‘Absolute s**t’: Pro VALORANT players and coaches slam VCT LOCK//IN São Paulo format

One of the most accomplished coaches in VALORANT isn't happy at all.

Riot Games’ format for VCT LOCK//IN São Paulo, the inaugural VALORANT event for partnered teams, has drawn criticism from professional players and coaches.

The 30 partnered teams in attendance plus Chinese teams EDward Gaming and FunPlus Phoenix ZHUQUE have been put in two groups with 16 teams each and Riot has gone for a single-elimination format to mitigate the number of matches throughout the three-week period of VCT LOCK//IN São Paulo. What’s really disappointed the pros, though, is that half of the teams will be knocked out of the event after losing their opening match in the Alpha and Omega groups.

Related: VCT LOCK//IN São Paulo 2023 format explained

One of the stronger reactions came from NRG’s head coach Chet Singh, who coached OpTic Gaming in 2022. “Fly to Brazil, have no info on the other team because its the first match with new meta and its single elimination,” Chet said. “What an absolute shit tournament to kick off the year.”

Former FPX captain and current Natus Vincere captain Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov pointed out that the format is “rough” because teams will have spent a month and a half practicing for the tournament.

The Ukrainian coach Ivan “Johnta” Shevtsov, who previously worked for FPX and Heretics, called the format “brutal” but reckoned it will be exciting for viewers because of how much is at stake. “Also, staying in Brazil during summertime is definitely not the worst place to be after you lost a match,” Johnta said.

The first round of VCT LOCK//IN São Paulo will feature best-of-three matches, and so is the second round and the quarterfinals. The remaining four teams of the event will play in the final stage, which encompasses the semifinals and grand finals, and will use the best-of-five format instead.

Related: A low-stakes single-elimination bracket at VCT LOCK//IN São Paulo is not the 2023 debut VALORANT deserves

Riot seems aware that the format isn’t ideal since it already said that future events will use the double-elimination format instead. But until then, the pros will certainly complain a lot, especially those who get knocked out in the first round after traveling all the way to Brazil.

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