Down, but not out.
Among the list of teams not accepted as VALORANT partners for the VCT 2023 international leagues is TSM, a flagship member of the Riot ecosystem. But even with the bitter taste of denial in its mouth, TSM isn’t planning to pack up and leave VALORANT any time soon.
In a statement posted to the team’s Twitter account, TSM’s VP of Esports Dominic Kallas delivered the “disappointing” news that TSM was not selected as a partner, but made it clear that the organization would not take a step back like other teams that had missed out on partnership.
“TSM isn’t leaving VALORANT,” Kallas said. “We’ll continue to field a competitive VALORANT roster and provide competitive player salaries. TSM has been a partner with Riot since 2013, and is one of the few profitable esports orgs, so it doesn’t make sense for us to get up and leave the scene tomorrow.”
On Sept. 21, Riot officially announced the partnered participants for the 2023 Americas league: Sentinels, Cloud9, NRG, Evil Geniuses, FURIA, LOUD, MIBR, KRÜ Esports, and Leviatán. TSM joins the list of teams like OpTic, FaZe, XSET, and The Guard as those that competed in NA VALORANT but missed out on partnership. G2 was reportedly set to pick up the XSET roster and acquire partnership too, but Riot ended up reversing that decision.
For TSM, the organization looks ahead to competing in competitive VALORANT perhaps during third-party tournaments set for the remaining months of 2022, but certainly towards the start of the NA Challengers season in February. They will have to qualify via open qualifiers like the other competing teams, but at the end of the long road through Challengers and Ascension, they have a chance to acquire a two-year promotion to the top Americas league beginning in 2024.
The long-term status of the current TSM starting roster is unknown. TSM also fields a Game Changers roster and an academy roster.