Valorant pros criticize “joke” system after 100 Thieves eliminated from Kickoff

Shay Robson
VCT Americas stage

Professional Valorant players are lashing out at Riot over their “terrible” and “joke” esports structure, after 100 Thieves were eliminated from the VCT Americas Kickoff tournament.

After a disappointing 2023 season, 100 Thieves hit back with some big roster moves, adding Champions winner Kelden ‘Boostio’ Pupello to the team, and head coach Tony ‘Zikz’ Gray from Evil Geniuses.

However, 100 Thieves’ 2024 VCT season hasn’t gotten off to the best of starts. Having only played a handful of matches across two best-of-three series rounds in the Kickoff tournament, the team will now sit on the sidelines until Stage 1 in April after the upcoming Masters Madrid competition.

Valorant pros lash out at “joke” esports format

100 Thieves were eliminated from the VCT Kickoff tournament on February 19 after losing a best-of-three to Levitian and then Sentinels. As a result, the team won’t be back on the main stage until April, when Stage 1 of the VCT Americas begins.

This has led many within the community to speak out against Riot and criticize the “joke” system, as 100 Thieves have only played two matches since the Last Chance Qualifier in July of 2023.

Among those to bash Riot include 100 Thieves co-owner and former esports caster CouRage. “The Valorant esports structure is LAUGHABLY bad,” he said on Twitter/X. “I truly can’t believe how few matches are played DURING AN ENTIRE YEAR.”

He added: “Our team just lost 2 close matches and now we don’t play until April. It’s so frustrating. So many complaints last year and no changes for this year.”

Not only that, even Sentinels star Zellsis feels for the 100 Thieves roster. “This format is rough though and it sucks they’re already out,” he wrote in a post celebrating his team’s win following the game.

Similarly, NRG’s Head Coach Chet also hit out at the poorly designed schedule Riot has created. “100T waited 6 months from last year to play two matches to be put on another month+ break, our esports calendar is so badly designed,” he said.

Furthermore, the NRG coach made note of M80’s situation. After placing second to The Guard in the Americas Ascension tournament in July 2023, the team has still not played an official Riot-sanctioned match.

The team still has weeks to go until their first game in the Challengers League, Valorant’s second tier of competition. “M80 played ascension finals July 9th and will not have their first games until mid-March as well,” Chet explained. “Basically 8 months of scrimming with nothing notable to play on.”

Despite demands from organizations, players, and even fans for change, Riot is still sticking to its guns when it comes to the Valorant esports ecosystem. It’s unlikely we’ll see any changes to the system during the 2024 season, although we could see some tweaks heading into 2025.