In the run-up to the Valorant First Strike tournament, we are monitoring the regional teams and predicting which ones have a strong chance of claiming the top spots in the tournament.
The Japanese region is one of the most perplexing when it comes to shooters. On the one hand, no teams from Japan have proven themselves in any of the games in this genre until now. But on the other hand, they have been very successful in Valorant.
One of the teams currently ranked in the world’s top 2 is Absolute JUPITER. The players were assembled back in April and have since then performed well in several tournaments. And, unlike their Asian counterparts, AJ participated in world competitions, not only at regional ones. The team took first place in the A.W EXTREME MASTERS Pro Invitational and Mildom Masters, and third place in the A.W EXTREME MASTERS ASIA Invitational—the largest Asian tournament. Of course, it was difficult for them to compete with Korea because of their significantly higher level of play. However, if we only consider the Japanese region, Absolute JUPITER are clear favorites.
In theory, only the SCARZ team can compete with AJ.
These guys have also had good results: first place at the EDION Valorant Cup and second place at the RAGE Japan Tournament. The team’s only problem is inconsistency. After a successful tournament, they lose the next one. However, if SCARZ skips the upcoming smaller tournaments and focuses on preparing for Valorant First Strike, they could seriously challenge AJ and the other teams that have also assembled strong lineups but have no competition experience.
CIS organizations were among the last to finalize their Valorant rosters. This is because the regional teams did not have many opportunities to play competitively. But only a couple of months later, relatively strong teams like FishkaVTom (TeamTommorowBIG) started to appear. The team is not under the organization’s wing but consistently performs well in small tournaments like the Logitech G Beyond Tournament. The team has players from other shooters, including Gray, who came from Point Blank, and Edelweiss, who quit the PUBG competition scene. This is precisely why TTB could be the winners of the CIS Valorant First Strike.
FishkaVTom’s rivals are likely to be Gambit and Team Empire. The former assembled its roster less than a month ago but is competing at the current NGL Open Cup tournament. The Gambit team was formed around two former CS:GO players, nAts and sheydos, as well as an Apex:Legends Sunset player. Although these guys don’t have much experience on the competition scene, they will definitely be out to prove themselves in Valorant.
Team Empire was assembled in October but has not yet played in any tournaments. Their lineup looks strong on paper, especially when we see DieZzz, one of the most famous CIS players in PUBG. While they will find it difficult to compete with Gambit, they should prove to be strong opposition for both them and FishkaVTom.
Of course, one shouldn’t disregard the other teams that are just being formed. The only problem is that these teams are unlikely to produce consistent results due to a lack of in-game chemistry.
The situation in the Brazilian region is similar to that of the CIS. While it’s true that, unlike the CIS, the Brazilian teams were assembled early, they have not achieved much success. The only strong roster is B4 eSports, which has achieved good results in the regional tournaments. In addition, they were the first team to make it to the Valorant First Strike closed qualifiers in the open qualifiers. This means that they have at least two weeks to prepare for the main stage. Maybe they are the ones who will show the Brazilian teams how to play Valorant.
The Bottom Fraggers team could be a serious threat to B4. Although it’s recent performances haven’t been very good, it was among the first teams to go through Valorant First Strike’s closed qualification stage. The team has 4 first places in a row behind it, albeit in competitions with prize money of only a few tens of dollars. It seems to be a pretty weak achievement, but at this stage, there aren’t any other teams showing at least some results on the Brazilian Valorant stage.
The Black Dragons roster looks relatively strong. But there is one problem: there are only three players in the organization’s active roster who have previously had good results at regional competitions. If the team manages to sign two players before the next qualifying rounds, they will have a good chance of winning prizes in the tournament.
This is one of the most disputed regions in the Valorant eSports scene. On the one hand, teams from Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and other countries in this region rarely venture away from tactical games like League of Legends or Dota 2. On the other hand, the teams from this region are currently faring quite well in Riot’s shooter. For example, the Attack All Around team, which is in the top 10 of the world ranking, is performing well in local regional tournaments and hasn’t placed lower than second. The team includes a professional CS:GO eSportsman and PUBG JinNy, as well as former CS:GO players wannafly, Kongared and PTC. Their past cybersports experience has helped these teams in the Pacific «branch» of the Asian region hold onto the top spots in the rankings.
Only ahq e-Sports can compete with AAA
Only ahq e-Sports can compete with AAA, also maintaining a fairly high level of play. In the last two months, the team won the Cyber Games Arena Pacific Open, beating Attack All Around in the final. Their results are not bad, but not very impressive either. Moreover, ahq has no experience of playing in major tournaments, which could really help other teams in the region who come up against them.
This is another disputed region that has no clear leaders in the fight for the Valorant eSports championship. One team to mention is Kanga Esports, which is already in the closed qualification stage of Valorant First Strike but has no other achievements on the competitive stage. They can compete with EXO Clan, who won two tournaments in a row but did not participate in the qualifiers for the tournament from Riot Games.
Who will become the Oceania leader?
So the question of «Who will become the Oceania leader?» is still an open-ended one. And this means that we will be seeing new stars emerging from this scene.
The Turkish teams still remain in the shadows, and it was only at the beginning of their qualifiers that they began to show themselves. Oxygen Esports now dominates this region’s scene and was the first team to win a ticket to the Valorant First Strike closed qualifying stage. In addition, OE performed well in tournaments, consistently coming in second place at smaller world competitions, such as the Intel Gaming Fest 2020.
The second team that reached the closed qualifiers is Futbolist. This organization finalized its roster back in early October. The team is quite promising as its players have been playing competitively in Valorant since the beta test. And the performance of each of the players has been very good. While still not under the organization’s wing, the team of STERBEN, SasuKe, mag0o, marqnue, and mojjj proved they have what it takes when they won the Intel Gaming Fest 2020, beating Oxygen Esports. That’s why Futbolist is the leading contender to take first place at the Turkish Valorant First Strike.
Unfortunately, there were no teams from the Middle East in either the first or the second stage. And beyond just the absence of any teams, there are not even rumors of these countries assembling rosters. Perhaps unknown talents will be revealed to viewers closer to the start of open qualifications for this region. And this is one good reason to watch the tournament in this region.