Valorant Champions 2023: another chance to shine for ZmjjKK and EDward Gaming
After an unsuccessful attempt last year, ZmjjKK and his comrades of Edward Gaming will be looking to make Valorant history at the Valorant Champions 2023. From the first competitions to international LANs, we take a look back at the crazy adventure of this Chinese team, which was still unknown until recently.
EDward Gaming marks the history of Valorant
We had to wait until 2023 for Riot Games to obtain the agreement of the Chinese government to distribute Valorant in China. However, the Chinese sports scene has existed for several years now, through tournaments such as the Asian Training Tour Invitational and the Huya Pre-Star Weeks.
In 2021, the country's biggest circuit makes its appearance, namely the FGC Valorant Invitational. The competition featured a number of teams, including EDward GamingThey were finalists in the first two editions and winners in the next two. However, victory on Chinese soil did not mean that this team was capable of standing up to the competition's international regulars.
At that time, Riot Games already wanted to give the best Chinese players a chance. With this in mind, the studio is reserving two slots for the country of the almost rising sun in the LCQ East Asia. With EDG having finished top of the FGC circuit, it has obtained its pass for this last-chance tournament.
And so begins a whole new adventure for ZmjjKK and his cohorts. While they were unknown to the pack (or almost), here they are propelled into their first major competition alongside well-known Asian names such as DAMWON Gaming, Northeption and Crazy Raccoon. Faced with the determination of Life, CHICHOO, nobody, ZmjjKK, Smoggy and Haodong, their respective notoriety will not have given them an advantage.
The Chinese came to the end of the On Sla2ers then REJECT to face Northeption in the final of the top bracket. This third match was undoubtedly the most intense of the entire tournament, with both teams giving it their all on Bind. It took no less than forty rounds to decide between them! In the end, it was the EDward Gaming players who came out on top. Next up, in the Grand Final they made short work of On Sla2ersand easily won 3-0.
Thanks to this unexpected and, to say the least, excellent performance, these young players have written their names in the history of Valorant : For the first time, a Chinese team reached the Valorant Champions. Despite all their goodwill and some fine performances, the EDG went home at the end of the group stage, finishing bottom of Group A. After this appearance on the international stage, no one knows when, or even if, the Chinese will have another chance to prove themselves...
ZmjjKK, the rising star
With the establishment of the new league systemRiot Games has created the Lock In Brazil, a major tournament bringing together all the teams selected for the VCT 2023. The competition therefore did not include any teams from China.At least, not at the start. In fact, shortly before the launch of the competition, two new participants were unveiled: EDward Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix. The studio explained this last-minute choice by its desire to professionalise the Chinese scene in the future.
Unfortunately, the adventure came to an early end for the two Chinese representatives. However, it should be noted that EDG manage to shake 100Thievesone of the best teams in the NA region. The reason for this half-hearted success? The CHICHOO/ZmjjKK duo, who proved to be very effective. Nobody knew it yet, but this second name was soon to be at the centre of discussions...
For the Tokyo MastersAll regions, including China, received two slots each. Chinese teams were able to qualify through Act 1 of the FGC Valorant Invitational 2023. EDG came out on top of their group, undefeated in five games, and went on to secure a place in the Grand Final. Although they lost to Attacking Soul Esports, their second-place finish earned them a place in the second international LAN of the season.
Getting through the group phase of the Masters was no easy task. The Chinese had to face NRG, T1 and Natus Vincere. After narrowly losing their opening match to T1, EDG sprang a surprise by eliminating NaVi. This was followed by a stunning revenge victory over their first opponents (13-4, 13-6). Not only was the team in the news because they had managed to defeat the second-best team in the VCT EMEA, but also because ZmjjKK worked miracles with his Jett and Operator...
In the first round of the playoffs, EDward Gaming took on Team Liquid. Although the match ended in defeat, the Chinese did not lose out. Kang Kang shines againfinishing with 68 eliminations and an ACS of 293. What's more, this defeat quickly turned into a historic moment, as they went on to face LOUD to stay in the tournament. It was an exceptional match-up, with the reigning world champions on the brink of elimination and the rookies impressing with their performances. Once again, EDG made Valorant history: David defeated Goliath 2-0.
"He is absolutely incredible"., "We need to talk about ZmjjKK again"., "This guy plays perfectly... As we told you earlier, the pseudonym ZmjjKK kept casters talking and social networks ablaze. Everyone was asking the same question: could the EDG become the first Chinese team to lift an international trophy? The adventure was magical, but all good things must come to an end... The efforts to defeat Paper Rex were not enough; EDG finally bowed out of the competition.
Even if they didn't make it to the podium this time, Smoggy and his mates still hit the nail on the head. They won over the hearts of the spectators and left their names in people's minds. As for the prodigy, he finished the tournament with mind-boggling statisticswith more than 320 eliminations and almost 22 kills per map273 ACS.
Recently, the team won the the China QualifierZmjjKK will be taking part in Valorant Champions 2023. According to Riot Games, ZmjjKK is considered to be one of the players to watch. There's no doubt that this elite sniper won't be there to make up the numbers. We can't wait to see if they can do better than last year, and why not reach the Final!