Valorant Masters Reykjavík: A Triumph for the Game and NA

On Sunday, May 30th, VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavík wrapped up, concluding the first LAN event for VALORANT esports. As the dust settled, North American team Sentinels had secured victory.

The team had easily dominated the field of competition. Going undefeated for the entire tournament, Sentinels showed that unlike with Riot’s other games, North America was king in Valorant.

Breakout Performance

Of particular note from Sentinels was Tyson “TenZ” Ngo. A former CS:GO pro turned Sentinels star-player, TenZ finished the tournament with an incredibly impressive stat line. From a middling Counter Strike pro to the one of the very best in a new game, his success has show that sometimes all you need is a change of scenery to win.

Sentinels overall is a mishmash of refugees from other games including Apex Legends and CS:GO, but they’ve come together to be their best self in Valorant. Raising the trophy in Reykjavík has given North American esports fans something to celebrate for the first time in many years. 

Not All Good at Valorant Masters

But NA and Sentinel’s celebrations might be cut short. Reykjavík wasn’t all sunshine and daisies. Some teething issues from observers, the insanely long time to remake matches that glitch or bug, and the slightly unsure of themselves casting made Masters Stage 2 a chore to watch at times. 

What’s more, the success of North America early in a game’s development cycle is an oft repeated cycle. A game produced and released in the US unsurprisingly had a quick uptake from players in the NA region. Compare this to Riot Games’ League of Legends Wild Rift, which was initially released in Asia, where numerous esports teams and pros have already taken up the mobile version of the popular MOBA, leaving NA players in the dust. Without a head-start, would NA have gotten such a smooth sail with Valorant?

Nick “LS” De Cesare weighs in on NA’s Valorant chances in the future

Additionally, Europe and South Korea are already hot on their heels. Both Team Liquid and Fnatic were incredibly impressive, with the latter meeting Sentinels in the final. And Korean team NUTURN Gaming also came to play, narrowly missing out on a finals spot. 

The biggest takeaway from the Valorant Masters event: Valorant esports is legit. The hype and excitement of LAN events helped show Riot Games is definitely on to something with its first FPS title.


Cloud9 Blue Adds Floppy and Xeppaa, Building a VALORANT Colossus

Cloud9’s ‘Colossus’ CS:GO may have pumped the brakes, but in C9 Blue VALORANT things are looking up. That’s because on April 19th Cloud9 announced the signing of both Ricky “floppy” Kmeru and Erick “Xeppaa” Back to its lineup. 

Both pros signed over from former careers in CS:GO. The pair had been pars of the so-called C9 Colossus team which sought to dominant NA CS:GO. However, the roster was dismantled in March after disappointing results. 

C9 as a whole backed out of CS:GO leaving much of it’s roster in limbo. Xeppaa and Floppy are the first of that former roster to land, each switching game to try and bolster the C9 Blue roster. C9 like many top esports organisations has struggled to find consistency in the torrid waters of competitive Valorant. The nascent scene has seen many traditionally strong teams fall by the wayside against relative unknowns and unsigned squads.

The organisation has also struggled with building it’s new roster. A mishmash of former CS:GO pros and C9’s other aborted projects, such as C9 Korea, the lineup has found little consistency. Some of their biggest players were dropped or retired before competition proper began. However, the team is on the clock with VCT Challengers 2 and a vital chance to head to Reykjavik in May.

Ultimately, this may be another experiment gone wrong for Cloud9 Blue Valorant. The team will want solid results from their new lineup, otherwise another Colossus dismantling is just around the corner.

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NA Valorant Proves Big Names Don’t Always Win Big

The North America VALORANT scene continues to be chaotic as several big names miss out on the Stage 2 tournament. Team SoloMid, Sentinels, and NRG all failed to qualify for the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 Main Event.

The result came after brutal competition in the open qualifiers for the NA Valorant Champion’s Tour. What’s more, FaZe Clan, Gen.G Esports, Cloud 9, and 100 Thieves are also hanging by a thread. One lost series will see these teams head home.

With the prestige and brand recognition behind these names, it’s surprising to see so many missing out on major tournaments. Particularly when many have invested so much into the game. Valorant promised to be a hugely popular esport with a dedicated following. However, organisations have struggled to pin down winning rosters.

