G2 Esports joins VCT Americas: How did it happen?

25 September 2023


G2 Esports joins VCT Americas
Image credit: G2 Esports, via X (@G2esports)

On September 23rd, European esports organisation G2 Esports announced that it joined VCT Americas for the 2024 season, becoming the 11th team to join VALORANT’s North American league.

But how did the organization manage to get a slot, considering Riot Games initially rejected the organisation following controversy last year? Let’s rewind a bit and go over G2 Esports’ return to VALORANT’s top tier.

ESI London 2024

After winning Ascension, VALORANT’s promotional system into the International Leagues, The Guard and its VALORANT roster was supposed to be the newest entry to VCT Americas for the next two seasons. However, the organisation failed to sign the Team Partnership Agreement (The Guard laid off all its employees in February), resulting in the team being turned down from the competition and The Guard players being unable to showcase their talent in 2024.

Riot Games initially stated it didn’t want to promote other teams in its place, meaning that the VCT was going to stay as a 10-team league. The community wasn’t satisfied with the decision, advocating for a change to be made, which ended up with Riot reverting the decision and allowing a new organisation to join VCT as long as they signed at least three out of the five players from The Guard roster.

Many organisations were seemingly interested in acquiring the players to land the spot, including content creator and streamer Jeremy ‘DisguisedToast’ Wang, FlyQuest, and even streamer Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel, according to a report from Dexerto. But it was G2 that ended up occupying the slot and becoming the latest addition to the VCT.

It’s worth noting that G2 Esports hadn’t completely given up on VALORANT. The organisation competed in this year’s VALORANT Challengers ecosystem and has its own Game Changers roster.

The organisation signed four out of the five players from the former The Guard roster for the upcoming two years: Jonah ‘JonahP’ Pulice, Michael ‘neT’ Bernet, Trent Cairns, Jacob ‘valyn’ Batio, and coach Josh ‘JoshRT’ Lee.

According to a report from Dot Esports, G2 Esports CEO Alban Dechelotte stated that the team is “still deciding” in the midst of a “special offseason” who the organisation’s fifth player will be, with so many talented players are available, including players that are restricted and unrestricted free agents.

“There’s a system for us to engage with fans through the Americas league, but also through Masters and Champions,” Dechelotte added. “Watch parties, digital items; we’re very excited. We felt so sad not being part of the league, that having a door to earn back a spot is such great news.”

With the young talents coming up from Ascension, G2 Esports is set to bring a fresh wave of competition and excitement to the VCT Americas.

Davide Xu