Earlier in the week, Valorant developer Riot Games reached out to several of the 150 teams who applied for a partner status with the franchise. While many have received rejection notification for their bids, some have progressed to the next phase of screening.
According to reports, some North American teams have made it to the next round. In the next phase, they will share their financial information with which Riot will make a final decision. Some of the teams who made the cut are Cloud9, TSM, The Guard, NRG, and Version1.
C9 was one of the first teams to enter the Valorant scene after its official release in June. Unfortunately, they have not had much success in the esports title.
Although they made it to the 2021 Valorant Champions after winning the NA Last Chance Qualifier, they were swept by Team Liquid in the quarterfinals of the playoffs. With their fifth-place ranking (70 points) in the NA standings, they will be looking to seal their 2022 Champions berth through the NA LCQ which starts on August 7.
TSM is another team that was there from the start of VCT but has failed to make any real impact. They finished the NA Stage 2 Challengers second-to-last and have no hope of featuring in the 2022 Champions through the Last Chance Qualifier.
Although most of the teams in the NA region joined Valorant in 2020, The Guard and Version1 did not make their entry into the league until 2021. The Guard have shown they can compete in NA, finishing the 2022 NA Stage 1 Challengers as the No. 1 team.
With that impressive regional run, they sealed their spot in the Reykjavik Masters. Unfortunately, they had an entirely different run in Stage 2, finishing ninth with only one victory in five outings.
V1 is currently participating in Season 3 Stage 2 of the MEL Valorant Premiership. Regardless of the outcome, they have already booked their spot in the Season 3 playoffs.
NRG have also had a poor run since joining Valorant in October 2020. They have failed to feature in any of the top-tier events.
In the just-concluded NA STage 2 Challengers, they finished fourth. A top-two finish would have guaranteed them a spot in the Copenhagen Masters but they lost to FaZe Clan in the lower bracket semifinals.
Although these are popular organizations in NA, they have not dominated the scene. Nonetheless, there is a chance some of them will attain partnership status ahead of next season.
So far, only one team has made their rejection public. Shopify Rebellion, who were looking to make their entry into the men’s Valorant, were one of the unlucky bunch.
Rebellion submitted their bid to Riot even before even acquiring a roster. Even as their bid for next season was rejected, the former Luminosity Gaming roster will participate in the NA LCQ with the hope of reaching the 2022 Valorant Champions.
The new format will pair North American teams with Latin America and Brazil. The Americas will have about eight to ten partner teams. There have been reports that the number of teams could go up to 12, which is solely at the discretion of Riot.