Who are the VALORANT VCT EMEA partner teams?

22 September 2022

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(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Riot Games

VALORANT publisher Riot Games has unveiled its list of partner teams which will compete across three international leagues: EMEA, the Americas and Pacific. The publisher implemented a hybrid franchise system in which permanent partnered teams compete alongside promoted teams.

The new format looks to continue the growth of VALORANT esports by providing long-term support, stability and revenue opportunities to select organisations.

But who are the chosen teams that have been selected to represent EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)? This article provides a brief background and history of VCT’s partner teams.

Team Liquid

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Team Liquid

Team Liquid is a stalwart of esports. The organisation made its debut in StarCraft II in 2000 and currently has competitors in 18 different esports, including League of Legends, Dota 2, CS:GO and VALORANT. To modern esports fans Team Liquid is perhaps best known for its endeavours in North America, despite being originally based in the Netherlands. As such, the organisation’s decision to hold an EMEA VALORANT team is not too much of a surprise. 

The multinational organisation has been a part of the VALORANT scene since 2020, and has appeared at both of the title’s Champions events, finishing 3rd/4th in 2021 and 7th/8th in 2022.

Some of Team Liquids’ other notable achievements include being four-time League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) champions, as well as being victorious at ESL One Germany 2020 (Dota 2).

Fnatic

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: FNATIC

Fnatic is yet another old guard when it comes to esports organisations, having been in the scene for nearly two decades.

The organisation has a deep history with Riot Games and was League of Legends’ inaugural World Champion in 2011. Since the formation of League of Legends’ European competitive circuit, Fnatic has notched up seven split titles.

The organisation also has a past in CS:GO, claiming three Major trophies ESL One: Cologne 2015, ESL One: Katowice 2015 and DreamHack Winter 2013. Right now, the organisation has competitive rosters in LoL, CS:GO, Dota 2, Halo, Rainbow Six: Siege and FIFA, among others. Fnatic entered VALORANT in 2021 and has gone on to appear at three Masters and two Champions events as EMEA representatives.

Team Vitality

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Team Vitality

Established in 2013, Team Vitality is arguably the original French powerhouse within esports.

In VALORANT, the organisation has only competed at the French regional level (VRL). Recently, the organisation claimed silver at the VRL 2022: Finals, losing to fellow partner team Team Heretics.

With rosters in FIFA, Rainbow Six: Siege, Rocket League, CS:GO and Fortnite, the organisation continues to diversify its portfolio of titles. Notably, Team Vitality won the Rocket League Championship Series (RLCS) in 2019. The organisation has also been a regular within the League of Legends European scene since 2015.

Karmine Corp

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Karmine Corp

A recent newcomer to the esports scene, the French organisation has quickly risen to become one of the most popular esports teams in Europe. Founded in 2020 by popular streamers Kamel ‘Kameto’ Kebir and Zouhair ‘Kotei’ Darji, the organisation is primarily known for its French League of Legends team, which currently competes in the title’s regional league system (LFL). Alongside LoL, the organisation holds rosters in Rocket League, Trackmania and Teamfight Tactics.

The organisation only recently joined the VALORANT scene in 2022 and has been competing in VRL France Revolution. During that time Karmine Corp placed 3rd/4th in the VRL’s Stage 2.

The organisation has amassed a large following on social media, which has also resulted in viewership increases across leagues the team has competed in. The top five most viewed matches in the LFL Spring 2021 split featured Karmine Corp.

Giants Gaming

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Giants

Giants Gaming first entered the scene in 2008 and has competed across a range of esports titles, both locally and regionally. The organisation competed in League of Legends’ European league prior to the competition’s transition into a franchised system in 2019 and has been competing in LVP’s SuperLiga (LoL’s Spanish league) ever since.

Since joining VALORANT in 2020, the organisation has arguably been the top-performing Spanish team in the ecosystem. Notable achievements include finishing second during Europe’s VCT 2021 Stage 3 Challengers 2 and securing back-to-back 3rd/4th podiums in VRL 2022 Spain.

