The Need to Bet on Emerging Talent in Valorant

The Need to Bet on Emerging Talent in Valorant

2. March 2024 by Valentin Pasetti

In the dynamic world of esports, the conventional wisdom of always betting on the top contenders is not necessarily the smartest strategy. This holds true even in a game like VALORANT. Opting for the surefire winner, investing solely in the highest echelons of play, may not always be the right choice.

Leo Faria and the Tier 2 Conundrum

During the summer of 2023, Leo Faria, the Director of Esports for VALORANT, gained media attention for his statements on the development of the tier 2 scene.

His assertion that tier 1 housed the best players while tier 2 should serve as a breeding ground for new talent seemed reasonable. However, the complexity arises when Faria suggests that tier 2, in terms of economic investment, should not be on par with tier 1.

Essentially, Faria advocates for maintaining the performance of second-tier players, crucial for elevating the top-tier competition, without providing the necessary financial support for tier 2.

The contradiction becomes apparent as Faria boldly states that tier 2, in the future, should at least “de-professionalize.” Since his statements on July 9, 2023, reality has not only failed to vindicate Faria but has added another layer to the controversy.


Tier 2 in EMEA as a Paradigm

The EMEA Kickoff has witnessed numerous debut performances by players entering tier 1 for the first time. A closer look at all participating teams reveals a significant reliance on tier 2 talent.

  • There are 11 teams in the VCT EMEA, all participating in the EMEA Kickoff.
  • Out of 57 players across these teams, 21 are rookies, experiencing tier 1 for the first time and originating from tier 2.
  • A staggering 38.18% of current VCT EMEA players are rookies, honed in second-division leagues.

Cul Reveal ReactorA VALORANT

The Top 6 in EMEA are Tier 2

Taking a deeper dive into the six best teams in the EMEA Kickoff, including Team Herectis, FNATIC, Natus Vincere, Karmine Corp, Movistar KOI, and Team Vitality, unveils the significance of tier 2 talent.

  • These six teams boast a total of 32 players.
  • 13 of these players are rookies in the current season.
  • Consequently, 40.63% of players from the top six European teams originated from tier 2.

The numbers speak for themselves. Approximately 40% of elite VALORANT players in Europe today emerged directly from tier 2 teams, surpassing Faria’s earlier assertions.

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The Imperative to Invest in Tier 2

In light of these statistics, it becomes evident that the development of second-division leagues, often at a national level, is crucial to sustaining the influx of promising new players. This necessitates both financial investment and increased visibility.

Returning to the initial premise of this article, sometimes, choosing the young contender over the established winner may yield better long-term results. The tier 2 scene in VALORANT is not just the present; it must be the future.