The Guard's valyn and coach JoshRT celebrate a victory on stage at VCT Americas Ascension.
Photo via The Guard

Riot confirms The Guard out of VCT Americas 2024 in shocking update

Stunning developments ahead of next season.

In a stunning update, Riot Games announced today that one of the most promising North American VALORANT teams will not be making its debut in the VCT Americas League in 2024.

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According to a new post, The Guard, a fan favorite organization, failed to meet the deadline to agree to the league’s team participation agreement “after several months and rounds of communication.” As a result, they will no longer be participating in the 2024 VCT Americas League, much to the surprise of fans and players alike.

Additionally, no other teams from the Challengers scene—including M80, the runner ups from the Challenger Ascension tournament—will be promoted to the main league. Instead, Riot has decided to run the following season with the same 10 teams as before, causing an uproar within the VALORANT community.

For The Guard’s roster, it seems that today’s news came as a complete surprise, with multiple players indicating that none of them knew of the decision beforehand.

Michael “neT” Bernet pleaded with Riot to give The Guard’s roster a chance to play in VCT Americas next year, while Jonah “JonahP” Pulice claimed that the team had no idea that there was a potential issue with their participation in the competition.

Evil Geniuses’ Ethan Arnold voiced his displeasure at the entire situation, questioning how The Guard even made it into Ascension in the first place, and how Riot should already have solutions in mind for these types of situations, in cases where things go wrong.

“The players grind all year with a specific goal in mind just to get it ripped away right in front of them in the end, after reaching their goal,” Ethan said on social media. “What’s stopping this from happening again next time a team qualifies? We can just infinitely have 10 teams in the Americas Franchise?”

His teammate, Corbin “C0M” Lee, also spoke his hopes for The Guard’s roster, saying that the players deserve to find another organization that can get the spot, since they’ve worked so hard all year to make it to the scene. Another option that many other people have echoed is promoting M80 to Americas League instead, even though they were the runner up in Ascension.

The growing sentiment is that the community wants justice for The Guard’s players, and for the spot to be used so that the entire Challengers season doesn’t go to waste. It would be a travesty for all of these tier-two players to have battled their way across 2023, only to have none of them make their tier-one debut because of the actions of one organization.

The Guard recently battled their way through this year’s VALORANT Challengers Ascension, only dropping two maps on the way to winning the event and earning themselves a spot alongside the best teams in the region. They looked like one of the fastest-rising teams in NA, and could have made some noise in their opening year alongside the rest of the top teams in Americas.


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Author
Tyler Esguerra
Lead League of Legends writer for Dot Esports. Forever an LCS supporter, AD carry main, with more than five years in the industry. Sometimes I like clicking heads in Call of Duty or VALORANT. Creator of the Critical Strike Podcast.