There are three players, one from each Valorant Champions Tour region, that you can expect to make a statement by the time 2023 ends.
There's no doubt that 2022 was the biggest year Valorant has seen thus far. It is also safe to say that the upcoming year could easily top it. We are entering the partnered era of the esport with a new competitive system and higher stakes. The 2023 Valorant Champions Tour will give players more exposure and more to accomplish.
There are thirty teams across three regions that will battle on a regional and global scale. There are Valorant players with the opportunity of a lifetime entering 2023. Here is one from each region to watch out for during the next VCT season. They'll be the ones setting the bar.
Son "xeta" Seon-ho moved from Cloud9 to T1 after a trade in May. T1 then later announced its exit from North American Valorant as it secured a partnered slot in the Pacific league. He was an incredible player during his time with Cloud9 and has returned to Korea to continue being the backbone of a Tier 1 organization.
He will more than likely stay in the role of an Initiator, where he often plays Sova with a lifetime K/D of 1.20. There competition in the Pacific, and VCT as a whole, will be fierce, but xeta is no stranger to international Valorant. Watch for him to help his team in the stickiest of situations and propel them to success.
There's a mass of talent in EMEA. Since Valorant's inception, the game has boomed in that part of the world and given way to an incredible list of players. There is one player in particular that has a lot to prove coming into 2023. And prove he will. He is a former world champion after all.
Mehmet "cNed" İpek was a megastar on Acend. Then the Jett nerfs happened and he fell behind with the emergence of Chamber. Now, he slots in with Natus Vincere and all of the former FPX squad, minus Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks. The team has been performing well, but it has been quite some time since cNed was in the spotlight. That is where he belongs and he'll find his way back there soon enough.
Obvious answers for the Americas portion of the 2023 VCT would be the likes of Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker or Matthew "Cryocells" Panganiban, especially after the recent Red Bull Home Ground. There's an Evil Geniuses player who will surprise the entire scene, though. That is Corbin "C0M" Lee.
From his time on Complexity Gaming to his unstoppable run with Akrew, C0M has been consistent across all tiers of competitive Valorant. In the new year, he'll have the chance to show what he's made of against the best of the best. With support from the rest of EG, C0M will have a huge year. You heard it hear first.