Why have big esports orgs missed out on 2023 Valorant International Leagues, including UK’s Excel and Guild?

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Riot Games has announced the partner teams for its 2023 Valorant International Leagues – and some big names are missing.

Some of the UK’s biggest esports organisations who have invested in Valorant – Excel Esports, Guild Esports and the OG LDN UTD partnership – have not made the European 2023 Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) list.

However, London-headquartered Fnatic made the cut.

Elsewhere, the likes of Acend, FPX, G2 and Alliance missed out on the European league, while in North America, TSM, XSET, Optic, FaZe and more are missing.

Then, in the Asia-Pacific region, the likes of Damwon, Boom Esports and many others have been omitted.

It’s clear – with limited spaces in Riot’s new franchise-like leagues, competitive has been fierce, and there’s not room for everyone.

Which teams will be playing in the Valorant International Leagues?

Riot has announced three Valorant International Leagues – the VCT Americas, EMEA and Pacific.

The teams in these leagues for 2023 are as follows:


  • Fnatic
  • Team Liquid
  • Team Vitality
  • Karmine Corp
  • Team Heretics
  • Giants
  • Navi
  • Fut Esports
  • BBL Esports
  • Koi

VCT Americas

  • Sentinels
  • 100 Thieves
  • Cloud9
  • NRG
  • Evil Geniuses
  • Furia
  • Loud
  • Mibr
  • Kru Esports
  • Leviatan

VCT Pacific

  • Zeta Division
  • Detonation Gaming
  • Gen.G
  • T1
  • DRX
  • Team Secret
  • Paper Rex
  • Rex Regum Qeon
  • Talon Esports
  • Global Esports

Many orgs that made it celebrated with announcements on socials, like Giants:

Fabien ‘Neo’ Devide, co-founder and esports director at Team Vitality, added: “The foundation of Team Vitality has been built on our historical success in CSGO so with the emergence of Valorant, we knew we had an opportunity to showcase our dominance in another FPS. Our road in Valorant so far has been extremely rewarding, including our win in the French Regional League, and we are incredibly proud to be able to continue our journey in the VCT in 2023.”

Why have certain teams not been invited to the Valorant International Leagues?

In a press release, Riot Games said: “The process was incredibly competitive, and we were humbled by the interest and the overwhelming number of applications we received. The selection spanned months, including a written application, in-depth interviews, and financial reviews. Ultimately, we looked for three things in our new VCT partners:

  • Organisations who share our values of always putting fans first, celebrate our diverse community, and are committed to supporting pros
  • Organisations who have created a strong connection with fans through engaging content, a compelling brand, and an exciting roster
  • Organisations who build for the long-term, with a focus on sustainability

“It’s worth addressing directly that while we respect and celebrate past competitive performance, it was not a key consideration in our decision – as we instead focused on an organisation’s ability to create the most compelling VCT for fans in the future.”

Note, this above point seems key. Winning alone is not key here, as Riot looks to other qualities as it goes further down this US sports style franchise-like route.

How did Valorant teams react to missing out on the Valorant International Leagues?

UK orgs Excel, Guild and OG LDN UTD have not commented publicly on missing out. But it’s likely they may make a response in time.

However, some players have comments, including trexx and Sayf who said they’ve been allowed to explore new opportunities as free agents. Coach Barbarr also said:

G2 missing out on the 2023 VCT made its own headlines, with the org apparently missing out due to G2 CEO Carlos’ controversy involving Andrew Tate, which led to Carlos leaving G2.

G2 were set to pick up the XSET roster, with Zekken saying the following:

XSET also made a longer statement.

Fnatic Boaster also commented:

Speaking of Fnatic, fellow UK player Mistic is benched and is exploring options for 2023.

Other EU organisations like FPX, Alliance and Acend made statements on their future following Riot’s announcement.

TSM gave the following update:

UK caster and broadcast talent Geo also commented about the news, and produced a reaction video to the Valorant 2023 partnership teams here.

She reinforced the point that results/individual player talent does not necessarily hold great weight when it comes to partner leagues.

Recent UK Valorant news: Boaster extends contract with Fnatic

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