The upcoming 2023 VCT season is going to be extremely significant for VALORANT and its quickly expanding esports scene. With 10 teams each in the Americas, EMEA, and Pacific leagues, VALORANT esports is transitioning to a franchise model that is characterized by three international leagues at the very top of the VCT. Due to the attention the partnership and the top-tier leagues have received, the competing organizations have had their choice of players from a rich and talented pool.
The richness of skill means that paired teams have access to a wide range of options from practically all locations, although this does not preclude the existence of a few standout performers. We’ll go over some of the most important players to keep an eye on in the 2023 VCT season, so without further ado, let’s jump right into it!
ScreaM – Karmine Corp
Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom is one of the greatest players to ever have played VALORANT, producing fantastic stats and highlights at an elite level with Raze and even spearheading a Phoenix pro player revival. ScreaM is the oddity, with so many prolific duelists and entry players playing Jett or Chamber. He is still without a doubt the headshot machine entering a new squad with Karmine Corp, as he is carrying years of elite CSGO performance behind them.
Yay – Cloud9
He has the most subdued wicked smile in all of VALORANT, and at the same time, he is arguably the best player in the entire world and the deadliest player on Chamber. As a playmaker, Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker is as reliable as you could hope for; he’s the only person to place in the top five for average combat score (ACS) at both Masters events and Champions in 2022. Whiteaker is currently playing for Cloud9 after spending a notable time with OpTic. Nobody expects Yay to abdicate his kingdom any time soon, despite the upcoming Chamber nerfs.
Derke – Fnatic
Without Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev in the roster, Fnatic struggled at Masters Reykjavik this year, which highlights how important he is to the team’s performance. But if that wasn’t enough, you should have ample evidence from his outstanding results on Chamber/Jett at both Copenhagen and Champions. He is as trustworthy as anyone when it comes to dealing damage and scoring the first kill, and he should thrive in a Fnatic team that has been restructured for the upcoming season.
Cryocells – 100 Thieves
Following the team’s initially poor start to the 2022 season, 100 Thieves assembled a fresh squad, and they were successful, winning the NA LCQ and making a run at the Champions. Despite the group’s early successes, 100T was unable to turn down an upgrade at their duelist position with Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban. With some outstanding performances at Masters Copenhagen and Champions with XSET, specifically in playoffs against top players, Cryocells elevated himself to the exclusive club of top Chamber/duelist players.
MaKo – DRX
DRX’s BuZz excels at opening kills, but his aggressive playstyle makes him vulnerable to a large percentage of opening deaths. However, it is in these situations that DRX turns to its anchor, controller Kim “MaKo” Myeong-kwan, the supreme back line defender. In the lower bracket of the Champions playoffs, MaKo put on some of his best performances of the year with DRX’s backs against the wall, much like BuZz did. He could be the most valued player at his position in the entire globe.
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