Outside of Riot-owned titles, the organisation had spells within Rainbow Six: Siege, operating a SEA team that competed at the Six Invitational 2021, and has also seen success across multiple Spanish Rocket League rosters.

Heretics

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: Heretics

Heretics’ VCT partner status was actually the organisation’s second major announcement of 2022, after announcing that it has joined the LEC, League of Legends’ European league. Prior to its purchase of Misfits Gaming’s LEC slot, the Spanish organisation was competing in League of Legends’ Spanish regional league (LVP SuperLiga).

Heretics was yet another recent competitor in Spain’s VALORANT Regional league for 2022, finishing 10th and 8th in Stage 1 and Stage 2, respectively.

Prior to that, Heretics competed in the Challengers ecosystem and even finished second in VCT 2021: Europe Stage 1 Masters, losing out to the inaugural VCT champions Acend.

FUT Esports

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: FUT Esports

Representing Turkey is FUT Esports, the 2022 VALORANT Regional League champions. As the name would suggest (Futbolist), the organisation joined the esports scene in 2017 primarily through FIFA. Within the sports simulation title, FUT Esports’ crowning moment is likely finishing 3rd/4th at the 2019 FIFA eClub World Cup.

In recent years, FUT Esports has expanded into Hearthstone and PUBG, both of which the organisation still competes in. Last year, the organisation also competed in Wild Rift. Nevertheless, FUT Esports main accolades come from the VALORANT scene, winning VRL 2022 and the VCT 2021 Turkey Stage 1 Masters, among many other tournaments within the Turkish ecosystem.

BBL Esports

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: BBL Esports

Joining FUT Esports is another Turkish VALORANT powerhouse: BBL Esports. Since being founded in 2020, the organisation secured the First Strike Türkiye trophy as well as finishing first within VCT 2021 Turkey Stage 1 Challengers 1 and Challengers 2.

In 2022, the organisation qualified for VCT 2022: EMEA Challengers, beating FUT Esports in the last closed qualifier. In Stage 1 and 2, BBL Esports finished consecutively 7th/8th. Alongside VALORANT, BBL Esports also has a professional PUBG roster which competed at the 2021 PUBG Global Championship.

KOI

Image credit: KOI

Founded by Spanish streamer Ibai ‘Ibai’ Llanos Garatea and footballer Gerard Piqué at the end of 2021, KOI is a rising esports organisation across a range of titles.

Since joining VALORANT’s regional scene in 2022, the organisation placed 3rd/4th and 9th in VRL 2022 Spain: Rising Stage 1 and 2, respectively. Alongside VALORANT, KOI also competes in League of Legends’ Spanish regional league, finishing 4th during LVP SuperLiga 2022 Summer and Spring Playoffs.

Similarly to Karmine Corp, the organisation has amassed a growing fanbase within its home country, partly due to the popularity of its co-owners. There are also rumours that KOI may be the latest team to join the LEC in 2023, semi-acquiring the slot of LEC 2022 Summer Champions Rogue.

Natus Vincere

(ESI Illustration) Image credit: NAVI

Last but not least is Natus Vincere (NAVI). The organisation is yet another amongst the old guard within the esports scene, having been founded back in 2009. NAVI is a highly-decorated organisation within CS:GO esports, and recently claimed a Major victory at PGL Major Stockholm 2021. In the last Major — PGL Major Antwerp 2022 — the organisation also finished second, emphasising that NAVI is a powerhouse within the FPS scene.

Alongside CS:GO, the organisation competes in Dota 2, Rainbow Six Siege, Apex Legends, PUBG, PUBG Mobile and Halo Infinite, among others. Within VALORANT, NAVI competed in the VCT EMEA Challengers ecosystem for around a year. Recently the team finished 5th/6th during the VCT 2022: EMEA Last Chance Qualifier.

Tom Daniels
Tom has been part of Esports Insider's team since October 2020 and is currently the platform's Editor. When not playing Football Manager, he enjoys reporting on the mobile esports scene as well as the betting sector.