All NA Valorant Challengers League 2023 teams: G2, FaZe, Disguised and more
The NA Valorant Challengers League promises to be a mouth-watering competition with several big names in attendance. Find out which teams will take part in the tier-two Valorant event.
With only five NA organizations making the VCT Americas league, there remains an ample amount of talent for other teams to work with. The NA Challengers League, Valorant’s tier-two competition, is shaping up to be an exciting tournament as a host of talented players and big organizations look to secure promotion to the international league.
The road to Americas Ascension began in January with two open qualifiers, which determined the last six teams that will compete in the NA Valorant Challengers League. Disguised — the team put together by popular streamer Jeremy ‘Disguised Toast’ Wang —, Oxygen Esports and Dark Ratio are some of the notable sides that came through the grueling qualifying process.
The last six teams received direct invitations to the Challengers League. Big-name teams like G2 Esports, TSM and FaZe Clan skipped the qualifiers and went straight to the main tournament. With the exception of M80 Esports, a brand new esports organization launched by XSET co-founder Marco Mereu, all teams invited to the Challengers League were denied partnership slots by Riot Games.
The top teams from the NA Challengers League will attend the Americas Ascension Tournament, where they will be joined by representatives from Brazil and LATAM. In the end, the winner will secure a two-year stay in the VCT Americas league.
Below is a rundown of all the teams that will compete in NA’s Valorant Challengers League, which will kick off on February 1. For more information about the tournament, check out our coverage hub.
NA Valorant Challengers League 2023 teams:
- Shahzeb ‘ShahZaM’ Khan
- Michael ‘dapr’ Gulino
- Erik ‘penny’ Penny
- Maxim ‘wippie’ Shepelev
- Francis ‘OXY’ Hoang
G2 Esports didn’t give up on North American Valorant after being snubbed for a slot in the VCT Americas league and built a strong-looking roster for the Challengers League headlined by former Sentinels duo Shahzeb ‘ShahZaM’ Khan and Michael ‘dapr’ Gulino.
They are joined by the former Version1 pair of Erik ‘penny’ Penny and Maxim ‘wippie’ Shepelev. The former was part of the Version1 team that finished 5th-6th at VCT 2021 Stage 2 Masters Reykjavík. (wippie missed the event due to visa issues.)
The final member of the team is ‘Francis ‘OXY’ Hoang, a rising star that was praised by head coach Ian ‘Immi’ Harding. “OXY seemed like the guy that was ready, he had a lot of good comms and he had a good agent pool,” Immi said. “It made sense to go with him.”
- James ‘hazed’ Cobb
- Johann ‘seven’ Hernandez
- Anthony ‘gMd’ Guimond
- Corey ‘corey’ Nigra
- Nicholas ‘NaturE’ Garrison
Shortly after Riot Games revealed the names of the ten partner teams for the VCT Americas league, Dominic Kallas, TSM’s VP of Esports, stated that, while “disappointed” at not making the cut, the organization remained committed to Valorant and would build a competitive roster for 2023 and beyond.
There are several familiar faces on TSM’s roster as the organization retained the services of Johann ‘seven’ Hernandez, Anthony ‘gMd’ Guimond, and Corey ‘corey’ Nigra. Veteran James ‘hazed’ Cobb returned to TSM after a spell with NRG to lead the team in the Challengers League. Former Immortals and Gen.G player Nicholas ‘NaturE’ Garrison is the final piece of the puzzle.
- Trent ‘trent’ Cairns
- Jonah ‘JonahP’ Pulice
- Michael ‘neT’ Bernet
- Jacob ‘valyn’ Batio
- Ian ‘tex’ Botsch
The Guard were one of the biggest surprises of 2022 in North American Valorant. At the start of the year, they came out of relative obscurity with a young roster and won the VCT Stage 1 Challengers to qualify for the Masters event in Reykjavík, where they finished 7th-8th.
Despite failing to make the partner league, The Guard managed to keep the majority of their roster, only losing duelist Ha ‘Sayaplayer’ Jung-woo (T1) and head coach Matthew ‘mCe’ Elmore (Cloud9). The former was replaced by Ian ‘tex’ Botsch, who left NRG after almost two years with the organization.
- Alexander ‘Zander’ Dituri
- Daniel ‘eeiu’ Vucenovic
- Mohamed ‘johnqt’ Amine Ouarid
- Gianfranco ‘koalanoob’ Potestio
- Marc-Andre ‘NiSMO’ Tayar
M80 Esports is a brand new esports organization launched by XSET co-founder Marco Mereu, who has assembled an interesting cast that includes former players of NRG (Daniel ‘eeiu’ Vucenovic), Version1 (Alexander ‘Zander’ Dituri), and Ghost Gaming (Mohamed ‘johnqt’ Amine Ouarid, Gianfranco ‘koalanoob’ Potestio, and Marc-Andre ‘NiSMO’ Tayar). The team will be coached by Gunter, who was an analyst for Ghost Gaming.
This may be a new face in Valorant esports, but the organization is confident that it can vie for promotion, as evidenced by their slogan, ‘All roads lead to Ascension’, in a reference to the tournament run by Riot Games.
- Adam ‘mada’ Pampuch
- Will ‘dazzLe’ Loafman
- Brandon ‘bdog’ Sanders
- Kaleb ‘moose’ Jayne
- Victor ‘v1c’ Truong
Shopify Rebellion have been around the Valorant scene since June, when they raised eyebrows with the signing of Luminosity Gaming’s roster. At the time, there was plenty of hype surrounding the team after a top-six finish in VCT NA Stage 1 Challengers, but they were unable to maintain that level of form and cooled off as the season wore on.
