Most sensible 10 Avid gamers to Dominate Champions 2023

By qaxio

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Here are our picks for the top 10 players who are likely to secure excellent stats at Champions 2023


Champions 2023 is bringing 16 of the best worldwide competitors together in Los Angeles for the final and biggest VCT event this year, and it’s time we prepare for jaw-dropping plays from insane talents. We have already seen many veterans of the Valorant world and some new talents dominate throughout this year, from LOCK//IN to the recent Last Chance Qualifier. Judging from their performance so far, here are our predictions on the top 10 players who are going to make waves at Champions 2023.

Ilya “something” Petrov – Paper Rex

Paper Rex Player something

Credit: Riot Games

  • Role: Duelist
  • VLR Rating: 1.24
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 265.0
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.39
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 75%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 168.8
  • Headshot Percentage: 22%

Paper Rex fans had to face a sad reality at Masters Tokyo, where the team’s newfound talent missed the tournament due to visa issues. Fortunately, he’s going to debut at his first global event at the Champions, and we are expecting a marvelous performance from him.

The Russian 21-year-old was the best player of the VCT Pacific, securing a VLR rating of 1.22 throughout the entire event. He also embodies a true PRX player, as we have seen him dominate with unusual picks like Reyna against DRX at the Grand Final of the Pacific League. Therefore, make sure to reserve big expectations of him as we can confidently tell you that he will deliver.

Ethan “Ethan” Arnold – Evil Geniuses

Ethan "Ethan" Arnold of Evil Geniuses

Credit: Riot Games

  • Role: Initiator
  • VLR Rating: 1.05
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 204.0
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.03
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 74%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 130.7
  • Headshot Percentage: 22%

When we are talking about the best players of EG, the names of Kelden “Boostio” Pupello, Max “Demon1” Mazanov and Alexander “jawgemo” Mor are usually mentioned. Surprisingly, Ethan has been the most consistent player on the roster for a long time now, and sure, he might not be the flashiest with his plays, but his contribution to the team has led Evil Geniuses to enjoy their Cinderella journey this year. 

Ethan was the best player for EG on Masters Tokyo, according to VLR, and also secured the second-best spot on his team during VCT Americas. The former CS player is on his way to becoming one of the finest Initiators from North America alongside names like Austin “crashies” Roberts.

Zheng “ZmjjKK” Yongkang – EDward Gaming

Zheng "ZmjjKK" Yongkang, also known as Kangkang

Credit: Riot Games

  • Role: Flex
  • VLR Rating: 1.14
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 269.6
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.28
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 71%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 162.6
  • Headshot Percentage: 20%

This young Chinese player cemented the name of his country in the Valorant competitive world by dominating Masters Tokyo with his flawless mechanical skills. Zmjjkk, better known as KangKang, is a beast with the Operator, and his skills allowed EDG to dominate some of the world’s best at the Masters, including NAVI and LOUD.

Along with his flashy plays, the 19-year-old’s charisma on stage made him one of the most popular names at the Masters, and he was VLR’s 4th-best of the event with a 1.15 rating and the highest ACS of any other player (273.8 ACS). 

Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev – Fnatic

  • Role: Duelist
  • VLR Rating: 1.15
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 257.6
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.23
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 71%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 160.8
  • Headshot Percentage: 26%

Derke is on his way to becoming one of the top three players of this year, if not all time. Having him on the same server puts fear in Fanatic’s opposition, as the impeccable aim of this Finnish-Russian player and his lack of hesitancy in making aggressive plays have been one of the primary factors of Fnatic’s current #1 worldwide position.

Along with his teammates, including Emir “Alfajer” Beder and Leo “Leo” Jannesson, Derke has consistently been on top of the leaderboard in all of this year’s global events, including his 1.12 rating on Masters Tokyo.

Koji “Laz” Ushida – ZETA DIVISION

  • Role: Flex
  • VLR Rating: 1.11
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 226.1
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.21
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 143.6
  • Headshot Percentage: 28%

Although this 27-year-old Japanese player has had a pretty uneventful year so far, his performance at the LCQ allowed ZETA DIVISION to secure their Champions slot. If you don’t remember, Laz and Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe were the heroes of ZETA last year at Masters Reykjavik, and they helped Japan become a strong contender for VCT. We are expecting a repeat of that performance in Los Angeles this year.

Laz’s form wasn’t the greatest at VCT Pacific, but he had a comeback at the LCQ with a 1.13 VLR rating, making him the best member of the roster in the event. 

Angelo “keznit” Mori – KRÜ Esports

  • Role: Duelist
  • VLR Rating: 1.11
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 258.0
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.20
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 163.9
  • Headshot Percentage: 22%

Being the best player out of all the members of teams like Cloud9, 100 Thieves and Sentinels was a huge achievement by keznit at the LCQ, whose extreme prowess led KRÜ to enjoy an undefeated journey to securing their Champions slot. KRÜ are about to embark on their own Cinderella run as this squad enjoyed dominating at the LCQ after their 0-9 winless journey at VCT Americas.

The 21-year-old Chilean secured an ACS of 274.7 at the LCQ with the highest VLR rating (1.29). 

Felipe “Less” Basso – LOUD

  • Role: Flex
  • VLR Rating: 1.10
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 216.2
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.18
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 141.5
  • Headshot Percentage: 23%

As the rumors about LOUD’s star player Erick “aspas” Santos point to him having a slow performance at Champions, we are putting our bets on Less. The 18-year-old Brazilian has been one of the most consistent members of the 2022 Champions-winning team, securing frags even on Viper and Killjoy and picking up big numbers at LOCK//IN and VCT Americas. 

Less was LOUD’s best player at LOCK//IN, helping his team go through an undefeated journey to the Grand Final with a VLR rating of 1.15. He was also doing pretty well at VCT Americas, securing the second-best spot in the tournament with a 1.19 rating.

Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel – Team Liquid

  • Role: Duelist
  • VLR Rating: 1.14
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 227.6
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.21
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 146.6
  • Headshot Percentage: 22%

Out of all the newcomers to Team Liquid, Sayf has been one of the most crucial members of the roster as he became a feared Duelist in the entirety of EMEA. 

During the EMEA League, the 22-year-old Swedish player had some incredible plays that allowed Liquid to win the entire tournament, and he secured the second-best spot with a 1.23 rating

Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks – NRG

  • Role: Flex
  • VLR Rating: 1.07
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 229.1
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.13
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 72%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 146.9
  • Headshot Percentage: 20%

While it hasn’t been the greatest year for ardiis, you should look forward to seeing him shine at the Champions as we witness Chamber slowly returning to the meta. Moreover, as a past Champions winner, confidence will be on the side of this flex player for NRG. 

Goo “Rb” Sang-min – DRX

  • Role: Flex
  • VLR Rating: 1.05
  • Average Combat Score (ACS): 216.0
  • Kill-Death Ratio: 1.14
  • Kill/Assist/Survived/Traded: 73%
  • Average Damage Per Round: 135.1
  • Headshot Percentage: 24%

Rb is one of the few players we have seen on the Global stage that can play virtually any role or agent. His versatility allows DRX to play comfortably with any agent composition, and on top of that, this 21-year-old can also frag out. 

Although he didn’t have the best numbers at VCT Pacific, Rb shined at the Masters with a 1.09 VLR rating, the highest out of his teammates. 

For more news on Valorant and Champions 2023, stay tuned with ESTNN.

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