The defending 2022 Champions will miss out on an opening day match.
The VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 starts its first international event in São Paulo only a couple days from now, inviting 32 teams from all three major regions and two Chinese teams. Featuring a single-elimination bracket and a grand prize of winning an additional regional slot at Masters 2023, the stakes are high for each teams first VCT event.
The first day of the event would feature six teams playing in three matches, including the 2022 VCT Champions. Now representing the Americas, LOUD seeks to defend their title, but will have their inaugural match delayed due to multiple members reporting in sick, rendering them unable to field a full roster.
Feb. 13, opening day for LOCK//IN, will now only feature two matches. LOUDs game will be postponed for two days, allowing for the roster to rest and recover in hopes of performing as a full team. The schedule for Feb. 15 features Evil Geniuses vs Team Heretics, and Talon Esports vs MIBR, with LOUD playing their match against Gen.G afterwards. The start times for both days of competition remain unchanged, with the first match starting at 11am CT.
With LOCK//IN happening in Brazil, many fans will be disappointed to miss their home team playing on day one of the event. To compensate, the VCT is providing two forms of compensation to all Feb. 13 ticket holders, allowing fans to attend one or both days of the tournament with no additional charge. For those still unsatisfied, full refunds are also being offered through Ticket360.
LOUD stands as one of the favorites to win LOCK//IN, retaining three of their core members from the 2022 VCT. After Champions, head coach bzka left the organization, now coaching for rival South American team MIBR. Sacy and pANAcada also left LOUD during the offseason to join Sentinels. Cauanzin and tuyz now represent the new generation of LOUD, with fRoD and stk as head coach and assistant coach, respectively.
If LOUDs roster is still not healthy at the time of their rescheduled match, additional precautions are expected to allow the players to continue their match. In past VCT events, COVID-19 quarantine rooms were made available for all teams, allowing for sick players to compete in an isolated and safe environment. EMEAs Team Liquid benefitted from these preventative measures when IGL Nivera tested positive for COVID during 2021’s VCT Champions, yet was still able to to play after their game was rescheduled for a later date.
LOCK//IN will be streamed on Youtube and Twitch from the official VCT channels, including additional costreams in different languages, allowing for full viewing comfort for all international VALORANT fans.