The Guard are the most exciting team in North American Valorant. The impressive 2-1 win over XSET improved their record to 3-0, placing them atop Group A of VCT North American Challengers.

For most, it’s the emergence of Trent “trent” Cairns on the initiator role that has the Valorant world set ablaze. Trent added another massive performance in the win over XSET, as he currently sits second in average Attack Combat Score (ACS) on primarily Sova. For others, it’s the incredible team cohesion and the utility combinations between Initiators and Duelist player Ha “Sayaplayer” Jeong-woo. Even more, the shot calling from Jacob “valyn” Batio is enabling the individual talent to make plays and these players aren’t disappointing.

“It’s just a matter of the team chemistry,” said trent in a post match interview on what’s working for The Guard. “Me and Jonah as the initiators try and setup Sayaplayer the most to let him frag out. When that happens, he’s always in first and we’re always right behind him trying to be the best teammates that we can”

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Trent’s stats during the VCT NA Challengers group stages (ranks compared to rest of NA)

  • Rounds: 160
  • ACS: 270.3 (2nd)
  • K/D: 1.58 (3rd)
  • KAST%: 83% (3rd)
  • ADR: 176.4 (2nd)

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Ever since the Kroenke Sports & Entertainment brand announced the formation of a new Valorant team, the trajectory for this young roster has pointed straight up. The first few C-tier NSG events The Guard entered in 2021 didn’t go great, finishing outside the top three. Since then, The Guard have seemingly improved every single game, beating many of the tier one North American Valorant teams.

“I feel really good. I think the team is really good. We’ve been putting in so many hours every week. We’ve just been grinding. We’ve had little time but we’ve been putting every single minute we have into it”

The Guard’s momentum is building

The average age on the roster outside Sayaplayer is 18, making them one of the youngest teams in the group stages. It’s a roster constructed with sheer mechanical prowess in names like trent, valyn, and Michael “neT” Bernet. The team also has two experienced players like former Overwatch League pro Sayaplayer and Jonah “JonahP” Pulice anchoring. 

Furthermore, the 3-0 start has the esports world buzzing after the infamous 13-0 win on Haven over 100 Thieves and now beating one of the group favorites in XSET rather handily. The community has officially taken notice of The Guard and commentator Sean Gares thinks they’ll become a mainstay in North America

“I can’t get enough of this team. They’re just so fun to watch,”

Sean Gares

The Guard play Evil Geniuses on March 4th and wrap-up the group stages with the prohibitive favorite Cloud 9 on March 11th.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Valorant news and updates.

Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| 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