VALORANT World Cup — a simulated tournament
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As the second year of the VALORANT Champions Tour begins, players, fans and analysts are already thinking about what’s next for the game’s competitive scene. The VCT continues in 2022 with a slightly modified format, but the circuit may not fully scratch the competitive itch for many. An early proposal floating around has been the creation of a World Cup — an international tournament that would bring together the best VALORANT players from the top countries.

Part of the enthusiasm comes from the global nature of the esport. At the recent 2021 Champions event alone, there were players represented from 18 different nations and four continents. There is also precedent for this type of tournament in esports. The Overwatch World Cup comes to mind as a notable example of how the event could be executed. Naturally there are external circumstances with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but when this sort of event becomes a logistical possibility, it could be exactly what the VALORANT scene needs to supplement the VCT.

Overwatch World Cup 2016
The Overwatch World Cup was first held in 2016 at BlizzCon in Anaheim, California | Provided by Activision Blizzard

Professional players have already voiced their interest in a potential VALORANT World Cup, speculating about which country would take home the trophy at VALORANT Champions.

“Of course I’m from Turkey so I will say Turkey,” Acend’s Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek said. “Then maybe Brazil second.”

“I think Finland has a pretty good chance,”  Team Liquid’s Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen said. “We don’t have good teams in Finland but there’s loads of individual players in top teams.”

“I think the first countries would be USA, Canada, Brazil, even Russia,” Acend’s Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt said. “All these teams because they all have super strong players that were playing together. They all have synergy.”

In service of playing out the idea of a VALORANT World Cup, Upcomer has put together 16 prospective teams from different nations, as well as a mock up of how the format for the event might look.

The Teams

The following teams were assembled to provide an example of what the top teams at the VALORANT World Cup might look like with the current top players from every nation. Some emphasis was placed on trying to match player roles rather than taking the five top players and running into a situation where, for example, the entire team are Jett players. That said, there is an assumed degree of flexibility within the roles.

Players were also taken from different teams whenever possible to avoid the situation where the national team is the same team that competes in the VCT. Two notable exceptions are Gambit Esports and Team Secret, who field arguably the five best Russian and Filipino players in every role at present.

Note: This is by no means a definitive ranking of the best five players from every country. The purpose of creating these teams is to generate discussion.

United States

The NA flag held between two players at the event before VALORANT Champions
100 Thieves and Envy hold the United States of America flag before they walk out at Masters Berlin. | Provided by Riot Games
  • Duelist: Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker
  • Flex: Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk
  • Initiator: Shahzeb “ShahZaM” Khan
  • Controller: Anthony “vanity” Malaspina
  • Sentinel: Michael “dapr” Gulino

Canada

  • Duelist: Matthew “Wardell” Yu
  • Flex: Tyson “TenZ” Ngo
  • Initiator: Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik
  • Controller: Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen
  • Sentinel: Pujan “FNS” Mehta

Brazil

Scacy would represent Brazil in the VALORANT World Cup
Sacy walks out to the stage at VALORANT Champions. | Provided by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games
  • Duelist: Olavo “heat” Marcelo
  • Flex: Leonardo “mwzera” Serrati
  • Initiator: Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi
  • Controller: Gabriel “sutecas” Dias
  • Sentinel: Murillo “murizzz” Tuchtenhagen

South Korea

  • Duelist: Yu “BuZz” Byung-chul
  • Flex: Kim “stax” Gu-taek
  • Initiator: Son “xeta” Seon-ho
  • Controller: Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan
  • Sentinel: An “Medusa” Min-cheol

Finland

Derke would represent Finland in the VALORANT World Cup
Derke does press at VALORANT Champions. | Provided by Jianhua Chen/Riot Games
  • Duelist: Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev
  • Flex: Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen
  • Initiator: Aaro “hoody” Peltokangas
  • Controller: Santeri “BONECOLD” Sassi
  • Sentinel: Jesse “JESMUND” Terävä

United Kingdom

  • Duelist: Joseph “Luzuh” Loose
  • Flex: Jake “Boaster” Howlett
  • Initiator: Dom “soulcas” Sulcas
  • Controller: Travis “L1NK” Mendoza
  • Sentinel: Rory “dephh” Jackson

