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.


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.