The Latin American region has not accomplished much in the first year of the VALORANT Champions Tour. Leading into Champions, no team from Brazil or South America finished top four at either international Masters events this season.
Brazil saw their worst finish at Masters Berlin, as Vivo Keyd and Havan Liberty both exited the tournament during the group stage. The only two teams to make a dent at international competition are the Latin American squad KRÜ Esports, who placed in the top eight at Masters Berlin, and Brazil’s Team Vikings, who did the same at Masters Reykjavík. Yet out of the four teams from the region making a run at the first VALORANT world championship, Vivo and KRÜ have the best chances at a deep run — though each team has a shot at glory.
Vivo Keyd | Brazil
Vivo Keyd, or Keyd Stars as they were called before their sponsorship deal with Vivo Fibra, came together in their current iteration during VCT Stage 3. The organization blew up their original roster and put together a team of dropped players and stars from other rosters. The squad’s centerpiece is Olavo “heat” Marcelo, who they signed from Havan Liberty.
The Jett main was the team’s star player across Stage 3. He showcased what he could do on an international stage at Masters Berlin, with his no-scope Marshal clip going down as one of the most hype plays of the first year of the VCT circuit, and is also the highlight of Vivo’s year so far.
They have not played an official match since their 0-2 loss to KRÜ Esports in the deciding match for the Berlin knockout stage. The only gameplay fans have to judge the new team with is that narrow loss, both maps going to 24 rounds, and a few teases from the players during their boot camp in Germany.
Com o foco de evoluirmos a nossa performance nos palcos internacionais, anunciamos a ida da nossa equipe de Valorant para um Bootcamp em Berlim!
— Vivo Keyd (@VivoKeyd) November 10, 2021
Leonardo “mwzera” Serrati, a player on loan from Gamelanders Blue who was once considered a top Duelist in the world, will also join the team for their Champs campaign. While he should add some much needed fragging power into a lineup that may rely on heat to pull out something amazing, he will adopt an Initiator role for the team.
Vivo should be considered the dark horse of Group A, which they share with Team Envy, X10 CRIT and Acend.
Team Vikings | Brazil
VALORANT fans last saw Team Vikings on the international stage at Masters Reykjavík, where they finished fifth-sixth, the highest placement for any Brazilian team. While that may have been due to seeding and the event’s format, Vikings are a top squad from the region and were the best at that time.
Team Vikings are still a strong team, though Keyd have since taken away the top spot title. Still, Vikings qualified for VCT Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs with ease, only dropping one best-of-one match. But from there, Vikings lost to the two other teams that have tasted international competition in Havan Liberty and Keyd.
Out of all the top teams in Brazil, Vikings are the team that borrows the most from other regions, including Europe. In-game leader Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro and Gabriel “sutecas” Dias trade off on Controller duties and have been known to pull out the occasional Brimstone on maps that allow it. They also play slower than other teams in the region, hanging back while their opponents rush the blue walls as the map opens up.
The team also had not adopted Astra fully, picking Omen or pairing him with Viper on some maps, like some EU teams did around the same time.
Team Vikings are an unknown coming into Champions. Their last showing was at Challengers Playoffs, more than three months ago, which gave them enough points to qualify for the event thanks to Havan Liberty’s early exit.
"Treinamos, descansamos, comemos. Foi, realmente, a nossa casa por alguns dias e com uma estrutura incrível e de excelência. Não poderíamos ter lugar melhor na Europa para essa preparação para o mundial" Matias "SaadHak" Delipetro
— CaseEsportsBR (@CaseEsportsBR_) November 26, 2021
Like the other teams that did not need a Last Chance Qualifier to make the tournament, they have boot camped in Europe. With plenty of time to prepare for Champions, Team Vikings could shock the other teams in Group C with new strategies.
KRÜ Esports | Latin America
KRÜ are easily the most consistent and decorated team from South America coming into Champions. They’ve made every international event possible and have run over the Latin American South VCT competition since Stage 2.
Fans last saw KRÜ at Masters Berlin in the knockout stage after qualifying over Vivo Keyd. They lost handedly to G2 Esports, 13-9 and 13-7, in a sweep of the first round of games. They qualified for Champions right after their exit at Berlin because of points gained from their top placements in their region and a top four spot at Stage 1 Masters.
KRÜ are an explosive team when Angelo “keznit” Mori gets going. Their Duelist player, and arguably one of the best Reynas in the world, joined the team before Masters Berlin.
Now with more time for the players to gel and with another LAN under their belt, KRÜ are another dark horse candidate for Champions. Group B is one of the more stacked groups in the competition with Sentinels, Team Liquid and FURIA Esports.
That being said, KRÜ have more LAN experience than Liquid and should be familiar with FURIA. Fans shouldn’t count out the Argentinian organization just yet. They may just play spoiler in Group B.
FURIA Esports | Brazil
FURIA are South America’s LCQ representatives. Outside the LCQ LAN in Sao Paulo, they have yet to compete at a LAN event, even though they’d been competing locally since 2020. Their star player Alexandre “xand” Zizi is another top Duelist in the region, although his team hasn’t been able to make it to an international event. They’ve fallen in the final matches to the eventual Brazilian representatives, in Havan, Sharks Esports, Vikings and Vivo Keyd at each international qualifier.
The Masters 1 runners up are an incredibly aggressive team that like to take space early and force the enemy to react to them. When analysts describe Brazilian teams in VALORANT, they point out how aggressive and fast they can be as if they are playing the game two times faster than the rest of the world.
FURIA embodies that style of play and have added some depth to their playbook since the meta has shifted away from double Duelists. They can still rush the blue walls as they come down, nab a headshot in the opening seconds and run over the opposite site when they want to.
FURIA are a long shot team to make it out of the group stage, but should be good for a few interesting games in the group stage.