Look out for these EU players at VCT!
With more than 300 teams competing in the upcoming European VALORANT Champions Tour and plenty of talent on display, it can be difficult to navigate through all of the teams and rosters to see who is worth keeping an eye on.
Of course, the likes of Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom and Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas Colocho will inevitably pop off, but below is a list of players you should keep a lookout for because they have the ability to upset their opponents and surprise you.
zeek - G2 Esports
Prior to First Strike, G2 Esports were the undisputed best and most dominant team in Europe, but after failing to make it to the finals of First Strike, the team decided to shake things up by swapping out David "Davidp" Prins for Nolpenki’s Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt. Even though zeek was an unsigned player, the 19-year-old was already making a name for himself as an explosive and impactful fragger which is a fitting playstyle for a team like G2.
zeek, who predominantly played Raze and Sova prior to joining G2, showed his versatility at the Home Ground by Red Bull tournament - whipping out both Sage and Reyna on his debut and top fragging in the 2-0 series against FrenzyGoKill. zeek has also had some in-game leading experience back on Nolpenki, bringing some much-needed leadership skills to a G2 that can sometimes be a little chaotic. While every single player on the G2 roster is individually brilliant, the addition of zeek could take them to the next level.
doma - Fnatic (ex-SUMN FC)
It was hard to believe that SUMN FC’s Domagoj "Doma" Fancev wasn't playing VALORANT full time. The 17-year-old is still juggling school with his professional VALORANT career and recently adding more agents to his champion pool - playing both Jett and Reyna alongside his trusted Raze.
Dome is perhaps one of the most consistent players on his team, averaging a K/D of 1.25 and 264.9 ACS on Raze across 66 maps. While SUMN FC traditionally struggled on Ascent, his Jett looked very promising at Home Ground by Red Bull when paired with IGL Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s Breach. After their outstanding performance at First Strike, the new Fnatic roster will be put to the test at VCT to see if they are able to maintain their consistency among the top teams, and there is no doubt that doma will be up there doing the heavy lifting for his team.
Jady - NiP
It seems like Ninjas in Pyjamas can’t keep the same roster for more than three months in Europe but as they showed recently at Home Ground by Red Bull, the current line up might just be the best one yet and a lot of that has to do with Yaroslav "Jady" Nikolaev. The Sova/Sage flex player was outstanding on his former roster HSDIRR but due to the fact they were unsigned and had a smaller following, Jady remained a criminally underrated player in EU.
Many weren’t quite sure how the latest variation of NiP would perform especially after making not one but two roster changes, adding IGL Kévin "Ex6TenZ" Droolans alongside newbie Jady. However, they looked arguably better than ever at the Home Ground tournament with many fans thoroughly impressed with Jady’s performance - who managed to frag out on both Sage and Sova and secure some crucial rounds against Futbolist. NiP fans have been frustrated with the lack of trophies thus far but keep a lookout for Jady, he could be the difference-maker in their upcoming VCT campaign.
vakk - Team Vitality (ex-FrenzyGoKill)
Vakaris "vakk" Bebravicius has finally been snapped up by a tier-one org and will be joining Team Vitality ahead of the VALORANT Champions Tour. The 20-year-old has been grinding at the top-level since the beta and helped to propel the brand Nolpenki to a household name in EU VALORANT. While it’s sad that Nolpenki has come to an end, vakk moved onto a new roster under the banner FrenzyGoKill, and has now found his home with Vitality.
Having already been predicted by many VALORANT analysts to be a top-five European roster, vakk and co made their debut at Home Ground by Red Bull, beating the likes of Wave, BIG, and Dfuse Team with ease. vakk top fragged in all three of those matches and showed why he’s been given the main Jett role on a team with two other very capable Jett players. This roster will be expected to have a transition period before they reach their comfort zone but vakk didn’t even look like a player who’s on a new team - a true joy to watch if you want to learn how Jett should be played right now.
Sayf - Guild
For a second it looked like Saif "Sayf" Jibraeel was going to step away from competitive VALORANT but luckily he was snapped up by Guild during the offseason where he reunited with his former Bonk teammates. No one in Europe has a wider agent pool than Sayf, from Phoenix to Viper, and Sage and Sova, the 20-year-old has pretty much played every agent in officials over the last ten months.
Now, it seems that Guild has moved him onto the Sentinel role, debuting his Killjoy against Team Liquid at Home Ground by Red Bull. While they weren’t able to overcome Liquid, Sayf showed that he had no problem fragging out even if he’s not playing his iconic Phoenix pick anymore. Guild only played Ascent and Icebox, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that Sayf will be locked into Killjoy across all five maps, and after a run of average results for Guild, Sayf will be the key to their success going into VCT.
Images via Riot Games