With VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland kicking off in Reykjavik, Valorant fans finally get a chance to see how each region stacks up to one another. Ahead of the big dance, we’ve analyzed the best teams and their chances of winning in the VCT Iceland power rankings.
It’s finally here. Almost 12 months to the day since Valorant went live across the world, we will have an international event to determine the strongest squad, and region, on the planet.
With 10 teams from seven different regions taking part, and over a dozen countries represented, there’s plenty of diversity. However, it’s hard to truly see how one region will stack up to another.
We’ve tried our best with these power rankings, taking into account teams’ domestic performances and their individual skill to truly see who the best team is heading into VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland.
10. X10 Esports
Hailing from Thailand, X10 Esports come in as the heavy underdogs for VCT Iceland. The SEA squad might be an unknown name to most, but they’ve dominated the local scene, winning Masters 1 after forming at the end of 2020.
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It’s hard to see where they’ll stack up, but it’s safe to assume they won’t stand much of a chance. With most of their play centering around former Overwatch star Patiphan ‘Patiphan’ Chaiwong, if teams can shut down the Jett player, then the rest of X10’s roster should peel away.
9. Crazy Raccoon
Crazy Raccoon had to push through Japan’s own Vision Strikers in Absolute Jupiter to make it to Iceland. It gives them some good standing, with the hybrid Korean and Japanese roster really turning up the heat domestically in 2021.
If Byeon ‘Munchkin’ Sang-beom is allowed to spread his wings and fly, Crazy Raccoon are a real underdog threat to push for a top 4. However, their tactical depth leaves something to be desired, and with an ever-evolving meta, that could really impact their chances in Iceland.
Version1 stunned North America when they managed to overcome the likes of 100 Thieves, Cloud9 Blue, and more to make it to VCT Masters. IGL Anthony ‘vanity’ Malaspina and star fragger Erik ‘penny’ Penny were a huge reason behind being able to cause upset after upset.
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There is a dark cloud above Version1’s chances at VCT Iceland though, and that’s the fact they’re using a sub. Whether Jamal ‘jammyz’ Bangash can bring the same level of play Maxim ‘wippie’ Shepelev did in the Challengers Finals remains to be seen. Regardless, it’s hard to see Version1 making a deep run — but they proved us all wrong back in NA.
7. KRU Esports
Para la Historia 🥲
— KRÜ Esports 🤟🇮🇸 (@KRUesports) May 13, 2021
KRU are another squad that has absolutely no expectations, nothing to lose, and everything to gain at VCT Iceland. The sole squad from Latin America are probably the most flexible team in the tournament — everyone on the lineup has at least three Agents in their back pocket.
This flexibility and unpredictability only adds to the allure of backing this underdog squad. Don’t be surprised to see Joaquin ‘delz1k’ Espinoza pull out the Brimstone, or Roberto ‘Mazino’ Rivas to flex between Sage, Viper, and Phoenix. There’s plenty of potential for KRU to surprise, but whether they have the same level of fundamentals as the best of the best is yet to be seen.
6. Sharks Esports
🇧🇷 Você compraria um CD dessa boy band?
— yng Sharks – Masters Reykjavíc 🇮🇸 (@sharksesportsgg) May 21, 2021
Sharks Esports are a bit of a surprise entry from Brazil. While most expected Gamelanders to make it out, Sharks upset the favorites and then shut down FURIA to book their tickets to Iceland. However, they were pantsed by Vikings not just once but twice, setting the tone for the gap between the two teams.
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Despite this, Sharks have some hope. An easier bracket run, partnered with an extremely flexible roster (keep an eye on Gabriel ‘gaabxx’ Carli, who can play anything from Jett to Viper to Yoru to Sage) could see them cause a ruckus.
5. NUTURN Gaming
NUTURN have already slain one giant on their way to VCT Iceland in Vision Strikers. They’ll have to slay nine more if they want to lift the first major international Valorant trophy. NUTURN are a squad bubbling with excitement from two fronts, Kim ‘Lakia’ Jong-min and Seo ‘Suggest’ Jae-young.
They are two of the most talented and flexible players in the world right now, playing everyone from Breach to Raze, Sova to Jett; whatever their team’s leader Kang ‘solo’ Keun-chul tells them to. While Koreans don’t have the best history in tactical FPS titles, NUTURN have real potential to buck the trend in Valorant with their deep stratbook and explosive fragging power.
4. Team Vikings
Vikings are the undisputed best team from Brazil heading into VCT Iceland, and they’ll be carrying the pride of the FPS-loving nation on their shoulders. It couldn’t be on a more reliable pair either. They’re a fun and innovative squad, with good fundamentals at heart.
Very few teams have a Sova player like Gustavo ‘Sacy’ Rossi, whose arrows are as good as his Varus ones back from when he was a League pro. They’re not afraid to experiment, having been an early adopter of Astra and even Yoru. Expect them to keep enemies on their toes throughout VCT Iceland, and even be a dark horse to win it all.
Europe’s second seed Fnatic might not be the number one in the region, but they are certainly no slouches. Unlike Version1 to Sentinels (more on them later), Fnatic are about equals with their counterparts Liquid.
After a host of roster shuffles in April, they’ve built a solid squad including Nikita ‘Derke’ Sirmitev, who has cemented himself as the star player on this roster. Between Derke and Domagoj ‘Doma’ Fancev, Fnatic have one of the most lethal one-two punches in the world, and they’ll need all their blows to land if they want to win VCT Iceland.
Sentinels have been in the newscycle a bit ahead of VCT Iceland, and it’s not for their players in the server. That withstanding, the kings of North American Valorant looked primed to at least find themselves at the pointy end of the tournament.
There’s seemingly nothing Sentinels can’t do. They have insane fragging power when Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo is online, but it’s not the end of the world given his backups are guys like Hunter ‘SicK’ Mims. Shahzeb ‘ShahZaM’ Khan is one of Valorant’s best IGLs and it shows with their strategic depth. However, their harder run compared to other teams could see them fall short.
1. Team Liquid
That leads us to Team Liquid, who have a perfect storm of S-tier talent and a breezy bracket to bring Valorant’s first international trophy home to Europe. Adil ‘ScreaM’ Benrlitom enters VCT Iceland as probably the best player in the world right now, and the rest of his team aren’t slouches.
They managed to overcome Fnatic in the EMEA Finals to secure that top seed — something that is proving to be a huge advantage with their easy run to the Final. However, even if they had a harder run, it’d be hard to look over a squad with this much firepower and depth in Iceland. Plus, no jet lag. The cards are truly in Liquid’s favor, and they need to take advantage of it.
VCT Stage 2 Masters Iceland starts on May 24.