NA Valorant and Unpredictability

This unpredictability is both a blessing and a curse for the developing scene. While it’s incredibly exciting to seen new names teams reach the upper echelons all the time, it’s a damning indictment on the scouting of top organisations. Sentinels were just weeks ago were crowned North America Stage 1 Masters champions. A team seemingly with an incredible amount of talent. Yet weeks later they drop out of the tour completely. With a relatively new game, it seems teams are struggling to sign effective teams. 

This is exacerbated by the fact players are often jumping to Valorant from other games. While success in CS:GO, Overwatch, and even Fortnite has some effect on Valorant player’s abilities, nothing is set in stone. Big organisations such as TSM, whose rabid fan base and ownership are often motivated by success at the highest levels, will surely not be happy with the team’s lack of success.

Luckily this isn’t just an NA problem. In Europe, Fnatic and Team Liquid similarly missed out on a spot in the Europe Stage 2 Challengers 1 after dropping Open Qualifiers. Whenever your region is, it’s a wide-open field for this VALORANT Champion’s Tour 2021.

Make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest NA Valorant esports news on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.


Two Iconic NA Orgs Join Women’s VALORANT in Huge Week

It’s been a bumper week for NA VALORANT as two major organizations announce new women’s rosters. Counter Logic Gaming and Team SoloMid both this week (March 15-21) revealed new lineups.

The first announcement came on March 15, with CLG unveiling their new CLG Red roster. CLG Red has been the organization’s branding for its women’s team for multiple years, competing previously in CS:GO. And the first name in CLG’s new Valorant venture would be a familiar one to that team’s fans. 

The org unveiled Benita “bENITA” Novshadian as their first CLG Red Valorant member. An eight-time world champion and core member of CLG Red CS:GO, bENITA brings a wealth of competitive experience to the team as she transitions into a new game. CLG has already built a strong foundation, and as the rest of the members are revealed, we can expect this lineup to only increase in prestige. 

TSM Chimes In

Not content to allow their regional rivals to take all the glory, Team SoloMid also announced their new roster this week. The news first leaked on Reddit on March 16, with a video posted from a no-deleted account. The notoriously strict Valorant subreddit mods quickly removed the post, despite it breaking no rules.

A day later and the official announcement would be posted on TSM’s Twitter account. The video, identical to the leaked one, revealed the members of the new lineup. Catherine “Cath” Leroux, Katherine “LunarKats” So, Emily “mle” Peters, Zoe “Zoe” Servais, and Mirna “Athxna” Noureldin were all revealed as members of this completed roster. 

TSM also revealed that the roster would be competing at the upcoming VCT Game Changers series. CLG will likely debut their roster at the same event. It’s a fantastic time to be a fan of Women’s Valorant and of the NA scene overall!

Make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest Valorant esports news on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.


KennyS to VALORANT? Former G2 Esports Player Eyes Riot’s FPS

Both the CS:GO and VALORANT scenes were abuzz today as rumours of Kenny “kennyS” Schrub’s move from one game to the other circulated. First tweeted about early on March 8, unconfirmed sources seemed to suggest that G2 Esports’ former player would make the jump to Valorant.

The post, by Valorant and FPS news leaker Arran “Halo” Spake, suggested that kennyS was taking part in a trial with Alliance. Although, according to numerous other sources, the player has yet to commit to Valorant or CS:GO either way.

Stirring the rumour mill further, kennyS himself would post a suggestive tweet a few hours later.

The potential move to Alliance and their Valorant team comes just in time for kennyS to take part in Valorant’s latest huge event. Although a free trip to Iceland is probably not the only thing on the player’s mind. Alliance’s existing roster is set to take place in the Valorant Masters from March 12-21, with kennyS potentially taking a leading role.

A Break with the Past

Part of G2’s French super team, the talented AWPer has been a star in both CS:GO and it’s predecessor CS:Source. His aggressive style, unbelievable trick-shot style AWP kills, and general attitude put him in the conversation as one of the greats. A move to Valorant would perhaps sour his legacy within Counter Strike, but would be an incredible move for the nascent Valorant esports scene.

KennyS would be the biggest name yet to make the jump to the game, marking a huge loss for CS:GO. And a huge win for Riot Games and their new shooter. After his benching from G2 in March, a move to a new game could potentially breathe new air into Kenny. Some have suggested the pro’s performance was starting to wane.

