After moving to the Americas circuit in November 2022 to try to bring the NRG core to new heights, a VALORANT star is reportedly returning to the EMEA region and reconnecting with some familiar players.
Latvian duelist Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks has reportedly come to a verbal agreement to join EMEA team NAVI for the VALORANT Champions Tour 2024 season, according to Alejandro Gomis from blix.gg. This would fully recreate the former FPX roster that competed in EMEA in 2022 and won an international Masters tournament in Copenhagen.
Out of all the potential signings across the 2023-2024 VCT offseason, this one has been rumored since NRG’s collapse at Champions 2023. For an import duelist from EMEA, there was always that potential of going back to the region he left, especially after a down season. Now, that “down season” wasn’t necessarily a bad one as NRG were still one of the best teams in Americas, competing against Evil Geniuses, LOUD, and Cloud9 for their international slots as the year went on.
At the same time, the expectations for the NRG roster with ardiis were sky high. It was likely hard to not feel the pressure when the core of NRG was a part of a top-two team in 2022, and the two additions had the potential to bring them to the same heights. The two new players for 2023, ardiis and Sam “s0m” Oh, both had their highs and lows. S0m had the tough role of replacing Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen and he quickly showed he was capable of filling his shoes. As for ardiis, he had to replace Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker. With a different meta, ardiis had to flex, but he remained one of the best Jett players in the region, and could even play a top-tier Killjoy if needed.
It wasn’t all positive, though. For s0m, his lowest point was losing a seemingly unlosable round to Paper Rex at Masters Tokyo. For ardiis, it was his trash talk to Bilibili Gaming that came back to bite him and led to an early departure from the tournament via that same team. The season ended on a sour note for the whole roster, with clear changes on the horizon. With this report from Gomis, ardiis is seemingly on his way out of NRG, not too long after both Pujan “FNS” Mehta and Sam “s0m” Oh moved to streaming for the organization. This would mean three of the five starting players in NRG’s 2023 lineup are gone, only leaving Austin “crashies” Roberts and Victor Wong on the roster.
As for NAVI, ardiis’ reported move follows up on another blix.gg report that Mehmet “cNed” İpek will not be on the roster for 2024. While NAVI were the NRG of EMEA, a core that won internationally but couldn’t fit in their new signing(s), it looks like their goal is to bring the old band back together. If ardiis does come back to NAVI, we might see the team reach new heights, even if it’s a familiar position for the core.