Videogame Volumes: Valorant Champions and North America’s chances


Vaughn Perez

In this weekly column, staff reporter Vaughn Perez writes about the gaming and esports community.

Vaughn Perez, Staff Reporter

Competing in an international event is one of the many peaks for a professional esports player, and winning one would definitely feel like you’ve ascended into a new world.

One of my biggest dreams is competing on stage in a different country with thousands of people cheering as I play a game I love for prize money that’s indescribable. Until that happens, I’m just a spectator of these international events, like Valorant’s Champions which is being held in Istanbul, Turkey.

A year’s worth of regional and international competitions has culminated to this final event of 2022. A prize pool worth $1,000,000 with 1st place taking $300,000 home, sixteen teams have been fighting through the group stage and playoffs, and 1 winner will finally be crowned on Sunday.

With 3 days of competition left, there are 4 representatives remaining for the trophy, Optic Gaming, a North American team against Loud, a Brazilian team in the upper bracket, and FunPlus Phoenix, a European team against DRX, a Korean team in the lower bracket.

Now being from North America, my full support is behind Optic, but, I will point out the dark horse in DRX. They’re a really aggressive and fast pace team with the ability to aim one could only wish for. However, they lack consistency as in some games they’ll look like the best team ever but others will make you question how they made it this far. I’m hoping they tighten it up for these final matches to make a good run for the title.

Optic’s chances to win the whole event is only going up because their consistency throughout this year has been a recipe for success, either winning or placing top three in all events. They have some of the best players NA has to offer and their level of team-play is unmatched so far. 

I have high confidence in Optic considering they’ve only lost to 1 of the 3 teams remaining and they’ve looked dominant from the start of this tournament, so I’m hoping they don’t fail NA’s and my expectations.