With Shanghai Masters soon to come, what VCT Americas teams should you be watching out for in Stage 1?

Stage 1 of the VCT Americas 2024 tour has already provided us with some shocking early results, coming off of the heels of a thrilling Masters Madrid. With so much to play for in the coming weeks ahead of Masters Shanghai, here are five VCT Americas teams you will want to watch.

#5: Cloud9

Player to watch: Anthony "vanity" Malaspina

Cloud9 have struggled to find a steady stream of competitive success at the highest level of VALORANT esports, but this current team should have the fanbase as hopeful as ever. Led by long-time player and team captain, Anthony "vanity" Malaspina, the newly-retooled Cloud9 have just found themselves on the better end of a reverse sweep against Leviatán Esports in week 1 of the group stage.

It is just one win, but that was a tough series and one that, after map 1, I think many would have been shocked to see Cloud9 on the winning end of. With new talent still forming together and some much-needed firepower from Francis "OXY" Hoang, Cloud9 is a team to watch. Currently 1-0, they take on Evil Geniuses on April 15.

#4: G2 Esports

Player to watch: Jacob "icy" Lange

Speaking of Evil Geniuses, G2 Esports just managed to beat them in a somewhat decisive week 1 match, starting off on a wild 9-0 run on Icebox. This dominant win comes with huge credit to Jacob "valyn" Batio and Jonah "JonahP" Pulice, who both had stellar performances all match long.

However, a player to keep a close eye on for G2 moving forward will be their brand-new addition, the 20-year-old Jacob "icy" Lange. Icy struggled on Icebox while playing Gekko, but was able to contribute nicely while on the Raze in map 1 (Lotus). Much like Cloud9's new additions, icy will be one to keep a close eye on ahead of G2's week 2 matchup against 0-1 100Thieves.

Players on team Leviatán Esports (Image via Leviatán Esports)
Players on team Leviatán Esports (Image via Leviatán Esports)

#3: Leviatán Esports

Player to watch: Ian "tex" Botsch

Leviatán are the only team on this list without a win so far, and that won't get any easier as they stumble into a week 2 matchup against a Sentinels team that is riding high. Yet, somehow, this Leviatán team is just impossible to ignore. Brimming with star power, experience, and proven talent, this should be a team contending for majors.

If this tide is to shift in their favor, look to Ian "tex" Botsch to very much fuel the fire. The former NRG and Guard player finds himself on his best team yet alongside Erick "aspas" Santos and company, and tex has been finding his footing. If they can somehow steal a win from Sentinels, perhaps catching them in a spot of complacency, Leviatán could be back in the drivers seat heading towards Masters Shanghai.

#2: NRG

Player to watch: Ethan "Ethan" Arnold

NRG looked terrifying in their crushing week 1 win against LOUD, in what was a complete team win. Credit has to go to veteran shotcaller Ethan "Ethan" Arnold, who joined NRG alongside Jimmy "Marved" Nguyen and Max "Demon1" Mazanov late last year.

This new core for NRG should have fans excited and should raise expectations for what they can achieve in VCT Americas 2024. They'll look to keep the positive momentum rolling in their week 2 matchup against winless FURIA Esports.

Players on team Sentinels (Image via Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Players on team Sentinels (Image via Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

#1: Sentinels

Player to watch: Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro

In all of the pre-Madrid chaos that involved Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro and Bryan "pANcada" Luna, it's hard not to assign value to what Zellsis has brought to the team. And, at least through one week, the team's success with him on board looks like it isn't just a flash in the pan.

It will be interesting to see if and how this team can fuel their competitive fire in the long term, which also makes them that much more interesting to watch. As mentioned previously, they'll take on an angry Leviatán team in week 2 that is looking to rebound after a tough loss.

VCT Americas 2024 kicks back off on April 13 with G2 versus 100Thieves and Sentinels vs Leviatán Esports. For all of your VCT coverage, make sure to keep an eye on everything we have coming here at esports.gg.

Sign up to receive more Valorant content from our weekly email

Create account
next article