If pro teams are late to sign up for a big event, should they be given preference? That’s the question European VALORANT is grappling with right now.

Controversy has erupted in European VALORANT, as several pro teams were late to sign up for the second open qualifier of Stage 1 in the EMEA VCT. 256 slots were filled and teams like G2 Esports, Team BDS, and EXCEL were on the waitlist.

In the end, the pro teams were manually added to the tournament, at the expense of other signups who were kicked out. This has led to a controversy on whether having the best teams play is worth kicking out teams who rightfully signed up first.

In defence of the big teams

At first glance, this looks bad. Teams that rightfully signed up first are being kicked out, and in an open qualifier, all teams should be equal. But with further context, things don’t look quite as bad.

G2 and Team BDS placed 7th and 8th in the ongoing VCT EMEA Closed Qualifier #1, so they have to go through the next open qualifiers. But their last games of the closed qualifier ended just hours before signups closed. When you have a ~2 hour window to signup, late at night, and after a loss, some leniency is understandable.

Further, Riot Europe released a statement on the whole situation:

In the thread, they revealed that, of the teams that were kicked, only one was active and planning to play; the others were pulling out. “This process was not ideal, we’ve reached out to [the] impacted team to apologize and we’re exploring how we can improve for the next Qualifier,” the thread ended.

Pro players weigh in

With various opinions going around in the community – though most were in support of the team that was kicked – pro players have weighed in as well.

One of the potential solutions was simply increasing the amount of teams allowed to play in the next VCT EMEA open qualifier. But it seems like this is all set in stone for now, particularly after the thread from Riot EU.


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Shawn

Shawn "Germanicus" Heerema

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @GermanicusCVIII

A writer from Niagara, Canada, Shawn covers VALORANT, League of Legends, and PUBG. He previously wrote for THESPIKE.GG and is a journalism student at Ryerson University. He has also been accredited press for Worlds 2021 and VALORANT Champions.