KOI Esports sign European VALORANT core for VCT 2023
Spanish League of Legends organization, KOI Esports, has made the move to Valorant. Signing a list of the best available European free agents for the upcoming 2023 VCT season.
KOI Esports is one of the final partnered teams to announce a full roster for the upcoming VCT season starting in March 2023. They've been rumored around ostensibly every big-name free agent in Europe, but now we have official confirmation.
General manager, Alberto "tRRini" Royo, has signed a team of former stars, Masters champions, and young star talent from all across Europe. Starting with an obvious fit for a Spanish organization being in-game leader Jose "koldamenta" Luis Aranguren as a defacto team leader. The other names include Masters champion with Gambit Bogdan "sheydos" Naumov, rising star Nikita "trexx" Cherednichenko, and Berkant "Wolfenn" Joshkun.
In-game leader: Koldamenta
Agent Pool: Viper, Omen, Astra
PHOTO VIA COLLIN WOLFF/RIOT GAMES
In terms of the best available IGLs in Europe, no other player has the track record of success and experience as Koldamenta. The 29-year-old Spaniard has elevated every top of rosters. Rosters with star players in the G2 juggernaut squad that broke up in 2021.
Moreover, he took a younger, inexperienced Guild roster with plenty of talent and elevated them to new heights. Finishing top three in Europe and being able to handle the adversity of International competition, Koldamenta is a huge part of Guild's success.
Agent pool: Kay/o, fade, skyye
For the highest skill ceiling on this roster, trexx fits the bill. A player that was massively impressive at VCT Copenhagen with Guild, finishing top 10 in ACS (238.8) and becoming a recognized name alongside sayf and Leo.
His potential is completely untapped and is at the minimum age of 18 years old. KOI landing a player of his caliber at this stage of the process is a find. His work alongside Koldamenta will prove invaluable and he's a face to build around for this franchise.
Agent pool: Kay/o, Skyye, and Fade
On M3C (formerly Gambit), sheydos was the overlooked player. Despite marketed improvement in 2022 from Gambit's successful 2021 campaign, sheydos's impact was often overlooked. When nAts, Chronicle, and the big-name Gambit players took a step back in 2022, sheydos stepped up.
PHOTO VIA COLLIN WOLFF/RIOT GAMES
As a low-risk, high-reward type signing, the move for KOI looks great. sheydos showed an amazing game sense and high-level mechanical skills in 2022. He'll have a larger role on a new team, but he's shown that his ceiling is still remarkably high.
Agent pool: Chamber, Jett
The one signing of a player not coming from an established VCT team. The Bulgarian Duelist will main the Operator role on this team and will come in as a player needing to be integrated into this roster and helped through by coaching and team leaders.
As a player who hopped around the Spanish VLR, he showed great promise in a Chamber meta that suited his play style. The question now becomes can he be the same player in a different meta? Furthermore, how does he respond to the pressure of being a professional and playing on stage?
In closing, KOI Esports will still need to sign a fifth player, but this is a promising start for the Spanish organization.
Blake Van Poucke
Contributor | Twitter @TokyoDown
Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022