The time has come. The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) 2023: Pacific League is set to kick off on 25 March at the Sangam Colosseum in Seoul, South Korea.
VALORANT might still be one of the newer esports leagues but it is definitely luring more viewers in with its thrilling matches. The recent VCT LOCK//IN garnered enough views to become the second most-watched VALORANT event ever, only beaten by the VALORANT Champions 2022. We have no doubt that the upcoming VCT 2023: Pacific League will be just as entertaining.
With four out of the 10 teams competing representing Southeast Asia, the likelihood that at least one (or maybe even more) can make it into the top 3 and get their hands on both the title and tickets to the Masters and Champions is high. GO SEA!
But how do we think each team will fare?
Looking at their recent performances, Talon Esports might come out of the tournament highest out of the four SEA teams. Most recently, they took down Evil Geniuses at the VCT LOCK//IN to secure themselves a spot in the quarterfinals.
That is no surprise though. Their roster is one that is proven. For a team to be successful, teamwork is just as important as skill. The all-Thai squad is led by Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong, and sitting alongside him will be his former teammates Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut, Panyawat “sushiboys” Subsiriroj and Itthirit “foxz” Ngamsaard. Together, they form the majority of the former X10 Esports roster that many saw as one of the best in the region.
There is one roadblock though. On 12 March, Crws threw a spanner in the works when he tweeted that he had been diagnosed with Bell’s palsy and would be missing his flight with the team to South Korea.
The disease is a neurological disorder that causes paralysis or weakness on one side of one’s face. We currently still do not know for sure if this health issue will put the player out of commission but we remain hopeful.
This Singaporean team has had a very successful track record, having come in second and forth in Masters Copenhagen and Reykjavik 2022 respectively. Their aggressive playing style and fun team dynamic has made them one of the most exciting teams to watch.
Yes, they might not have shown their full potential during the VCT LOCK//IN – not winning a single map. But that will only serve as greater motivation for them to show up at the upcoming tournament to prove themselves again.
Team Secret might have fallen at the hands of Natus Vincere during the Rounds of 16 at the VCT LOCK//IN but they were also responsible for one of the biggest upsets in VALORANT history in the earlier stages.
The all-Filipino team (which have taken on the nickname “Adobo Gang”) went head-to-head with Team Liquid, and despite going up against a team consisting of champions from the Masters Berlin, they came out victorious. Speaking about the win, Jessie “JessieVash” Cristy Cuyco said: “I do feel like this was the result we were expecting, even though 90% of the people in the world expect us to lose.”
What other upsets can they pull off? Will they take it to the next level and make it further into the competition?
Rex Regum Qeon (RRQ)
Admittedly, RRQ is going into VCT 2023: Pacific League the weakest of this bunch. They had a poor performance at VCT LOCK//IN and never made it out of the Round of 32.
The Indonesian team has also been the target of a lot of backlash due to the lack of local representation on their roster, with only one player being Indonesian. The captain and lone Indonesian, David “tehbotoL” Monangin, came from BOOM Esports and was part of the roster that qualified for VCT Champions.
The Chief Executive Officer has come out and acknowledged that he agrees with fans “but it is what it is.” He also said: “If indeed RRQ is wrong in choosing the players, we should at least be given the opportunity to try and wait for the results.”
Well, the waiting has come to an end. We will soon find out if this roster decision was the right one.