Easiest and Worst from EMEA

By qaxio

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A comprehensive preview of the EMEA teams in Valorant Champions 2023


The conclusion of the 2023 VCT season arrives with the much-anticipated Valorant Champions event, marking its third installment and the inaugural one following the franchise system. We have 16 teams from four regions participating in this year’s edition. EMEA takes the lead with the most slots (5) owing to FNATIC’s Masters Tokyo victory, followed by Americas/Pacific (4) and China (3). The 16 teams will contend for the prestigious trophy and a whopping $2.25 million dollars prize pool.

Valorant Champions 2023 Regional Preview: Best and Worst from EMEA

Credit: Riot Games

All EMEA Teams Valorant Champions 2023

  • FNATIC
  • NAVI
  • Team Liquid
  • FUT Espots
  • Giants Gaming

From the EMEA League, FNATIC, Team Liquid, and FUT Esports clinched their Valorant Champion 2023 spots, while Giants Gaming and NAVI secured them via the EMEA LCQ. While the likelihood of having the champion from the EMEA region is significant, this is largely due to FNATIC’s remarkable supremacy over the global field. 

Notably, excluding FNATIC, EMEA emerges as statistically the least successful region in the preceding two international events of the year, with the fewest instances of top 4 finishes despite the most participants.

Now, let us delve into the details of each EMEA team participating in Valorant Champions 2023:

FNATIC

  • Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov
  • Jake “Boaster” Howlett
  • Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev
  • Leo “Leo” Jannesson
  • Emir “Alfajer” Beder

FNATIC’s undeniable dominance as the world’s best team stands without parallel. However, their success did not really come as a surprise. Many predicted the impending FNATIC-era during the pre-season as soon as the roster was announced.

The current roster of the EMEA’s finest has to be the most complete roster in the game’s history. Every player on the squad has a case for himself to be considered the best at this role. Led by the charismatic IGL boaster, FNATIC won every major trophy this year and are heavily favored to finish the year with a three-peat.

NAVI

  • Andrey “Shao” Kiprsky
  • Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow
  • Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek
  • Dmitry “SUYGETSU” Ilyushin
  • Pontus “Zyppan” Eek

NAVI built a similar reputation to FNATIC in the pre-reason. However, despite the incredibly well-rounded lineup, ANGE1 is not quite being able to push his team to the expected level of a roster this strong. With firepower such as they possess, NAVI should not need to rely on extra slots to qualify for international events. Now, as the year’s final event is here, it marks the last opportunity to prove their potential.

FUT Esports

  • Buğra “mojj” Kiraz
  • Doğukan “qRaxs” Balaban
  • Konur “qw1” Şahin
  • Furkan “MrFaliN” Yeğen
  • Ata “AtaKaptan” Tan

FUT Esports has had a decent season so far. Placing top 3 in the EMEA League after starting the regular season as one of the underdogs is quite a feat. Thanks to the top 3 finish, they have secured their spots at both Masters and Champions 2023. However, the Turkish side had an embarrassing run in Tokyo. It will be interesting to see if qw1 and Co fare any better at their second international event.

Team Liquid

  • Dom “soulcas” Sulcas
  • Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen
  • Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin
  • Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel
  • Igor “Redgar” Vlasov

The fact that Team Liquid is the only team to defeat FNATIC this season speaks volumes about this roster’s talent. However, their joy of winning the EMEA League lasted briefly as Jamppi and Co could not go much further in the Masters Tokyo before getting eliminated.

Giants Gaming

  • Žygimantas ‘nukkye’ Chmieliauskas
  • Emir ‘rhyme’ Muminovic
  • Adolfo ‘Fit1nho’ Gallego
  • Aaro ‘hoody’ Peltokangas
  • Kirill ‘Cloud’ Nehozhin

Giants Gaming already gave flashes of their potential during the EMEA League. While they failed to qualify for the Masters Tokyo from League playoffs, the capability of this roster was never questioned. This they proved finally in the EMEA LCQ, where the Cloud led his teammates to a dominant tournament victory over his fellow European teams.

