VCT Americas league 2023: Ranking all the teams

by Brian Bencomo

The inaugural season of the VCT Americas league kicks off April 1. It’s no joke. The Americas league comprises the 10 teams that Riot Games has partnered with from North America, Brazil and Latin America to compete against each other in Los Angeles for the next couple months. The league will include the winners of Champions 2022, LOUD, as well as 100 Thieves, Cloud9, Evil Geniuses, FURIA, KRÜ, Leviatán, MIBR, NRG and Sentinels.

VCT Americas is one of three international leagues that form the top tier competition of the 2023 VALORANT Champions Tour. It’ll be the first time in VALORANT’s history that teams will engage in weekly league play in a LAN environment with a crowd. Previously, LAN tournaments with crowds were only for international events involving the best teams from each of the game’s regions.

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After the VCT LOCK//IN tournament that took place in February and March, we have a better sense of how strong the Americas teams are relative to each other. Before Sentinels face 100 Thieves in the first Americas league matchup, here’s how the 10 teams stack up.

10. KRÜ

Photo credit: Riot Games

This is not the same KRÜ team that consistently represented Latin America at international events in 2021 and 2022. The coaching staff that led those teams is gone and so are several players who left for Leviatán in the offseason. Even though Angelo "keznit" Mori has now returned from Leviatán, this team doesn’t figure to be very competitive. Jorge "Atom" Noriega, who has not coached against the caliber of teams in the Americas league, is now coaching this team after Leandro "Leazo" Liset left following the team’s 0-1 performance at VCT LOCK//IN. The team did lose to a very good Natus Vincere (NAVI), and with LOCK//IN being single elimination, KRÜ probably didn’t have a chance to truly showcase their true level. But with a stacked Americas league, it’s hard to see this team beating more than one or two teams.

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Photo credit: Riot Games

MIBR were one of three teams that lost their opening round matchups at VCT LOCK//IN. Unlike KRÜ and Sentinels who lost to NAVI and Fnatic, respectively, MIBR lost to Talon Esports. Talon proved to be one of the better teams at LOCK//IN but are not at the same level as NAVI who reached the semifinals and Fnatic who won the tournament. Olavo “heat” Marcelo is one of three players on this roster with international experience and was impressive while on Keyd Stars at Champions 2021. However, MIBR are mostly lacking players with experience and good results at the international level. They are being coached by Matheus "bzkA" Tarasconi who led LOUD to a world championship last year. If he can coach up this team, their ceiling is probably that of a middle-of-the-standings team.

8. Cloud9

Photo credit: Riot Games

With Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker and Anthony “vanity” Malaspina no longer on this team, some people think this could be the worst team in the Americas league. That very well could be true with two young players who don’t have much experience competing at the highest levels of North American VALORANT, much less at the international level, reportedly joining the team. However, if there’s any coach who can help this team be better than expected it’s Matthew “mCe” Elmore. He shepherded The Guard to their rapid ascendance last year. C9 still have three very good players on the roster who have had success at the international level. One round robin of competition might not be enough time for C9 to raise their level enough to be a playoff team, but they shouldn’t be at the bottom of the standings.


Photo credit: Riot Games

FURIA might not have as many well-known players as most of the other teams in the Americas league, but they looked sharp at LOCK//IN where they beat T1 and lost but were competitive against Fnatic. This team made an appearance at Champions last year and only made one change in the offseason. FURIA added Leonardo "mwzera" Serrati, who was considered one of the best players in Brazil during the first couple years of VALORANT’s history. Although they’re ranked seventh here, FURIA could find themselves among the top six and playoff-bound by the end of the season.

