FPX is recruiting Chinese players for a VALORANT roster

Is the rise of Chinese VALORANT approaching?

Image via FunPlus Phoenix

FunPlus Phoenix is recruiting Chinese players to compete on a VALORANT roster, according to an official post on the organization’s Weibo account.

FPX is looking for players who are at least 16 years old, with at least a Radiant rank in the game, and preferably players who already have CS:GO or VALORANT experience.

Right now, the FPX organization fields European rosters in both CS:GO and VALORANT. In CS:GO, the org acquired the international roster from GODSENT in January, months after the team acquired and immediately released the Danish roster from Heroic in less than a month.

In VALORANT, the FPX roster of Swedish and CIS players is considered one of the top teams in Europe. Since joining in August 2020, they reached the semifinals of First Strike and EU VCT Masters One, while also qualifying for the Stage Two EMEA Challengers Finals and the Stage Three Challengers Playoffs. Essentially anything above a last-place finish at the Challengers Playoffs will secure the roster a spot in the Champions Last Chance Qualifier at the very least.

Prior to the organization’s current involvement in CS:GO and VALORANT, FPX formed a Chinese League of Legends roster in 2017, joined the LPL for 2018, and won the World Championship over G2 Esports in 2019. They’ve remained a competitive fixture in the LPL since then.

The reason FPX and other prominent organizations competing in Chinese League haven’t jumped into VALORANT yet is simply because they can’t since the game hasn’t been approved for a release in China yet. Riot successfully registered trademarks and copyrights for the game, but it still needs to be approved by the Chinese government. This isn’t uncommon by any means, though. League came out in China years after a Western release. The LPL itself wasn’t formed until 2013.

Players in China have still been able to play VALORANT by using VPNs to play on Hong Kong servers. Some organizations like Royal Never Give Up have Chinese VALORANT rosters, but they weren’t able to compete in any VCT competitions. This hasn’t stopped smaller tournament organizers in China from hosting their own events, however.

With this announced search for Chinese players by FPX, perhaps the approval process is nearing its end. While this raises questions regarding whether FPX will retain its European roster, due to the rule about organizations owning multiple teams (see Cloud9), the potential release of VALORANT in China could be another massive boost to the growing esports scene.