Best EMEA Players at Valorant Champions 2023

The following are the must-watch EMEA players in Valorant Champions 2023:

Emir “Alfajer” Beder

  • Role: Sentinel
  • VLR Rating: 1.21
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 221.7
  • Kill/Death Ratio: 1.41
  • Headshot Percentage: 27%
  • Average Damage per Round: 146.1

It is hard to single out a FNATIC player for this list. However, if we had to have a player you need to look out for, it’s Alfajer. The Turkish teenager shifted from his usual duelist role and transitioned into a Sentinel player for the 2023 VCT season. This decision brought massive success to him as a player and to his team. According to VLR.com, we have Alfajer topping the leaderboard in several different stats for the season of 2023, further solidifying his status as the best player in the world. 

Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek

  • Role: Duelist
  • VLR Rating: 1.06
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 226.2
  • Kill/Death Ratio: 1.08
  • Headshot Percentage: 26%
  • Average Damage per Round: 148.6

cNed has been hailed as one of the biggest prodigies of Valorant. However, considering the hype, his performances this season have been sub-par. His failure to perform consistently also affected his team not having as much success as expected from them. The Champions 2023 presents the 21-year-old with the perfect opportunity to return to his previous season’s form.

Konur “qw1” Şahin

  • Role: Duelist
  • VLR Rating: 1.06
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 227.3
  • Kill/Death Ratio: 1.18
  • Headshot Percentage: 25%
  • Average Damage per Round: 143.9

Another duelist on the list who deserves a spot here simply because of flashy and unconventional playstyle. If you want to watch an aggressive duelist running around the server terrorizing the opponent, qw1 is the player to watch out for.

Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin

  • Role: Flex
  • VLR Rating: 1.09
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 222.5
  • Kill/Death Ratio: 1.21
  • Headshot Percentage: 28%
  • Average Damage per Round: 145.0

The best lurker in the game, hands down. nAts reputation as a lurking menace has been present ever since his Gambit days. Now, playing for Team Liquid, he is still ranked among the best Sentinel players in the game. His most important impressive strength as a player is the near-perfect consistency. Despite the result of the match, you will rarely see nAts having a bad game.

Žygimantas ‘nukkye’ Chmieliauskas

  • Role: Flex
  • VLR Rating: 1.13
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 211.4
  • Kill/Death Ratio: 1.14
  • Headshot Percentage: 22%
  • Average Damage per Round: 143.8

Few players have perfected the flex role to the extent that nukkye has. The man can play any agent you slap on him. His clutch potential and the ability to frag out no matter what role he plays on what map has been instrumental in Giants Gaming winning the LCQ.

Valorant Champions 2023 – EMEA Teams Predictions

Our predictions for the five EMEA teams, based on recent results, experience, and previous records on the International stage, are as follows:

Front Runners

  • FNATIC: Winner
  • NAVI: Top 4

You do not need to be a master at prediction to predict FNATIC taking home another trophy. However, they are definitely not invincible, as proven by Team Liquid in the EMEA League grand finals.

As for NAVI, we have them as our 2nd front runner despite their repeated underwhelming performances. It is more of a hunch from our side that ANGE1 will finally figure out a way to unlock his team’s full potential. We predict at least a top 4 finish by the Ukrainian organization.

Underdogs

  • FUT Esports: Top 8
  • Team Liquid: Top 16
  • Giants Gaming: Top 8

As seen from the repeated poor performances by an EMEA side on the international stage, we place the rest of the three teams as underdogs.

Team Liquid had the bad luck of getting placed in the group of death. Considering their previous record, we do not see nAts and Co making it to playoffs over powerhouses like DRX, LOUD, and NAVI.

On the other hand, FUT Esports have been blessed with arguably the least competitive group. Except for EG, none from group B pose much threat to the Turkish super team, in our opinion. However, even if they make the playoffs, we do not see them having a deep run.

Lastly, we got the LCQ winner and in-form Giants Gaming. The Giants hold promising potential to emerge as a significant dark horse in this event. Our prediction leans towards their successful qualification for the playoffs and causing a few upsets in the ensuing rounds before eventual elimination.

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