, Leviatán won again against KRÜ Esports and MIBR, a promising result for the future. Nevertheless, the LOCK//IN will be at a much higher level than in the South American league, Leviatán will have to be on guard against being knocked out of the tournament too easily.
First opponent : ZETA DIVISION - 23rd February
World Champions Loud are of course part of the LOCK//IN São Paulo. They are of course the favourite team in this early season tournament, especially as they are playing at home.
In less than a year, this team has established itself on the Brazilian scene by winning the Challengers and finishing 2nd at the Reykajavík Masters, an impressive performance for a young structure. Despite a poor performance at the Copenhagen Masters, LOUD beat its opponents one by one in the Valorant Champions 2022 until winning the title.
During the off-season, the team had to deal with the departure of two of their players to Sentinels. This is why saadhak, captain and the only Argentine in the group, aspas and Less welcomed cauanzin and tyuz, two promising young people.
This new Argentine-Brazilian team will be able to show the full extent of its new talent at home and prove that it remains the best team in the world.
First opponent : Gen. G - 14th February
Other young Brazilian team, MIBR has entered the VCT in 2022. Despite a good level, the competition is tough in the eternal land of the future.
To tackle this new season, MIBR has terminated the contracts of three players and recruited four new ones. This is how enz and jzz, the only survivors from the original team, are joined by heat, murizzz, RgLM, TxoziN. It remains to be seen whether or not these changes will pay off.
First opponent : Talon Esports - 15th February
Active since 2020, NRG never really managed to shine and never qualified for the Valorant Champions. By dint of disillusionment, NRG has almost completely overhauled its roster. Five new players have joined s0m, still here since the beginnings of the team and not anyones! NSF, crashies and Victor are three formerOpTic Gaming, finalists of the Valorant Champions 2022, and ardiis, former FunPlus Phoenix player, and thwifo, former T1 player. A strike force not to be underestimated.
First opponent : KOI - 13th February
Sentinels is one of the most popular structures in the US, especially since the recruitment of TenZ and the passage of shroud and ShahZaM in the team.
The team is best known for its performance at the VCT 2021, where everyone thought they were winners. The hiring of TenZ, who came to save the team and win the Masters following the accusations against Sinatraa, then his buyout had made a big splash that year. However, the team was surprised at the Valorant Champions 2021 and has not been able to recapture its former success since. The team even fell off the radar a little in 2022.
However, TenZ remains one of the best players in the world and now has four new recruits for the 2023 season. Sacy and pANcada, two former LOUD players, current world champions, join the team, as do dephh and zekken, two former XSET players. The team has tried to put all the chances on its side for this VCT 2023. It remains to be seen whether what works on paper will work in the LOCK//IN.
First opponent : Fnatic - 24th February