tarik calls out Brazilian Valorant fans after Fnatic’s VCT LOCK//IN victory
Fnatic managed to take down LOUD in one of the most exciting international finals in Valorant’s competitive history, but their win was marred by the fact that Brazilian fans quickly abandoned the stadium. tarik called out in-person fans and said that their behavior could keep Riot from hosting events there in the future.
Brazil has seen an esports renaissance in the past few years, with the country having a bigger presence than ever in some of the biggest titles out there. Games like Rainbow 6: Siege, League of Legends, Counter Strike, and Valorant all have massive fanbases in Brazil and pro teams worth rooting for at international events.
People who live there are proud of teams for their region – teams that have a history of excellence even when stacked up against the best competitors in the world.
However, events hosted in the country have regularly seen fans in the arena leave the moment Brazilian teams aren’t playing on stage or after they’ve lost. Things were no different after Fnatic’s upset victory at VCT LOCK//IN 2023 in São Paulo, and tarik called out fans in the arena for their lack of support for competitors from outside Brazil.
tarik frustrated by “sad” scene at Fnatic’s Valorant LOCK//IN win
It’d be no understatement to call the VCT LOCK//IN grand final one of the best in Valorant’s history. With an overtime victory for Fnatic in a best-of-5 set that ended 3-2, there weren’t many ways this final could have been closer. Both teams were pushed to the absolute limit.
LOUD, Fnatic’s opponents, won Valorant Champions 2022 in Istanbul and took home a massive win for Brazil. Expectations were high for them going in, and, despite their loss, it’s hard to say that their performance was disappointing.
However, in-person fans weren’t so generous to Fnatic after the win. With an emotional speech from star player Jake ‘Boaster’ Howlett and hundreds of thousands of live viewers across the world, the stadium was almost empty. tarik was heartbroken for Fnatic’s players.
He warned that, if fans in Brazil continued to only show support for the home team when it comes to events hosted within the country, Riot is much less likely to bring events there in the future.
tarik would go on to clarify that he doesn’t want to put down Brazil and its competitors for leaving the stadium, but rather that he wants them to show the same “immense love and support” they had for tarik when he was on a Brazilian team to the other teams in attendance.
Nikita ‘Derke’ Sirmitev would also go on to add some context here, saying that he got DMs from Brazilian fans who left the venue because they were uncomfortable due to the heat and that many of those attending had to get on public transport in order to get home safely.
Considering that these matches went about as long as they possibly could have with Fnatic winning in overtime on game 5, it makes a lot of sense for local fans to have not expected the matches to go on as long as they did.
All that said, tarik’s warning rings true in relation to other events held in Brazil. Not only were crowds at IEM Rio drastically smaller when the home teams weren’t playing, but people in the stands were shouting information at the competitors to try and give them an advantage.
It remains to be seen whether or not Riot plans a trip back to Brazil after what was a “sad” scene at what was otherwise a fantastic final.