100 Thieves Vice President of Esports Jacob “Maelk” Toff-Anderson revealed April 13 that the organization has been interested in fielding another VALORANT roster “from Day 1.”
Riot Games’ first-person shooter title has exploded in popularity since its release almost a year ago. Since then, top esports organizations from around the world have formed VALORANT rosters. Many of them feature retired Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Overwatch professionals in addition to endemic talent and former battle royale specialists. As the scene continues to expand, so has the number of rosters each team operates.
Cloud9 are well known for their two North American VALORANT rosters, Cloud9 White and Cloud9 Blue. They compete jointly in many tournaments, with Cloud9 White also competing in the all-women’s tournaments. Other organizations, like T1, have expanded their VALORANT rosters to regions outside of North America and recently re-established their Academy team.
Issues crop up with with multiple VALORANT rosters
Despite the increasing popularity of running multiple rosters, Anderson shed some light on the process in a post on the 100 Thieves Reddit. This post came off the recent success the 100 Thieves’ VALORANT team saw at the Stage 2 Challengers. 100 Thieves have become one of the best teams in North America after winning First Strike and qualifying for Masters.
“[Adding another roster] has been on our radar from Day 1, and continues to be, but is also a particularly tricky situation to commit to given the current structure of the VCT,” Anderson wrote on Reddit. “With the level of play that we would expect from an Academy team, and not being able to sign them up for the VCT circuit [adding another roster] is currently counterproductive.”
The VCT refers to the VALORANT Champions Tour, which is a circuit Riot Games sponsors. Multiple regions participate. These tournaments usually consist of several open and closed qualifiers which then lead to bigger events. Currently, all major regions are looking to compete for a spot at the first offline tournament in Reykjavík, Iceland.
That being said, Anderson’s point about their inability to sign up for the VCT does make some sense. While T1 Academy have yet to play in the same tournament as the main roster, Cloud9 White have competed in the same tournaments as Cloud9 Blue. Going forward, this might change, as Riot Games’ new rulebook states that organizations cannot field two teams.
There is an exception to this rule for women’s teams, however. This exception is in the interest of developing the women’s professional scene. So, for the VCT, it seems a women’s team would be the sole option for 100 Thieves, or any organization, to field a secondary roster.