In November, Shopify Rebellion signed up-and-coming talent Victor ‘v1c’ Truong, a former T1 Academy graduate who was playing for SoaR, to replace Tanner ‘TiGG’ Spanu.
With a lineup that possesses a good blend of youth and experience, Shopify Rebellion are looking like strong contenders for the NA Valorant Challengers League title. Their recent victory in the Knights Arena Freezeout, an online tournament that also featured teams like TSM and Oxygen, shows that they are on the right path.
- Andrej ‘babybay’ Francisty
- Kevin ‘poised’ Ngo
- Quan ‘dicey’ Tran
- Phat ‘supamen’ Le
- Daniel ‘Rossy’ Abedrabbo
FaZe did not make any moves in the VCT off-season and were dormant for a long time after the end of the Valorant Champions last-chance qualifier, but that did not stop them from securing a spot in the Challengers League. The LA-based organization announced only on February 1 their lineup for the competition, keeping four of the players from the 2022 roster.
With babybaby, poised, dicey and supamen in the lineup, FaZe have a solid foundation to build upon. The team ended the year with a third-place finish in the last-chance qualifier, in which they managed to beat Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves.
Rounding out the roster is former TSM member Rossy, one of the best-performing players in the Challengers qualifiers. His team, The Nation, fell short in both tournaments, but Rossy’s individual talent did not go unnoticed.
- Brady ‘thief’ Dever
- Alex ‘aproto’ Protopapas
- Xavier ‘flyuh’ Carlson
- Brock ‘brawk’ Somerhalder
- Tyler ‘sym’ Porter
BreakThru were the first team to come from the qualifiers following an impressive unbeaten run that culminated in a 2-1 victory over TheNation after bouncing back from a 13-1 loss on the first map. Coached by Tanishq ‘Tanizhq’ Sabharwal, who previously guided teams like OG, SuperMassive Blaze, Giants and Vitality, BreakThru may not have a headline name, but almost all of their players have competed at the highest level in North America on teams like FaZe, Ghost Gaming and Pioneers.
- Damion ‘XXiF’ Cook
- Drake ‘Exalt’ Branly
- Amgalan ‘Genghsta’ Nemekhbayar
- Joshua ‘steel’ Nissan
- Joseph ‘clear’ Allen
The team put together by popular streamer Jeremy ‘Disguised Toast’ Wang lived up to the hype surrounding the project and qualified for the Challengers League via the open qualifier without dropping a series. Disguised features the core of the Knights team that made the VCT Stage 1 NA Challengers League last year, with former 100 Thieves captain steel at the helm of the squad. Rounding out the roster is clear, one of the most exciting talents in North America.
- Mitch ‘mitch’ Semago
- Josh ‘pwny’ VanGorder
- Logan ‘skuba’ Jenkins
- Devon ‘randyySAVAGE’ Bréard
- Andrew ‘Verno’ Maust
- Yassin ‘Reduxx’ Aboulalazm (substitute)
Another team that made it through the open qualifier is Oxygen Esports. After fielding a Turkish team and a North American academy lineup, Oxygen put together their most ambitious roster yet, headlined by former Cloud9 player Mitch ‘mitch’ Semago and ex-T1 player Josh ‘pwny’ VanGorder.
Logan ‘skuba’ Jenkins (Pioneers and Knights) and Devon ‘randyySAVAGE’ Bréard (Renegades) were also signed by Oxygen Esports, who promoted two players from the academy team to finalize the squad: Andrew ‘Verno’ Maust and 15-year-old Yassin ‘Reduxx’ Aboulalazm.
MAD Lions (ex-Dark Ratio)
- Justin ‘Trick’ Sears
- Adam ‘Ange’ Milian
- Anthony ‘ZexRow’ Colandro
- Taylor ‘drone’ Johnson
- William ‘Will’ Cheng
Dark Ratio were the final team to come through the open qualifier after exacting revenge on Stewie2K’s The Nation in a keenly-contested series. The team survived four tough elimination matches to earn a spot in the Challengers League.
Dark Ratio consist of four of the five players that were let go by DarkZero Esports when they exited competitive Valorant in July. The quartet linked up with Will, a former 100 Thieves player, and head coach Jornen ‘MoonChopper’ Nishiyama, who had worked with Cloud9 White, in this exciting new squad. Six months after the heartbreak of losing DarkZero’s support, the players shouldn’t have a hard time finding a new organisation willing to support them.
On January 31, it was announced that the team had signed with MAD Lions, who return to Valorant esports four months after putting their game’s section on hold.
Turtle Troop (ex-Squirtle Squad)
- Jack ‘Add3r’ Hayashi
- Peter ‘Governor’ No
- Mohammed ‘Harmful’ Choudhary
- Anthony ‘Okeanos’ Nguyen
- Matthew ‘Wedid’ Suchan
After crashing out of the open qualifier in 17th-24th place, Turtle Troop booked a spot in NA Challengers via the last-chance qualifier, in which they capped off an impressive upper bracket run with a 2-0 victory over OREsports.
Turtle Troop have in Matthew ‘Wedid’ Suchan, a former member of XSET and NRG, their headline name, but some of the other players have also competed on a high level in North America before, on teams like Serenity and Complexity. Mohammed ‘Harmful’ Choudhary, who came through TSM Academy, was the team’s top performer in the last-chance qualifier with a TheSpike rating of 1.27.
Turtle Troop are coached by Jackson ‘Jaxsen’ Popelka, who was previously in charge of Gen.G Black.
On January 28, the team announced that it will play as Turtle Troop because of a Nintendo trademark.