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Provided by Michal Konkol/Riot Games The VALORANT World Cup may be just what fans need for the global esport.
As the second year of the VALORANT Champions Tour begins, players, fans and analysts are already thinking about what’s next for the game’s competitive scene. The VCT continues in 2022 with a slightly modified format, but the circuit may not fully scratch the competitive itch for many. An early proposal floating around has been the creation of a World Cup — an international tournament that would bring together the best VALORANT players from the top countries.
Part of the enthusiasm comes from the global nature of the esport. At the recent 2021 Champions event alone, there were players represented from 18 different nations and four continents. There is also precedent for this type of tournament in esports. The Overwatch World Cup comes to mind as a notable example of how the event could be executed. Naturally there are external circumstances with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but when this sort of event becomes a logistical possibility, it could be exactly what the VALORANT scene needs to supplement the VCT.
Professional players have already voiced their interest in a potential VALORANT World Cup, speculating about which country would take home the trophy at VALORANT Champions.
“Of course I’m from Turkey so I will say Turkey,” Acend’s Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek said. “Then maybe Brazil second.”
“I think Finland has a pretty good chance,”  Team Liquid’s Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen said. “We don’t have good teams in Finland but there’s loads of individual players in top teams.”
“I think the first countries would be USA, Canada, Brazil, even Russia,” Acend’s Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt said. “All these teams because they all have super strong players that were playing together. They all have synergy.”
In service of playing out the idea of a VALORANT World Cup, Upcomer has put together 16 prospective teams from different nations, as well as a mock up of how the format for the event might look.
The following teams were assembled to provide an example of what the top teams at the VALORANT World Cup might look like with the current top players from every nation. Some emphasis was placed on trying to match player roles rather than taking the five top players and running into a situation where, for example, the entire team are Jett players. That said, there is an assumed degree of flexibility within the roles.
Players were also taken from different teams whenever possible to avoid the situation where the national team is the same team that competes in the VCT. Two notable exceptions are Gambit Esports and Team Secret, who field arguably the five best Russian and Filipino players in every role at present.
Note: This is by no means a definitive ranking of the best five players from every country. The purpose of creating these teams is to generate discussion.
While the 16 listed teams are some of the strongest ready-made rosters with players who’ve competed at the highest level of VALORANT, there are other countries that could be strong contenders. Spain, Belgium, Ukraine, Egypt, India and countless other nations might put together a squad to rival any of the above rosters. With that said, a VALORANT World Cup would do well to have a preliminary stage that casts a wider net. National committees could be appointed to form rosters in anticipation of the event.
It may benefit the tournament to invite proven nations like the United States, Canada, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, etc. to advance directly to the main stage. In future events, the teams that bypass the preliminary stage would be based on the results of the previous World Cup, the same way that Overwatch judges national rankings, to improve competitive parity.
The preliminaries would be best served by a round robin system that leads into the main group stage. Groups will be determined by seeding and will feature a double elimination bracket like that used at VALORANT Champions. The final teams will battle it out in the single elimination playoffs that will crown an overall winner — the best national team in VALORANT.
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