Here are the rising stars to keep an eye on during this big VALORANT competition.
We left VALORANT’s first international LAN event behind, but there is no time to rest since the third stage of VALORANT Champions Tour is on the way. Eleven teams are battling for a place at the end of the year event, which will be determined by the end of Stage 3. Players will give everything they got during this period, so we expect some of the highest caliber Valorant to be on display. There are many talented players who are trying to help their team grab a spot at Masters Berlin, however, these five definitely deserve the spotlight.
Kim “Lakia” Jong-min – NUTURN Gaming
The majority of the community slept on NUTURN while they were coming to Masters Reykjavik, although I said don’t do it. They had South Korea’s MVP in their roster, Lakia. The 20-year old player was on my “the ones to watch” list for Stage 2 Masters and he proved me right with the performance he showcased during the tournament. The sharp aim, clever plays and fearless moves. Lakia has everything that makes someone a great player, except some tournament experience. He has now banked some thanks to Masters Reykjavik, so with the things he has learned, I believe Lakia will push on and make a difference for NUTURN in Stage 3.
Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev – Fnatic
The young star drew all the attention towards himself as soon as he joined Fnatic in April and became one of the important players in the roster. Fnatic hadn’t looked powerful enough to participate in the EMEA Stage Challengers Finals before Derke joined the squad. However, the Russian player led his team to the grand final of Masters Reykjavik with his incredible Jett performances. Derke managed to win the day MVP award three times during the Masters and he did that when he was only eighteen. The star of Fnatic has a bright future in VALORANT scene and I can’t wait to watch him play on the server again.
Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong – X10 Esports
Despite being a one-year-old game, VALORANT brought so many new names to light already and Thai Patiphan is among those. Competing in a minor region doesn’t help him to get known better, but the 17-year old player used his limited time in Masters Reykjavik fruitfully. Besides putting in a strong performance and winning a day MVP reward in the Masters, Patiphan earned his recognition with charming actions and lovely behaviors. If he removes the language barrier, I’m sure we’re going to see Patiphan in one of the European or North American teams soon. Make them dance, man!
Anthony “Vanity” Malaspina – Version1
Nobody was giving a chance to Version1 before the beginning of Stage 2. There are several big organizations in North America and it was unlikely for them to step up and qualify for Masters Reykjavik. However, they did it and Vanity played a huge role in that as the in-game leader of the roster. The former CS:GO player understood the meta correctly, rearranged the playstyle according to that and showed phenomenal leadership during the run. When you consider Version1 had to attend Stage 2 Masters with a stand-in, you might say they did a great job in the tournament and the team owe the in-game leader a gratitude for it.
Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho – G2 Esports
The captain of the team that was arguably considered as the best team in the world in the early period of VALORANT, looks forward to leading his team to glory once more. It’s a good storyline, isn’t it? After the release of VALORANT, G2 Esports had been the top team in the scene, winning everything for a while. The first crack occurred in First Strike Europe in which G2 got eliminated in the semi-finals. Everybody thought it was a misfortune, but it wasn’t. After that, the European powerhouse wasn’t able to take place in both Masters events and Mixwell’s shiny days passed with these failures. With the start of Stage 3, Mixwell will try to regain the throne in Europe alongside his new teammates.
VALORANT’s competitive actions will return in July with Stage 3’s qualifiers of VALORANT Champions Tour 2021.