Whether kennyS moves to Valorant or not, he’s still one of the most valuable free agents on the market right now. Wherever he lands will gain huge boost in both viewership and popularity, as well as gaining a talented new star.

Make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest Valorant esports news on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.


Riot Games reveals the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters Reykjavík

VALORANT Esports continues to surge as Riot Games announces the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters Reykjavík. Set to take place in Reykjavík, the Icelandic capital, this event marks the first ever Valorant LAN event. The news broke on March 1, with official posts on the VCT Twitter page and playvalorant website.

The event will take place in Reykjavík, Iceland, featuring 10 top Valorant teams from across the globe. The event will be the first major LAN Valorant event ever held, and is expected to provide some top level action from start to finish.

The announcement comes as Riot also announces that its League of Legends Mid-season Invitational 2021 will also take place in Iceland. This brings two major tournaments under the same roof in the Reykjavík Laugardalshöll Indoor Sporting Arena. This major concert venue is famous for having held the World Chess Championship 1972, often dubbed the “Match of the Century.” Now a new battle wits is set to take place there this year.

Between May 24-30, 10 teams will compete for points that will help them qualify for the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021. Teams will qualify for the event from seven regions, with teams being selected from individual Challengers events.

Riot also took the chance to announce that America telecommunications company Verizon would is now the “Official Founding Partner of VALORANT Esports.” It also revealed them as the official 5G and wireless services partner of Valorant esports events. In a release, the Riot praised their partner for its help in the development of the Valorant Women’s Academy, and as a presenting sponsor for Valorant First Strike.

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Riot announces its VALORANT Game Changers Program

Inclusivity with Valorant scored a win yesterday as Riot Games announced their Game Changers Program. The initiative looks to create a fully-fledged competitive ecosystem for women’s Valorant. The program debuted across social media and on the site on February 23.

The Game Changers program will debut with its North American series as early as March. Overall the program looks to offer more “exposure for marginalized genders within Valorant.”

However, the move has drawn the ire of many of the more close-minded fans. Criticism has come from both Valorant esports supporters and the wider community. The misguided criticism used factually incorrect statements about the Game Changers program. They allegedly worried about eyes being diverted away from “top-level” competition by this initiative. Other complaints were levelled at the perceived unfairness of women’s-only and gender-locked leagues.

Supporters of the program were quick to pledge their support. Many of the initial falsehoods were debunked quickly, and the positive aspects of the program were shared. Overall, the vast majority of the reaction to the announcement has been positive.

Only the Beginning

Valorant has already made waves with its competitive inclusivity far outstripping almost every other esport in terms of proportion and visibility. Last month, Evil Geniuses announced a mixed-gender roster. Meanwhile, in the WSOE Online V: Valorant Qualifier, Cloud9 White defeated Renegades in a surprise upset. In Valorant it seems, the playing field is starting to level, although there’s plenty of work still to be done.

The fact that there was a huge outcry following the announcement of such an innocuous program like Game Changers is cause for concern. Many members of the community used the opportunity to have their voices heard. In posts across Twitter and Reddit, competitive players contributed stories about their experience in esports.

With Game Changers, Riot Games has made a step in the right direction. Make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest Valorant esports news on our TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Twitch.


Multiple Players Accuse Phoenix1 of Stealing Prize Money

American Valorant team Phoenix1 has been accused of stealing prize money from its former players. Up to an alleged $1300 was reportedly stolen from each player. Allegations first came to light in a TwitLonger posted by Aiden “King” King.

In the post, King alleged that Phoenix1 had not paid him and other players prize money from the Super League Arena tournaments and Knights Gauntlet events. King states that the organization requested money be paid directly to the team, rather than the players. The money was then never distributed to the players.

In his TwitLonger, King went into detail about the steps he’s taken to recover the money. “After a few attempts at messaging a few members of the organization about my situation it seems no conclusion is being reached and I am still without my money as of now, if this changes I will post an update. I wanted to make this statement to bring to light the situation I have experienced. ”

King also shared screenshots from a discord conversation which detailed the fact that Phoenix1 was ceasing operations. Prior to this post all members of the team, some of whom have since alleged various levels of prize money theft, have departed the team.

