On the night of this Tuesday (29) the Global Head of VALORANT, Leo Fariaspoke after the announcement that the The Guard will not participate in franchised league next year. In addition, the team, which had not yet made any publications, confirmed that it will not be in the VCT Americas 2024.
Hey everyone. This situation is very unfortunate and none of us wanted this outcome. We designed Ascension hoping to see new teams and players joining our International Leagues every year, and it’s disheartening to see this happening in year one. That said, I want to share some… https://t.co/pdXWDVtP2Z
— Leo Faria (@lhfaria) August 30, 2023
In the VALORANT general director’s post, he lamented the developer’s decision, explaining that Riot Games designed Ascension with the hope of seeing new players in the International League.
This situation is very regrettable and none of us wanted this result. We designed Ascension expecting to see new teams and players join our International Leagues every year, and it’s disheartening to see that happen in the first year. That said, I want to share some of the details that got us here.
Leo Faria explains details of Riot’s decision
Challengers is VALORANT’s regional championship, where teams play tournaments until they reach VCT Ascension, a league that ccrowned The Guard as a great champion and a new team to join the Franchise League.
Leo Faria explained that the teams sign a participation agreement at the beginning of the tournament, that is, an integration system takes place after the end of the competition.
Teams competing in the Challengers knew they would be playing from the start of the season. Each team that qualified for the Ascension signed the participation agreement before the start of the tournament, and the signatures were held in escrow. Immediately upon completion, we began the onboarding process with the three winning teams, waiting for them to release their subscription from the escrow to finalize their promotion to international leagues. Sadly, this was never completed by The Guard, and after two months and several follow-ups, we had to make a very difficult decision not to jeopardize the start of next year’s season.
Riot Games values opportunities and professionalism, according to Leo Faria
In addition, Head Global reported that Riot Games values the opportunities and professionalism of organizations and that they maintain this standard both for partner teams (which joined the Franchise League) and for the winning teams of Ascension.
We want great organizations to participate in our sport and therefore hold all applicants to high standards. The structure and professionalism of the team is what allows VCT to offer incredible career opportunities for professionals and the development and growth of the sport we all love. We hold this bar high for both partner teams and ascendant teams, and we also offer the same benefits (the only exception is the team-branded weapon skin, which is only available to partner teams). These benefits include a base stipend, financial incentives, prizes, Champions Collection revenue share, and team-specific packages.
How Riot Games handled The Guard withdrawal process
Riot Games announced that the organization did not meet the requirements to join the league. Therefore, he considered three different points to resolve the situation.
We considered three different options: allow these 5 players to be signed by a new organization, promote the Ascension runner-up, or not promote any team at all.
In return, he also explained that after The Guard’s victory, players could be free for new signings.
The way our path to pro was designed, it’s fair to assume that a free agent team can make the Challengers and even win the Ascension.
If a free agent team makes it to an international league, players will have the opportunity to find an organization that supports them in the international league. This particular situation differs, as this team played through the Challengers and Ascension under The Guard tag, and became free agents after winning the tournament. Allowing a takeover by a different organization now opens the door for VCT vacancies to be sold, which we do not allow.
Why didn’t Riot Games give the spot to M80?
The second option would be to reallocate the vacancy to the M80, which took second place in the championship. However, Leo Faria stated that Riot’s planning is not to qualify a team that lost.
We are considering promoting the runner-up M80, however this would also create questionable precedent. Ascension’s goal is to reward performance. And as great and talented as M80 is, qualifying a team that didn’t win the tournament defeats that goal. Promotion is earned in-game, not out-of-game.
The news took everyone by surprise, including The Guard players themselves, who said they heard the news via the Twitter post.
Finally, the Brazilian showed his disappointment in withdrawing the team from VCT Americasbut that Riot’s responsibility is to protect VALORANT.
We are very disappointed on behalf of the players who have competed all season. And with that, they will not be able to qualify as a team due to circumstances beyond their control. As painful as this decision is to make, we have a responsibility to protect the integrity of VALORANT. Therefore, we will always do what is best in the long term.
The Guard Says It Won’t Be On VCT Americas In 2024
Hours after Riot’s shocking statement, the organization issued a public statement. As a result of the unexpected decision, team players use the networks to share their frustrations and outbursts.
🚨The Guard commented on the team’s situation:
The organization says it is disappointed with this unexpected situation but is committed to supporting players in the transition as they look for new opportunities. https://t.co/L6EmTdF7Nv
— MaisEsportsVAL (@maisesportsval) August 29, 2023
Players have already expressed willingness to consider proposals from other teams, reinforcing uncertainty about the future of this formation that won the Ascension title.