Leo Faria, Global Head of VALORANT Esports, has provided Riot Games’ reasoning behind The Guard’s removal from the upcoming VCT season.
VALORANT Champions 2023 just ended and we enter the OFF//SEASON with wild news. The Guard has failed to meet deadlines and requirements by Riot Games to join VCT Americas. This shocked the community, who wanted to know more about the situation. That's when Leo Faria chimed in.
Faria is the Global Head of VALORANT Esports. He's the face that appears in VCT video announcements, and he's been at the center of some criticism with comments around the Tier 2 scene. It appears that criticism will grow with the community reaction to his response about The Guard's situation.
Leo Faria shines light on The Guard missing out on VCT Americas
To recap, The Guard did not agree to the Team Participation Agreement by the deadline set by Riot. Due to this, the team will not be a part of VCT Americas, and the league itself will only field 10 teams. No other team will receive the promotion.
According to players, the initial announcement was the first they were informed of the decision. After battling through Challengers NA and winning the Ascension tournament, the players will now miss out on their dream of VCT competition due to something out of their hands.
You can read all of Faria's comments on X (formerly Twitter). The biggest takeaway are the three options he stated were assessed by himself and Riot Games. Those options are as follows:
- Allow the players to join another organization to enter the VCT
- Promote M80, runners-up of the Ascension tournament
- Not promote any team at all
The third option is the choice they went with. Faria mentioned that this was the choice that would "protect the integrity of the sport." He discussed the possibility of a free agent team making it through Challengers and Ascension, but stated the issue with The Guard differs from that scenario.
"This particular situation is different, since this team played through Challengers and Ascension under The Guard banner, and became free agents after the fact. Allowing an acquisition by a different organization now opens the door for slots in the VCT to be sold, which we do not allow."
The players themselves, along with their coach and many VALORANT community members, have asked Leo Faria for a solution that gives the players what they've earned. And that is a spot in the VCT. At the time of writing, a change.org petition to allow them to compete has over 3,000 signatures.