France

Keloqz would represent France at the VALORANT World Cup
Keloqz throws a thumbs up at the camera at VCT Stage 3 Masters Berlin. | Provided by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games
  • Duelist: Wassim “keloqz” Cista
  • Flex: Thomas “kAdavra” Johner
  • Initiator: Alex “AKUMAAAAA” Lo Bello
  • Controller: Jonathan “TakaS” Paupard
  • Sentinel: Logan “logaN” Corti

Turkey

  • Duelist: Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek
  • Flex: Burak “glovee” Yıldırım
  • Initiator: Batuhan “russ” Malgaç
  • Controller: Eren “Brave” Kasırga
  • Sentinel: Göktuğ “XiSTOU” Canciğer

Thailand

SScary at VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters Reykjavik
SScary at VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters Reykjavik. | Provided by by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
  • Duelist: Chanawin “JohnOlsen” Nakchain
  • Flex: Kititkawin “PTC” Rattanasukol
  • Initiator: Itthirit “foxz” Ngamsaard
  • Controller: Nutchaphon “sScary” Matarat
  • Sentinel: Panyawat “sushiboys” Subsiriroj

Chile

  • Duelist: Juan Pablo “NagZ” Lopez Miranda
  • Flex: Angelo “keznit” Mori
  • Initiator: Roberto Francisco “Mazino” Rivas Bugueño
  • Controller: Joaquín Ignacio “delz1k” Espinoza Soto
  • Sentinel: Francisco “kiNgg” Aravena

Sweden

  • Duelist: Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel
  • Flex: Yacine “Yacine” Laghmari
  • Initiator: Pontus “Zyppan” Eek
  • Controller: Leo “Leo” Jannesson
  • Sentinel: Johan “Meddo” Renbjörk Lundborg

Japan

Crazy Raccoon Masters
Crazy Raccoon’s Matsuda “neth” Yusuke. | Provided by Riot Games
  • Duelist: Hideki “Fisker” Sasaki
  • Flex: Yusuke “neth” Matsuda
  • Initiator: Tenta “TENNN” Asai
  • Controller: Teppei “ade” Kuno
  • Sentinel:Koji “Laz” Ushida

Russia

  • Duelist: Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov
  • Flex: Bogdan “Sheydos” Naumov
  • Initiator: Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov
  • Controller: Igor “Redgar” Vlasov
  • Sentinel: Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin

Lithuania

  • Duelist: Vakaris “vakk” Bebravičius
  • Flex: Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas
  • Initiator: Jokūbas “ceNder” Labutis
  • Controller: Ričardas “Boo” Lukaševičius
  • Sentinel: Tautvydas “hype” Paldavicius

Philippines

witz at VALORANT Champions
Witz peers over his glasses at VALORANT Champions. | Provided by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games
  • Duelist: Jayvee “DubsteP” Paguirigan
  • Flex: Riley “witz” Go
  • Initiator: Jessie “JessieVash” Cristy Cuyco
  • Controller: Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza
  • Sentinel: Kevin “Dispenser” Te

Poland

  • Duelist: Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt
  • Flex: Patryk “starxo” Kopczyński
  • Initiator: Mikołaj “Mickebwoy” Chojnacki
  • Controller: Patryk “paTiTek” Fabrowski
  • Sentinel: Bartosz “UNFAKE” Bernacki

The Format

While the 16 listed teams are some of the strongest ready-made rosters with players who’ve competed at the highest level of VALORANT, there are other countries that could be strong contenders. Spain, Belgium, Ukraine, Egypt, India and countless other nations might put together a squad to rival any of the above rosters. With that said, a VALORANT World Cup would do well to have a preliminary stage that casts a wider net. National committees could be appointed to form rosters in anticipation of the event.

It may benefit the tournament to invite proven nations like the United States, Canada, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, etc. to advance directly to the main stage. In future events, the teams that bypass the preliminary stage would be based on the results of the previous World Cup, the same way that Overwatch judges national rankings, to improve competitive parity.

The preliminaries would be best served by a round robin system that leads into the main group stage. Groups will be determined by seeding and will feature a double elimination bracket like that used at VALORANT Champions. The final teams will battle it out in the single elimination playoffs that will crown an overall winner — the best national team in VALORANT.


Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.


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