Teams qualified for the EMEA 2023 Play-Ins tournament
The introduction of the three Major Leagues has forced Riot Games to review the overall format of the Valorant Champions Tour. All the new features include the Ascension tournament, a promotional competition leading to the highest level. While this competition exists in every region, the one in the EMEA zone is a little special. One of the ten participating teams earns its place through the Play-Ins, an intermediate qualifying tournament.
The group stage matches are scheduled for 22nd and 23rd June, while the play-off stage will take place on 26th and 27th June. You can find more information about the schedule in our article dedicated to the Ascension EMEA format.
You can follow some of the matches on the Twitch channel Valorant France.
The Play-Ins tournament, like Ascension, is reserved for teams from the Valorant Challengers Leagues. This stage brings together the nine teams that made it to the second place in their respective leagues. The rankings were determined by the total of VCL points acquired at the end of the two splits of the 2023 season.
Breakdown by group
For this stage, The nine teams are divided into three distinct groups. At the end of the first phase, the best teams in each group automatically reach the playoffs. Those finishing second will meet in a new phase of matches to determine the fourth team selected for the play-offs. Here is the composition of groups A, B and C:
- Group A - GMT Esports, Team RA'AD and Fokus
- Group B - MOUZ, GTZ Esports and S2G Esports
- Group C - Team Queso, Mandatory and Enterprise Esports
Presentation of the teams
HyP - Goaster - TheBigFiz - kAdavra - AKUMAAAAA
Mandatory - Launched in 2022, the Mandatory team has gone from strength to strength. After finishing eighth in Split 1 of the VRL France last year, they reached the play-offs the following year. HyP and his teammates then finished the season on a high by winning the Lyon Esport, and the French Cup. More recently, the team took part in the VCL France: Revolution splits. Our players have become some of the best in France and achieved second in the final twice. With their experience at this level of the competition, they are one of the teams to watch in these Play-Ins.
YaBoiLewis - JUGi - Lime - KPZET - WADDLE
FOKUS - Last year, the FOKUS players took part in the VRL DACH league, after which they secured their place in the VCT 2022 by winning the Challengers Promotion EMEA. More recently, the new team entered the VCL Northern Europe. Although Apeks gave them a hard time and emerged as the better team, Fokus did not lose out: the team finished second twice, with overall good performances. To achieve such results, it benefits from the experience of some of its players, who have played for other top European teams such as Heet and Angry Titans. They are definitely not to be underestimated!
al0rante - Obnoks - murii - Filu - iluri
MOUZ - The MOUZ team made its debut on the Valorant stage last January for the first edition of the VRL DACH: Evolution. Although they came out on top in both Split 1 and Split 2 of the regular season, they missed out on both finals, finishing third and then fourth. For this team, the 2023 season began with an air of déjà vu: a controlled regular season and inconclusive playoffs. During the second split, al0rante and his allies once again managed to qualify for the play-offs. This time, the story was a little different, as the players avoided early elimination and earned their place in the Final. Even if they didn't win this last duel, they were able to put a question mark over CGN Esports, the reigning champions, and put up a good fight.
pAura - russ - RieNs - reazy - lurzy0y0
S2G Esports - The Turkish organisation achieved good results over the two regular seasons, with a fine improvement between the two Splits, as they climbed from fourth to second place. They even won the final of the first Split.
This roster is made up of experienced players, including pAura and russ, who both took part in the first edition of the Valorant Champions Tour, along with Team Heretics and SuperMassive Blaze. Despite this, they are not invincible and were even surprised by Digital Atheletics in the second final of the season.
Cantzer - alexiiik - MaFiN - Minny - TBD
Enterprise Esports - Some of the teams in the Play-Ins only made their debut on the Valorant stage in 2022. That's not the case for Enterprise Esports, which is undoubtedly one of the oldest teams in the tournament. In fact, it entered the competition back in September 2020 and even took part in Europe's First Strike that same year. Over the years, its roster has changed several times, and at the time of writing this article, it has just four members... The organisation will therefore have to find a replacement for the Play-Ins. In the meantime, Enterprise Esports still has some very good players, as Cantzer and his teammates reached the final of each of the two VCL East splits, with decent performances in the regular seasons.
Depyro - Shniider - Sand - neveR - falltw
Team RA'AD - With four of the six players having played together since 2021, this roster has had time to test itself and progress. Their presence in this tournament is no accident... far from it. A second place at the Strike Arabia Grand Finals, a first place at the Insomnia Gaming Festival, Split 1 of the VRL MENA in the Levant & North Africa sub-region and the RUSH Gaming Festival. Team RA'AD has a string of excellent performances to its name. Most recently, it established its dominance by winning both segments of the 2023 season and even finished second in the region's final tournament. They're strong contenders.
starkk - OLIZERA - k1zpawn - RobbieBk - kamo
GTZ Esports - This team is essentially made up of former Dsyre players, the latter having released its roster in December 2022. Together, starkk, OLIZERA, RobbieBk and Kamo had won the DACH league off-season tournament in 2022. From Germany, they moved to Portugal in 2023. In this new regional league, they made sparks fly. At the end of the first regular season, they had 12 wins and just 2 defeats, and did even better in the next: 13 wins and just one defeat. Despite the fact that they fell in final twice, they are a very good side to keep a close eye on.
Bipo - HearthBeat - N A I S - AFoxx - marteen
GMT Esports - This organisation also launched into the competition a little while ago, signing up its first team in December 2020. The following year, the team took part in the Valorant Champions, and the roster in place at the time even reached the Phase 1 Masters. If this name sounds familiar, it's hardly surprising. Much more recently, GMT Esports' new representatives took part in the Lyon Esport event. In fact, they lost out to Mandatory in the Final of the upper bracket. This year, it was competing in the brand new Italian VCL, and to say the least, it got some very good results: a top 1 in Split 1 and a second place in the next one.
UNFAKE - neptuNo - H1ber - PoPiFresH - lowel
Team Queso - In the Spanish VCL, pole position was hotly contested throughout the 2023 season. Among the teams at the top were Team Queso, a fine evolution for a team that failed to achieve convincing results in the VRL the previous year. And there's more, UNFAKE, neptuNo, H1ber, lowel and PoPiFresH dominated the regular season in the first split and put up a good fight in the second. Nevertheless, Case Esports reigns supreme in this League, and Team Queso players had to be content with second place in both Finals.