Further Allegations

After King’s post, another former Phoenix1 player came forward with allegations. Jadin “Menace” Wagner also alleged that up to $1300 had been “scammed” from himself and “all of” his teammates. 

Phoenix1 dropped all of it’s players at the end of January. The announcement stated that the majority of the team had “bought out of their contracts.” It’s unclear whether this is linked to any kind of payments they have or haven’t received.

Confusingly, Phoenix1 is also an organization name which another American esports organization, Sentinels, used prior to rebranding. The two orgs reportedly have no relation. The allegations have stained the otherwise thriving NA Valorant scene.

Phoenix1 today issued a response to the allegations in a follow-up Tweet. “To clarify, the org has paid all players according to their contracts.”

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Cloud 9 White dunks on Renegades in WSOE Qualifiers

Despite being such a young game, Valorant esports is already getting spicy, with Cloud 9 White destroying Renegades in the WSOE Online V: Valorant Qualifier. C9 White, the all-women Valorant team signed just last month by Cloud 9 defeated Renegades 13-4 in the opening round of the qualifier. 

The result elicited surprise across social media for a multitude of reasons. But it was Cloud 9 White’s own team captain Melanie “meL” Capone who put it best: “Renegades a Tier 1 team that’s f*cking cap.”

With the victory, C9 White’s momentum continued, defeating Able Esports 13-11. However, the team’s run through the qualifiers would be cut short against Elysium in a tight 7-13 defeat against Elysium. After falling to the Lower Bracket, the squad would again narrowly be defeated, this time by Big Frames.

Regardless, the results show that Cloud 9 White is definitely more than a match for many of the teams in the North American Valorant scene. In outperforming Renegades, and Complexity – another storied NA organization – this squad has definitely made a name for itself.

What’s more, the team is definitely doing better than it’s sister team Cloud 9 Blue. The men’s roster parted ways with Tyson “TenZ” Ngo last week. The squad hasn’t yet found a replacement, and as a result has missed recent competition. With their Blue roster inactive and their Korean squad disbanded, it’s safe to call C9 White the organization’s top Valorant roster.

Make sure to follow Dartfrog for all the latest Valorant esports news on our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitch.


Japan Debuts Mildom Masters, The World’s First Valorant League

Riot Games has already conquered the world of esports, with League of Legends played competitively around the globe. But now the company looks poised to start another phenomenon as Valorant, the company’s tactical FPS, starts it’s first league.

The Mildom Masters will be the world’s first Valorant league. It is based in Japan and pits a handful of local teams against each other. The competition will be one of the first major events for the game held in the country. Japan has developed a small but dedicated Valorant community. With the announcement of this league, it has now elevated itself to a more concrete position.

It has been only two months since the official release of Valorant and the game has exploded in popularity. But the competitive scene has lagged behind that of the games larger siblings, such as League of Legends and Team Fight Tactics. Perhaps due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, or out of a desire to let the scene grow organically, Riot Games has been decidedly hands off with the initial development of the competitive scene.

Numerous huge esports organisations have signed Valorant talent. The most recent names to jump into the game are G2 Esports and Team Liquid.

But despite these orgs taking the plunge, tournaments have been thin on the ground. There’s been only a limited number of invitationals and Twitch Rivals events making up the majority of the scene. The Mildom Masters, as initially reported by sponsor marks the league-format competition for the game.

Set to begin on August 20, the round-robin format league will see eight teams, including Absolute JUPITER (current favorites to win the league), SCARZ, REJECT, CYCLOPS, Sengoku Gaming, FAV gaming, SunSister Rapid, and ConnectGaming, compete for a ¥2,500,000 (£18,000) prize pool. After the league stage is concluded, the top four teams will advance to the playoffs. The Grand Finals will then commence on October 15. 

In a statement released by, Keisuke Shimizu, Mildom’s Esports Director described the motivation behind the league: “I am very glad that we could announce VALORANT Mildom Masters. Mildom is a brand-new platform. We would like to contribute to making a basis for Japanese players by our platform so that they can achieve success worldwide. It is just a beginning. Please support us to make a dream come true.”

The event will be streamed live on Mildom, a japanese streaming platform, and co-streamed on Twitch.

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