VCT commissioner responds to the Guard decision backlash, hopes for 'positive outcome'

VCT commissioner responds to the Guard decision backlash, hopes for 'positive outcome'
Image via Riot Games

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


31st Aug 2023 17:00

In the wake of the unexpected sidelining of The Guard from the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) North American partnership league, the esports community has intensified its calls for Riot Games to rethink its controversial decision. 

The overarching concerns centre around the unforeseen consequences of the administrative decision and the broader implications for emerging teams in the esport. While the community agrees there are no easy victories for Riot, it argues that the worst of all options was chosen.

Community and Industry Voices Unite in Discontent

Petition - Let The Guard roster play VCT under another organization
by u/olen0 in ValorantCompetitive

The initial reservations voiced by fans, players, and key industry figures have escalated further. A petition advocating for The Guard's rightful inclusion in VCT saw a surge in support. The petition, pinned on the r/VALORANTcompetitive subreddit, has gathered a staggering 8,500 signatures. 

Josh "Sideshow" Wilkinson, one of the premier shoutcasters of the Champions Tour, added his perspective on the PlatChat VALORANT podcast. During the episode, he pinpointed the decision as the first major blunder in VALORANT esports history, emphasising the gravity of the situation with, "It's the first time where they had a proper mess of a situation."

Riot Games Responds to the Outcry

Acknowledging the community's fervent response, Leo Faria, Global Head of VALORANT esports, took to Twitter promising a reevaluation. 

His tweet read, "I appreciate the passion with which you all showed up to advocate on behalf of the players. We hear you...we're working through this and hope to find a positive outcome for the players. We'll update you all when we know more."

Responses from The Guard's affected members soon followed. Head coach Josh "JoshRT" Lee expressed his gratitude with a succinct, "Thank you for reconsidering.

Player Michael "neT" Bernet also voiced his appreciation, commenting, "Thank you for considering the players🙏." The pressure is on for Riot as a shift from 10 to 11 teams could entail significant production ramifications. 

With planning for VCT Americas 2024 in motion, a prompt decision is essential to ensure the timely finalisation of next year's schedule. Until then, the esports community remains on edge, hoping for a decision that acknowledges the dedication and efforts of The Guard's players.

Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.

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