Do Valorant Champions teams have an advantage with more than one coach?

d00mbr0s, head coach for FPX at Valorant ChampionsLance Skundrich/Riot Games

Many organizations within Valorant have made an effort to expand their support staff with coaches and analysts coming into Valorant Champions and Last Chance Qualifier tournaments. Teams with a larger staff at the world championship could have a slight advantage in matches.

There are varying levels of staff infrastructure within esports. Some titles require multiple coaches and analysts and others can get by with no staff at all, like Sentinels in the early days of Valorant.

At Valorant Champions, some teams are coming into the event with multiple coaches and analysts while others have only brought along one. Teams operating with multiple coaches may have a slight advantage during the preparation time for matches. They can watch more tape and potentially brainstorm ideas together during tactical pauses on stage according to Fnatic head coach Jacob ‘mini’ Harris.

“I always get a little bit more nervous against teams that have two coaches, because [100 Thieves] have like Sean ‘sgares’ Gares obviously Michael ‘Mikes’ Hockom and they’re both really talented people,” mini said in an interview with Dexerto after their opening match against 100 Thieves.

Fnatic at Valorant ChampionsColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Fnatic have an assistant coach working with the team remotely.

“Whereas our assistant coach that we hired for this event is not here. So I’m a bit more careful with when I decide to tactical.”

mini expanded on his philosophy around tactical pauses saying he listens to his team’s IGL in-game to make sure he’s on point and doesn’t need correcting. If the Fnatic coach does call a needless pause in play, he could give the enemy team’s coaches a chance to come up with something.

“If they have many coaches in the back room, they do technically have an advantage. But obviously, I’m not gonna sit and complain, we could do the same, you know. So it is a little bit of a slight advantage that they get from having more coaches,” mini said.

Player’s thoughts on having multiple coaches at Valorant Champions

FPX lifts the Valorant Masters Copenhagen trophyColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
FPX battled through the lower bracket to claim the Masters Copenhagen trophy.

For most of the players Dexerto spoke to, having more people to bounce ideas off of and work with seemed to be an obvious advantage.

“I mean, the more people you have outside the game, it’s better right?” LOUD’s IGL Matias ‘Saadhak’ Delipetro said in an interview with Dexerto.

But adding infrastructure can be difficult in some regions due to factors such as budget and the pool of talent they have.

“For the Brazilian scene, it’s kind of hard to find good people, talented people, and people who want to be coaches and analysts, right? So it’s really hard, even though the investment is there,” Saadhak said.

At the same time, however, players agreed with mini that the advantage gained at events like Masters and Valorant Champions is minimal.

Xerxia Esports in a huddle before a matchColin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Xerxia have yet to make a dent on the international stage in 2022, they might be due for a win.

“It’s not like a very huge gap between us not having [more coaches] and them having it so I think it’s okay, but it’s not that much of a gap,” Xerxia’s Thanamethk ‘Crws’ Mahatthananuyut said in a Champions press conference.

According to past winners of international events, the coaching staff may not play a large factor. FunPlus Phoenix won Masters Copenhagen with one coach and analyst and Gambit Esports had two coaches for their Masters Berlin winning run in 2021 .

If the advantage was significant, then South Korea’s DRX, who have four listed coaches, would have an international trophy by now.

For FPX’s IGL Kyrylo ‘ANGE1’ Karasov, who also comes up with much of the team’s strategies, having more staff would be nice, but is not necessary to win.

“Obviously, sometimes, especially on LAN when you have game by game, you need to work extra. So we have less time to play, but it is what it is,” ANGE1 said in a Champions press conference.