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6. Sentinels

Photo credit: Riot Games

Sentinels are a difficult team to rank because the caliber of talent on this team suggests they could be a top three or four team in this league, but their results so far suggest they still have a ways to go to find that optimal team synergy. They have Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, a talented player who was the first big star in VALORANT and only holdover on the roster from the past couple years. He is now surrounded by two world champions in Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi and Bryan “pANcada” Luna as well as two players who helped XSET become one of the best North American teams last year, Rory “dephh” Jackson and Zachary “zekken” Patrone. Plus, Sentinels brought in Don “Syyko” Muir who led that XSET team to its steady improvement and success the past couple years and has preached patience with this Sentinels roster. Sentinels did get dealt a tough hand at LOCK//IN, having to face Fnatic, the eventual champions, in the first round. Looking at their schedule in the Americas league, this team could easily start 0-4, but if their confidence isn’t shot they could turn around and win their final five games to end up 5-4.

5. Evil Geniuses

Photo credit: Riot Games

This team was underestimated going into LOCK//IN, but pulled off a victory against Europe’s Team Heretics before losing to the Pacific league’s Talon Esports. Despite lacking the star power of a team like Sentinels, Evil Geniuses figure to be at about the same level as that team. According to their coach Christine “potter” Chi, they’re fine being underrated and like to play with a chip on their shoulders. With a good mix of young and veteran talent with international experience, this could be one of the most surprising teams in the Americas league this year. Evil Geniuses might not be an elite team just yet, but they should be a playoff team.

4. 100 Thieves

Photo credit: Riot Games

100 Thieves made only one offseason change, bringing in Matthew "Cryocells" Panganiban to add more firepower to their lineup and won the offseason Red Bull Home Ground tournament. That made them a contender to win VCT LOCK//IN. Although 100 Thieves made a deep run in Sao Paolo, they did look shaky. Both their first-round matchup against EDward Gaming and second-round matchup against FUT Esports went to three maps, and they looked completely overmatched by Fnatic. They’ll kick off the Americas league with a matchup against Sentinels, which should be a good test for a team looking to prove it belongs in the upper echelon of the league.

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3. Leviatán

Photo credit: Riot Games

After reaching the playoffs at Champions last year, Leviatán reinforced the roster with a couple of players from their Latin American rivals KRÜ (though Angelo "keznit" Mori is now back with KRÜ) and one player from FURIA. They’re coached by Rodrigo "Onur" Dalmagro, who led KRÜ to a top four finish at Champions 2021. Other teams raved about how good Leviatán looked during scrims at LOCK//IN, and the team looked dominant in wins over ZETA DIVISION and Team Vitality. However, when they faced NAVI, they lost 2-0 with only the first map being competitive. As is the case with 100 Thieves, this is a team that is projected to be among the stronger teams in the Americas league but a one-sided loss to an EMEA team at LOCK//IN has tamped down expectations a bit.

2. NRG

Photo credit: Riot Games

Although the players on this team wear NRG jerseys, this team very much looks like OpTic 2.0. The core three from this team -- Pujan “FNS” Mehta, Austin “crashies” Roberts and Victor “Victor” Wong -- and the coach, Chet “Chet” Singh, all came over from OpTic. When the team faced off against LOUD at LOCK//IN with a semifinal berth on the line, it felt reminiscent of the epic clashes between LOUD and OpTic last year. Besides the OpTic core on this team, European import Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks brings the kind of firepower Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker used to provide for OpTic. Sam "s0m" Oh shined at LOCK//IN, showing why NRG has been holding on to him since 2020. NRG won’t face LOUD until the second-to-last week of the Americas league, and it could very well be a battle for first place.


Photo credit: Riot Games

The reigning 2022 champions showed they’re still the best team in the Americas at LOCK//IN. Despite losing Bryan “pANcada” Luna and Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi, one of the leaders on the team, LOUD came so close to becoming the first team in VALORANT history to win multiple international events. After cruising through the first couple rounds of the tournament, they survived a tight match with NRG and outlasted DRX in the semifinals. The final against Fnatic was an instant classic, as they showed resilience in being down 2-0 in the series and nearly pulling off the reverse sweep. There were questions about how good this team would be with the additions of Cauan "cauanzin" Pereira and Arthur "tuyz" Vieira, but now there’s no doubt who the best team in the Americas is heading into the start of league play.

Lead photo credit: Riot Games

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