Fnatic admits org “likely” won’t enter Valorant until at least 2021

Brad Norton
Valorant Jett artwork / Fnatic logoRiot Games

Many of the biggest esports organizations in the world have been rushing to enter the competitive Valorant scene since the game launched on June 2, however, EU giants Fnatic have adopted a more patient approach and explained why they’re holding off for now.

Since its reveal, Riot’s FPS has been hyped up as one of the hottest esports to be involved with. Thanks to the first wave of Ignition Series events across the globe, the competitive scene has been flourishing out of the gate. Marquee brands from 100 Thieves to FaZe Clan have already signed players with diverse backgrounds from many other titles. However, not every mega-popular organization appears eager to dip its toes just yet.

While many star-studded lineups are making a splash in North America, a majority of European teams are yet to be signed. G2 Esports jumped in early and secured a top team right out of the gate, though the likes of Team Vitality, Mousesports, and plenty others are still holding off.

Perhaps the biggest organization yet to jump in, however, is none other than Fnatic. Colin ‘Cojo’ Johnson, the org’s Senior Team Director recently spoke with GGRecon to explain the decision. He outlined why avid fans shouldn’t hold their breath for a Valorant team at Fnatic in the near future.

Fnatic Valorant tournamentTwitter: Fnatic
Fnatic was one of the first organizations to host a tournament, though the org hasn’t been quick to sign its own team.

Despite some hefty prize pools coming through early on, Fnatic simply wants to “feel things out” for the time being. A few rosters have piqued their interest, with Johnson personally speaking to roughly “70 players within Europe.” However, the org hasn’t quite found the right fit just yet.

Valorant a major investment for any brand looking to get involved. Not only that, but the ongoing global crisis has “made things a lot more sensitive,” he added. Securing approval for that kind of expenditure has become more difficult as a result. If Fnatic is going to bring a new lineup onboard, everything has to line up perfectly.

As other teams invest heavily to bring big-name personalities under their banners early, Johnson believes in a more measured strategy. “I think we’ve always taken a bit more of a careful and considered approach,” he explained on the topic of new esports ventures.

While Johnson wasn’t willing to give a definitive answer on when fans might expect the org to appear in the Valorant scene, he did provide a rough timeline. “I would say Q4 is probably the earliest you could expect Fnatic to be seen with a team in Valorant.” However, “it’s more likely to be in 2021 than 2020,” he clarified.

Valorant Ignition Series event Riot Games
Valorant Ignition Series events have only been growing in popularity since Valorant launched.

“I don’t think that we’ve really had that ‘aha’ moment or that group of a few guys that we really feel like we want to invest a lot in right now.” Fnatic is eyeing a few “different investments” at this point in time, even weighing up the idea of “entering other new titles.” Valorant is just one of many options for the European org moving forward.

There’s still a chance that an exceptional group of players hits all of the right notes. Fnatic’s ideal “pan-European” roster could be right around the corner. But it sounds like the only org with a Gucci watch will likely be sitting out through til 2021.

Valorant gameplayRiot Games
No one knows quite how Valorant esports will evolve beyond the Ignition Series events.

Beyond this first slate of community events, it’s unclear how the competitive Valorant scene might evolve. Perhaps regions will be split off into different structures no different from League of Legends. Maybe something entirely new is on the way, but only time will tell. Meanwhile, Fnatic will be sitting on the sidelines waiting for the perfect opportunity to join in.