With the VCT 2024 season fast approaching we wanted to highlight a number of teams to keep an eye on throughout the course of this year.
VCT 2024 is only a month away and and the excitement around the new season is palpable.. There's plenty of excitement about, including three new teams from Challengers and the introduction of China to the mix. A new year brings a new set of challenges, faces, and future clashes of VALORANT professionals. But who are the faces to know among the VCT 2024 teams?
Here are a few teams that are worth keeping an eye on throughout VCT 2024 across all four major leagues.
Teams to watch for VCT 2024
VCT EMEA - FNATIC
Despite failing to claim the Champions crown in 2023, FNATIC remain one of the strongest teams in the world right now. Though they have not made any major changes to their playing personnel--aside from releasing their sub player Maks "Kamyk" Rychlewski--there has been a reshuffle in the coaching department. Former Gen.G coach Chris "Elmapuddy" Tebbit took up the mantle of Head Coach and Jacob "Mini" Harris stepped down to Assistant Coach, despite initially leaving the organization in September.
They had a relatively successful off-season campaign which saw them return to Tokyo, the site of their Masters triumph last season. There they took home the Red Bull Home Ground crown after defeating the likes of DRX and Cloud9.
Though the competition has definitely improved across the board this season, not just in EMEA, FNATIC's continued success during the off-season should provide their fans with plenty of encouragement for 2024.
VCT 2024 teams EMEA - Natus Vincere
NAVI did not have the best of showings in the 2023 season. Despite being one of the more consistent performers across the EMEA league, they struggled to make much of an impact on the international stage. Especially when you compare it to their performances in the 2022 season. So, how have NAVI gone about addressing their issues?
By bringing back their star duelist Ardiis from his year-long sabbatical with NRG.
Like Fnatic, their participation in the VALORANT off-season has been relatively quiet, with their only major appearance being at Riot Games ONE in Japan. Only time will tell whether the decision to bring Ardiis back will allow NAVI to once again become the super team many expected them to be last season.
But with the way some of the other EMEA teams have gone about business in the off-season, The team shouldn't run into too much competition within its conference.
VCT EMEA - FUT Esports
FUT Esports made history by being the first Turkish team to reach a major international VALORANT tournament in the VCT. Now, FUT look to be going one step further heading into VCT 2024 as they have made some big changes to their roster. The first being the release of Buğra "Mojj" Kiraz as well as their star duelist Konuralp "qw1" Şahin from the main lineup.
In exchange for qw1, FUT were able to acquire the services of Eray "yetujay" Budak from Fire Flux Esports. And to top off a productive off-season, the Turkish side also managed to bring in former World Champion Mehmet "cNed" Yağız İpek--let go by NAVI shortly after the conclusion of VCT 2023.
With cNed once again playing for a Turkish team and an injection of young talent, FUT Esports have been one of the standout teams during the off-season. They Participated in both the Red Bull Home Ground event in Tokyo as well Convergence 2023, the latter of which they won. The team is no longer a dark horse looking up at the big boys. Rather, they are now serious contenders in a league brimming with talent.
VCT Americas - Leviatán
When it comes to teams making big changes at the end of a season, few teams have done better business than Leviatán. The LATAM side got the ball rolling in a big way during the off-season as they managed to acquire the services of former world champion Erick "Aspas" Santos from LOUD as well as Tex from The Guard. This led to the release of longtime Leviatán players Tacolilla and Shyy. But given what they managed to add to their roster, it already seems as though they were worthwhile sacrifices.
Many fans and experts were quick to heap plenty of praise upon Leviatán following the signing of Aspas to become the new top dog in the Americas league. And they have certainly been proving themselves capable of living up to those expectations through their off-season exploits. But will they be able to rise to the challenge once the real games start?
VCT Americas - NRG Esports
Things had been pretty quiet for NRG throughout much of the off-season. Following their shockingly early exit at Champions 2023, the organization opted to let go of the majority of their roster. With Ardiis being shipped back to Europe while FNS and s0m were left to explore their options elsewhere. Despite holding on to Crashies and Victor, NRG left themselves with a gigantic hole to fill, with fans and neutrals left to wonder who would be stepping up to the plate. The organization soon presented said fans with a couple of early Christmas presents on December 23.
The first gift came in the form of Jimmy "Marved" Nguyen, who rejoined his former OpTic Gaming teammates following a brief stint on Sentinels. But the biggest part of this Christmas bundle was undoubtedly the signing of World Champions Max "Demon1" Mazanov and Ethan "Ethan" Arnold from Evil Geniuses. This makes them one of the most dangerous looking rosters on paper heading into the 2024 season.
VCT Pacific - Paper Rex
Paper Rex had quite an amazing year to kick off the franchise era. Not only did they win the 2023 Pacific League title, but they also pulled off a Top 3 finish at Masters Tokyo and were the runners-up at Champions LA. The former of which they had to play with a substitute player. However, they also had to make some changes to their roster for the 2024 season, as their main duelist Wang "Jinggg" Jing Jie has left the team to complete his mandatory military service. In order to fill the void left by the explosive duelist, Paper Rex have signed Cahya "Monyet" Nugraha from Global Esports.
Their off-season tournament performances haven't been anything to write home about, despite finishing second in the AfreecaTV VALORANT League. But if last season is anything to go by, then we can likely expect another slow start of sorts for Paper Rex in the 2024 Pacific season. Followed by an explosive run of form which should propel towards competing for more titles this year. As has become the Paper Rex way of late.
VCT Pacific - DRX
For the first time in the history of the VCT, DRX have made a huge roster change. Following their disappointing finish at Champions 2023 and a string of poor results in the off-season, DRX have since designated Goo "RB" Sang-Min and Kim "Zest" Ki-seok as restricted free agents. Putting an end to a core team that has been together for the best part of three years.
This in turn means that DRX will be turning to their young guns in an attempt to improve their fortunes internationally. With Jung "Foxy9" Jae-sung being moved back into the starting roster while also promoting their new man Cho "Flashback" Min-hyuk. It is unclear whether or not these changes will prove to be beneficial in the long run. But at first glance, these changes could spell the end of DRX's dominance within the Pacific region for the time being.
VCT 2024 teams, China - EDward Gaming
EDward Gaming were, without question, one of the standout teams from the 2023 VCT season. Their exploits last season, particularly those of their star duelist KangKang, helped to put Chinese VALORANT on the map in ways which very few were expecting.
Now that China have been given their own respective league in the franchise model, along with Shanghai being named as one of the host cities for Masters this year, the expectations for EDG to deliver success will be that much greater. Whether they will be able to deliver on those expectations remains to be seen.
For now, we can all look forward to watching KangKang's Operator skills on full display once more in the VCT.
Stay tuned to esports.gg for esports news and VCT 2024 information.