Top 5 players to watch at Valorant Champions 2022

The Valorant Champions trophyWojciech Wandzel/Riot Games

Valorant Champions is set to kick off on August 31 with the top teams from around the world fighting for the trophy in Istanbul, Turkey. Out of those 16 teams, here are five players that fans should keep their eyes on throughout Valorant Champions for popoff plays.

The 2022 edition of Valorant Champions features many new teams to the tournament and a few to the international stage. While there are stalwarts of international play this year like Paper Rex and OpTic Gaming, this list will cover top players that may have flown under the radar or should get more attention at the event.

Team Liquid Dimasick

Dimasick joins Team LiquidTeam Liquid
Dimasick was a late addition to Team Liquid.

Dmitriy ‘dimasick’ Matvienko joined Team Liquid for the EMEA Last Chance Qualifier. While not the flashiest player, he added some consistency and firepower that the team was missing from their fifth player spot. Before the former Counter-Strike player’s arrival, the team benched Travis ‘L1NK’ Mendoza and played Aurimas ‘Dreamas’ Zablockis as a substitute for much of Valorant Champions Tour Stage 2.

dimasick previously played for FunPlus Phoenix for most of 2021 where he played mostly Duelists and Sentinels. His most played agent is Cypher.

For Team Liquid, dimasick plays mainly supportive Agents like Brimstone, Omen, Sage and Sova. While not always lighting up the scoreboard, dimasick will be a big factor in Team Liquids success as he gains chemistry with the rest of the team and its stars like Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom

100 Thieves bang

100 Thieves Valorant team intro graphic with in-game names100 Thieves
100 Thieves have rebuilt themselves into a Valorant Champions team.

Sean ‘bang’ Bezerra is another player on this list that comes from a Last Chance Qualifier team in 100 Thieves. A rookie to the international stage, Bang has been a touted prospect in North America and is a part of a newly rebuilt squad that went on a lower bracket tear to make it to the event.

Bang has played for TSM and Built By Gamers before coming to 100 Thieves on loan from TSM. The teenager is the team’s Controller player, and has the possibility to frag out from the smoker role.

During the North American LCQ, bang ranked in the top five of the tournament in Kills/ Deaths ratio and top 10 in assists per round. There are many young and fresh faces on 100 Thieves, bang might be the most explosive player to grace the international server if he doesn’t get hit with first-time jitters.

ZETA DIVISION Xdll

ZETA DIVISION Xdll headshotZETA DIVISION
Can ZETA DIVSION pull off a similar run to Stage 1 Masters?

ZETA DIVISION are also bringing along a new player to Valorant Champions in Yuto ‘Xdll’ Mizomori. Fans and analysts have yet to see what Xdll has to offer to the Japanese side as they have not played an official match since he joined.

The loaned player will replace Tenta “TENNN” Asai who is currently on the bench recovering from a medical issue. Xdll mostly played supportive Agents like Initiators or Controllers for his teams, which means he could slot in to TENNN’s role, sans TENNN’s occasional Raze pickup.

Xdll may be the weakest link on the team coming into an event with a lot of expectations on their shoulders based off of their run at Stage 1 Masters. Fans should look at Xdll as a measure of just how well the team has been able to prep and harmonize since his addition.

Edward Gaming nobody

Edward Gaming Valorant team with a giant ticket for their flight to IstanbulEdward Gaming
The first Chinese team to compete at a Valorant Champions tournament.

China has been behind an iron curtain for most Valorant fans as the region has not been able to attend any international Masters or Champions events until 2022. Edward Gaming will represent the region for the first time and a player that fans should keep their eyes glued to during the tournament is Senxu ‘nobody’ Wang.

The teenager has been around the Chinese Valorant scene since 2020 on RNG and Qing Jiu Club before joining EDG. For the white and black org nobody is an Initiator player and regularly sees playing time on the seven-man roster.

While not the star of the team, their Duelist and Chamber player Yongkang ‘ZmjjKK’ Zheng has that title, nobody was hot in the Eastern Asia LCQ and could carry that over to Champions. EDG did not lose a map in the LCQ tournament and nobody was in the top five of almost all statistical categories including average combat score, K/D, average damage per round, kills per round and assists per round.

Fnatic Alfajer

alfajer competing for Fnatic in ValorantColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
The Turkish teenager will compete in front of a home crowd.

Fnatic have been to every international event in 2022 and are coming into Champions with the same roster of players from Stage 2 Masters. Fnatic went through an overhaul in their team after Stage 1 Masters and added Emir Ali ‘Alfajer’ Beder to their squad for more fragging power.

The teenager played up to his potential online and looked comfortable in a LAN setting after a few games were under his belt. Alfajer finished Stage 2 Masters in the top 10 in terms of headshot percentage and average combat score.

On top of his continued success, the Turkish player is the only Valorant pro at Champions from the host country and will have hundreds of fans cheering him on if Fnatic make it to the Playoff Stage. Fans should pay attention to the newest Fnatic signee as he could become a true Valorant star alongside Nikita ‘Derke’ Sirmitev if he plays up to his potential at the world championship.

Fans can watch these players as they potentially battle their way to the top at Valorant Champions, which is set to begin on August 31 with the Group Stage in Istabul.

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