What is the problem with mono-national teams in Valorant?

Valorant is a new first-person shooter. Many of its features are just beginning to be revealed to those who are closely following its developments.

One of these features is the dominance of cross-national teams in the upper echelons of the eSports shooter from Riot Games. If you look at the rosters of major organizations that have already entered the European scene, almost all of them consist of pro-players assembled from different parts of Europe. We’ll find out why mono-national teams in Valorant don’t survive for very long currently.

In fact, at the last European Ignition Tournament, Liquid was the only mono-national team participating in the event, and even they have now added a Belgian player nicknamed ScreaM to their English team.

So why are major organizations reluctant to sign teams made up of players of a single nationality, as is often the case in other shooters? In this article we’ll try to figure it out.

Frankly, organizations aren’t signing up multinational rosters, and they don’t even include the famous Liquid, Skade, Giants, BIG, and other lesser-known teams. All of them are represented by specific countries and regions.

The reason for this is that less affluent organizations simply cannot afford to sign up a roster of the best eSports players from all over Europe, both in terms of finance and media impact. However, they usually already have an impressive fan base in their home countries. Still, it can’t be said that any of these teams have achieved any serious success. Almost every Ignition tournament has been shared between 4 teams.

And while the Swedish team Bonk occasionally battled their way to the top, let’s be honest, these guys got lucky in two consecutive tournaments on the grid.

There are obviously many mono-national teams in Valorant

There are obviously many mono-national teams in Valorant in the top 20 of vlr.gg. But only a few of them performed well at the Ignition tournaments, and some achieved their ranking only at regional competitions.

Valorant Team Rankings

Not so long ago, all of this would have seemed very controversial because there were teams like PartyParrots and FABRIKEN. But their disappearance from the scene answers the question posed in this article’s title.

The reality is that mono-national teams in Valorant don’t survive for very long. PartyParrots and FABRIKEN, as well as FishkaVTom, StartedFromCS, Worst Players, and many others, have encountered this problem.

Major organizations don’t want to take ready-made teams under their wing because of the success of G2. They made it clear that the most effective recruiting strategy now is to sign up single players with strong individual skills, assembling the cream of the crop from all over Europe. Inspired by G2’s example, FunPlus Phoenix copied their strategy when they merged FABRIKEN and PartyParrots. As a result, we now have a team that can almost play on an equal footing with G2.

Valorant G2 Team

Should this be a rule for emerging esports disciplines as a whole?

If we’re totally honest, the answer is… probably not. If we look at the history of the development of esports disciplines like CS or Dota, we don’t see such a clear dominance of cross-national teams. This is partly due to problems such as ping and the language barrier at cybersport was more acute. In part, what is notable about Valorant is that its initial development as an eSport occurred during the pandemic lockdown period, which meant the teams didn’t even consider travel availability and boot camps.

While many of the major teams are now starting to take their players to boot camps, organizing trips to tournaments is still a long way off. Also, eSports in general have changed a lot over the past 10-15 years. So the general trend toward globalization inevitably has had an impact on the development of new shooters, including Valorant.

The last reason, which is perhaps the most important and fundamental one, relates to another feature of Valorant.

It’s no secret that our favorite tactical shooter is not only similar to Counter-Strike, but literally identical to its older brother in terms of its basic mechanics.

This meant that CS:GO players who made the switch to Valorant had already mastered 70-80% of the new shooter before the game client was even launched.

As such, players who were new to CS or any other game had to learn Valorant from scratch. This is definitely easier to do when playing with people you understand well, both in the game and outside, without a language barrier. But in Valorant, some players have almost peaked their individual skill since the Valorant closed beta. Esports players of older shooters have steadily developed their strategic and individual skills. This is why some Valorant teams are so far ahead of the rest in terms of the individual skill of all players, and no strategy will help to defeat them.

We see this very clearly with teams like Bonk and G2.

  • Bonk is a mononational team that wins by developing a game strategy and implementing it competently.
  • G2 are guys who play without an in-game leader (IGL). But because their shooting and individual decision-making skills are so high, in the two grand finals where G2 faced off with Bonk, they didn’t give them a single map!

Of course, team play skills and strategies are much higher in mononational teams. Nonetheless, major organizations know that neither team play nor tricky strategies are key to winning in any shooter developed by Riot Games.

To sum up, we must admit that the individual skill of all players comes first when considering a team’s formation.

It wouldn’t be advisable to sign entire regional teams. Why sign up the full Bonk roster when you can pick one or two of the team’s best players: nolpenki, FishkaVTom, and BBL?

Moreover, all these players have no organizations, so they won’t have to be bought out. In any case, we’re sure that this is just a temporary state of affairs. We’re hoping that the individual skill of all players will level out in the near future, and when this happens, Valorant eSports will reach a whole new level.

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