The eight teams set for this month’s Valorant Masters Europe event have been locked in – and several big names are missing.
Valorant has a nice mix of UK esports talent but the region will be marginally represented in the first Valorant Masters, taking place from March 11th to 21st.
London-based Guild Esports have made it through as one of the eight teams, with their all-Swedish roster, as have Team Heretics, whose head coach Tanishq ‘Tanizhq’ Sabharwal is from the UK (see more of his comments further down the article).
Alliance have also qualified. Alliance’s general manager James Banks is British, while their analyst MitchMan is Irish.
Other qualified teams include Ninjas in Pyjamas, FunPlus Phoenix, Dfuse Team (who are looking for a new org), Raise Your Edge Gaming and Ballista Esports.
As some in the community have highlighted, there are several big-name organisations missing from this eight-team list, and from the other Valorant Masters events around the world.
Journalist and consultant Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau said:
Other missing European teams include the likes of Vitality, Giants, BIG, Movistar Riders and others such as the UK’s Rix.gg, who announced some new Valorant signings earlier this year.
On the weekend, all-French team Dfuse beat G2 2-1, all-Polish side Ballista defeated Fnatic 2-0, Raise Your Edge beat OG 2-0 and Guild secured a 2-0 win over Wave.
The news comes after Fnatic signed their first Valorant team – and the players from UK-core side SUMN FC – last month.
Team Liquid are another UK-core Valorant side that failed to qualify for Masters, with ScreaM expressing his disappointment in not doing so:
According to this comment on Reddit posted by knaafehOW, ScreaM also recently said in regards to smaller orgs qualifying for Masters: “That’s how you know the scene is developing… it’s hard to beat all these good new teams.”
However, there are of course other Challengers and Masters events throughout the year, so these teams will have another shot at glory.
‘Our goal is to win no matter the score, but none of the games are easy at this stage‘ – UK coach Tanizhq
“The team is feeling pretty confident going into Europe Stage 1 Masters,” said Team Heretics’ UK head coach Tanishq ‘Tanizhq’ Sabharwal. “Practise has shown daily improvement and we hope to bring that into the tournament.
“There is of course pressure at defending our title from First Strike Europe, but the players always focus entirely on the game when on the server. When we are in the game, our goal is to win no matter the score.
“Thoughts about being the best team in Europe don’t cross our mind. We beat Fnatic, Team Liquid, and G2 Esports at First Strike Europe, so we are happy to play and hopefully beat different teams this time around.
“FPX Esports and Ninjas in Pyjamas are on our radar, they might be the toughest opponents we have faced so far, but none of the games are easy at this stage.
“Stage 1 Masters represents the top 8 teams in Europe so we are going to take it one game at a time and not underestimate any team.”
More on Masters and scheduling
The next Masters events after the March showing will take place in June and September, with a last chance qualifier in October and the Valorant Champions event at the end of the year.
This is all a part of the Valorant Champions Tour first announced last November – you can see more info on the format and structure of the Valorant Champions Tour on Riot’s Valorant website.
Masters Stage 2 will take place in Reykjavík, Iceland at the Laugardalshöll venue from May 24th to 30th.
- March 12th to 14th starting at 4.30pm GMT – group stage
- March 18th to 19th starting at 4.30pm GMT – group stage
- Match 20th to 21st starting at 4.30pm GMT – semi-finals and finals
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.