VALORANT World Cup teams: Best players by country
VALORANT is fast becoming a global game and esport. While the best of the best cut their teeth in North America, don’t at me, top-tier players are also coming out of areas like Europe, Korea, Latin America, and elsewhere. As the Olympics are going on now, a global competition that esports has a contentious flirting stage with, it makes me think of the Overwatch World Cup. As much as Blizzard gets wrong inside and outside of Overwatch esports, and hoo boy is that more relevant than ever, the World Cup events have generally been received quite well by the community.
So that’s got me thinking, what if there was a VALORANT World Cup? What kind of teams would be formed, and who would win? I can’t say who’d win, but maybe you can, so let’s look at some of the best VALORANT players from each country and what potential national teams could be formed.
It goes without saying that Sentinels’ TenZ is going to be the star attraction on Team Canada, and rightfully so. Arguably one of the most mechanically gifted players in all of VALORANT, able to play multiple agents, can play either aggressively or passively with the same deadliness. While some believe that Sentinels would still be a good team no matter who they added back at Masters One, I don’t believe they’d reach the level they’re at now without him. On top of that, he’s one of the more beloved and popular figures in VALORANT content right now.
That being said, this version of Team Canada could hardly be considered a one-man show. Marved’s playmaking and support provision on the controller role has been pivotal to the success of FaZe and Envy. AYRIN has been tremendously valuable to XSET’s impressive start to stage three on the sentinel role. Both penny and effys showed on an international stage what they provide during V1’s Masters Two run. Penny can trade-off Jett duties with TenZ while also taking on other agents with high impact. Effys has some of the best Sova lineups in the game, and is a necessity on post-plants.
It would be too easy and almost cheap to just swap in 100 Thieves’ Asuna into the Sentinels lineup instead of Canada’s TenZ. Both players are multi-faceted duelists with tremendously high output, and while TenZ tends to get more kills and openers, Asuna proved at this past Challengers event that he’s incredibly reliable in clutch scenarios. That being said, we still have to include both ShahZaM and SicK from Sentinels. ShahZaM is one of the best shotcallers there is, on top of being a really talented Jett and Sova player. On Phoenix and Sage, SicK has mastered walling off his opponents to create opportunities for himself and his teammates.
There are a lot of great players in America, so naturally, someone’s going to get left off. If we’re building a team, we need a reliable controller, so I’m going for consistency and winning pedigree with 100 Thieves’ nitr0. Lastly, I’m looking for some flexibility, someone who can play multiple roles and agents well, so I’m gonna mix it up with curry from T1.
I purposefully left off exclusively Jett mains like Babybay, Wardell, and PureR solely because of personal preference. Personally, I just like having players who can play more than one agent. Fight me.
Team United Kingdom
If you tried this concept with CS:GO, this would be excruciatingly hard, for two reasons. One, there’s not a lot of players to pick from, and two, it’s just a shame that the UK doesn’t have a deep CS:GO scene. But the first-year competitive VALORANT has seen a lot of growth from the UK and they could put together a very formidable team.
We start with the Fnatic duo, Boaster and Mistic. Boaster is infectious energy embodied, but he’s also a smart leader capable to playing well on either the initiator or controller role. Mistic is the same way with his agent selections, and the two do a really good job of playing off each other.
From Liquid we’re going to take Kryptix and soulcas. Kryptix can reliably play the Killjoy/Cypher combo that can hold down the defense of sites, and soulcas can play Sova or Skye really well while also fragging out. This team needs a duelist though, and lacking any big-name options, I’m gonna grab a really good Jett player in Leare from Vexed Gaming. In the most recent closed qualifier, he put up some unreal numbers, and that kind of production was the only thing missing from this potential all-UK roster.
The core component of Team Finland is the Jamppi-Derke duo. Two players (for Liquid and Fnatic respectively) with insane carry potential and tremendous mechanics. Again we make the comparison to TenZ and ShahZaM on Sentinels, but having two players who can trade off Jett duties and be comfortable on a second agent is just so valuable. The playmaking of both players is impossible to pass on.
This is great for Acend’s BONECOLD, who’s variability with all the different controller agents is tremendous alongside a great Jett player. With Brimstone, Viper, and Omen all in his bag, he can deploy a variety of different smoke lineups to aid this team.
Rounding out the lineup are two players who left a huge impression at the most recent Challengers closed qualifier; Polvi from TENSTAR and hoody from Giants Gaming. Polvi provides extra firepower at the duelist role, while hoody is another versatile tool for Team Finland that can play Sage, Reyna, and Skye more than capably.
I fully expected to come to Team Korea and just make a Vision Strikers/NUTURN hybrid. I apologize to the rest of the teams in Korea but tell me this team doesn’t slap. Out of the NUTURN camp we have arguably the region’s best duelist in Allow. With him able to play Jett or Raze and with most Korean comps running single duelist, that’s all we’ll need from that role. Also from NUTURN we have the accomplished veteran leader in Solo, who will serve as IGL and can rock Breach or any of the sentinels. He deserves a gold medal in what could be his last ride.
The rest of Team Korea will be comprised of Vision Strikers, based on team needs. We had to have Lakia, one of the best initiator players and aimers in the region. Since arriving to VS, MaKo has fired up the leaderboards as one of the best all-around controller players. Rounding out the team is Stax, someone who can reliably play Sage but can also switch to a second initiator if needed.
We couldn’t include every country, and by no means am I insinuating that the five potential national teams fully listed out are the consensus best five. Here’s a quick look at a couple other teams that could be made for a VALORANT World Cup.
*Left out Izzy because he only plays Jett and cNed plays Jett.