The Guard's Omission From VCT Americas 2024 Shocks Valorant Community

An image of The Guard's Valorant roster after winning the Grand Final of Americas Ascension tournament.
Credit: The Guard

An image of The Guard's Valorant roster after winning the Grand Final of Americas Ascension tournament.
Credit: The Guard

In a shocking and unfortunate turn of events, Riot Games recently announced that the winner of the 2023 VCT Americas Ascension tournament, The Guard, will not be participating in the upcoming 2024 league season. According to Riot's initial statement, The Guard failed to meet competition entry deadlines, resulting in their exclusion from the league.

The Valorant community is reeling from this unexpected decision and has united to come up with a more favourable solution. It's clear to many that the situation is unjust — The Guard's Valorant roster worked tirelessly to climb to the top of Ascension, only to have their achievement entirely overshadowed by "circumstances beyond their control”.

VCT Americas to leave one empty promotion slot following The Guard’s omission

On August 29th, Riot Games delivered a jarring announcement via their official NA Valorant Esports Twitter account, revealing that The Guard had "failed to meet the deadline to agree to the Team Participation Agreement for VCT Americas." As a result, The Guard has been barred from taking part in the 2024 VCT Americas tournament.

A screenshot of Riot's initial statement regarding The Guard's omission from VCT Americas 2024.
expand image
Credit: Riot Games

Consequently, the 2024 VCT Americas will proceed without a promoted team from the Challengers League, leaving an empty promotion slot and resulting in a 10-team league for the upcoming season.

Shortly after this shocking announcement from Riot, The Guard shared their response on Twitter, confirming that they "will not compete as a guest team in the VALORANT Champions Tour Partnership Program for the 2024 season". The organisation expressed their disappointment in "arriving at this outcome unexpectedly”.

A screenshot of The Guard's response to their dismissal from VCT Americas 2024.
expand image
Credit: The Guard

Due to The Guard's ambiguous response, fans find themselves further in the dark. While many speculate that the lack of financial incentives for "guest teams" in the league might have influenced The Guard's decision to relinquish their spot, the exact reason(s) for their omission remain unknown unless the organisation provides an official explanation.

Riot considered three different solutions to this unprecedented issue. One was to allow the five Valorant players to be picked up by an organisation. The second solution was to promote the runner-up of the Ascension tournament, M80, to fill The Guard's spot. The third option was to not promote any team. Ultimately, Riot opted for the final choice.

A screenshot of Leo Faria's (Global Head of Valorant esports) repsonse.
expand image
Credit: Leo Faria

The Global Head of Valorant Esports, Leo Faria, explains the rationale behind leaving the promotion slot empty. In his statement, he reiterated that The Guard failed to complete the onboarding process even after "two months and several follow-ups.” He continued, "The essence of Ascension lies in rewarding performance, and while M80 boasts undeniable talent, elevating a team that didn't secure victory in the tournament contradicts that purpose".

What’s going to happen to The Guard’s Valorant roster?

As of now, it appears highly likely that The Guard will release its entire Valorant team, including coach Josh Lee. Doing so will make valyn, trent, JonahP, Tex, neT, and Head Coach Josh free agents.

A screenshot of The Guard's Valorant Head Coach Josh Lee's response.
expand image
Credit: GUARD JoshRT

The players' frustration and disappointment are understandable, with the majority expressing that they were uninformed about these developments and learned about them simultaneously with the rest of us.

GUARD tex implores Riot Games to reconsider their decision, commenting, “Please give the franchised spot to the players and let an org acquire us.”

Coach Josh tagged Elon Musk and Ben Affleck, who displayed their interest in Valorant through their appearance at the Valorant Champions 2023 event, in a post. His post urged either of them to offer their team a fighting chance.

While there's potential for all team members, as free agents, to join a single organisation and continue playing together in VCT Americas, it appears that Riot is resolute in its stance and will not permit that to happen.

A screenshot of The Guard valynfps's tweet.
expand image
Credit: valynfps

The chemistry and bond between the Valorant players are evident in Guard valyn’s post: “Well if things don't work out and we're not teammates next year I can at least say that was the most fun 2 years of my life and we accomplished shit we talked and manifested since day 1. So blessed to have done it with this group”

A screenshot of DisguisedToast's tweet in repsonse to The Guard's omission from the VCT Americas 2024.
expand image
Credit: DisguisedToast

Prominent figures in the Valorant Americas scene, such as Disguised Toast and Ludwig, have voiced their opinions on this matter. Disguised Toast has even extended an offer to sign The Guard’s Valorant roster, stating that he would do so “if it means them getting to play in franchising and keep the spot they earned".

This Article's Topics

Explore new topics and discover content that's right for you!