The Big Brand Organizations That Did Not Make VCT 2023 Franchising
Riot Games revealed the 30 teams that made it into the three Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2023 leagues as part of the new franchising. All 30 teams deserved a spot but the community quickly huddled around to talk about the ones that did not make the cut. Some of the most prominent esports organizations and brands did not make it into the VCT 2023 franchising despite being successful both in the industry and in Valorant esports.
However, Riot stated that the selection process for the VCT 2023 season was incredibly competitive and that it spanned months altogether. It included a written application, in-depth interviews, and financial reviews. It made it clear that it was looking for partners who shared similar visions and that past competitive performance was not a key consideration.
Notably, the circuit is categorized into three leagues – Americas, Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), and the Pacific. The thirty teams that made it to the VCT 2023 franchising are as follows:
The bigger buzz around the VCT 2023 franchising was regarding the teams that failed to make it to the top league of Valorant esports. Notably, of the six international Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) tournament winners in 2021 and 2022, only two winning organizations made it into the thirty selected teams.
Top teams that did not make it to VCT 2023 franchising
OpTic Gaming is considered one of the most consistent teams to have represented North America after coming out on top at all VCT international events. OpTic finished top three in all three international VCT events in 2022. OpTic was a part of three popular matches in the recently concluded Valorant Champions 2022, making the team one of the most famous international Valorant rosters. While Victor "Victor" Wong and Austin "crashies" Roberts announced that they were unrestricted free agents, Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker and Pujan "FNS" Mehta stated that they are restricted free agents.
Team SoloMid (TSM)
TSM has been associated with Riot Games ever since the inception of League of Legends esports in North America. However, this did not stop Riot from denying the team a seat at the top of the Valorant esports ecosystem. The team has undergone turbulent times and owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh is serving Riot’s probation currently. However, TSM stated that it was here to stay and that it would bounce back stronger.
G2 Esports is another big brand that is not a part of the VCT 2023 season. G2 was reportedly offered a spot to play in the Americas circuit in 2023 but sources and reports stated that Riot Games went back on its decision because of the controversy of partying with controversial figure Andrew Tate and his initial response to the backlash.
FunPlus Phoenix (FPX)
FunPlus Phoenix (FPX) not making it to the top of the VCT 2023 circuit was a shocker. Notably, FPX won the VCT Masters Stage 2 Copenhagen.
EDward Gaming (EDG)
EDward Gaming (EDG) set the bar high for East Asian teams at Valorant Champions 2022. The team was considered a formidable opponent and many pros named it the “dark horse” of the tournament. Despite a dominant showing, both in its regions and on the international stage, EDG failed to make it to the VCT 2023 season. Notably, no Chinese organization is a part of the Pacific circuit.
XERXIA (XIA) is one of the most prominent teams in the Asia Pacific (APAC) league of Valorant esports. The team has been a part of the scene since 2021 but has failed to make it to the VCT 2023 franchising. Notably, the team is a familiar presence in international competitions and is fairly consistent.
Some of the other big brand organizations that did not make it to the VCT 2023 franchising include ACEND, XSET, Ninjas in Pyjamas, The Guard, and BOOM Esports.