The top VALORANT teams in 2021

These teams earned their spots at the top.

Image via Riot Games

The inaugural season of the VALORANT Champions Tour gave fans an amazing opportunity to watch the best teams from their region compete before facing the top teams worldwide. Teams from around the world proved themselves as the best their regions had to offer and earned their spot as some of the best VALORANT teams in 2021. Here is a list of the top VALORANT teams that stood out from the crowd in 2021.

Acend

Acend secured the inaugural VALORANT Champions title and cemented their spot as the best team in the world. They went undefeated throughout the tournament, beating Vivo Keyd, Envy, Team Secret, Team Liquid, and Gambit Esports along the way. 

The team found success in the early days of VALORANT by winning the European Masters event, although they failed to qualify for Masters Reykjavík. They made it to Masters Berlin, although 100 Thieves eliminated them in the quarterfinals. Most fans never questioned the team’s potential, although many expected another EU team to go all the way in Champions. But Acend showed they can take on the best from any region and will likely be a notable force in the 2022 season. 

Sentinels

Sentinels were one of the most dominant teams throughout 2021. They had a tight grip on the top spot in North America, winning the first Masters event with an undefeated run. They made an incredible debut on the international stage in Masters Reykjavík, becoming the first team to win an international VALORANT title. 

They maintained their momentum in VCT Stage Three by winning the NA Challengers Playoffs and looked like they were on their way to a third title in Masters Berlin. But they couldn’t pull off the threepeat and bowed out in the quarterfinals. Champions was an even tougher experience; Sentinels failed to make it out of the group stage. 

Despite the disappointing finish, Sentinels were still one of the best VALORANT teams of 2021. 

Gambit

Gambit Esports were arguably the best European team going to Champions. They won Masters Berlin, defeating Envy in the grand finals 3-0. Their success before Champions led many to believe they would come home with another title, but they ultimately lost to Acend in the grand final. 

Despite this second-place finish, Gambit are still one of the best teams of the year. They are a shining example of the European dominance in VALORANT and are only a step behind Acend.

KRU Esports

KRU Esports were one of the best South American teams throughout 2021 and appeared in all three Masters events. They failed to win their regional Masters event and were sent home from Masters Reykjavík with only one win against Shark Esports. They did better in Masters Berlin and made the playoffs, but G2 Esports eliminated them. 

The third time was the charm for KRU on the international stage. They had one of the most impressive runs in Champions, sending FURIA, Sentinels, and Fnatic home before being eliminated in the quarterfinals by Gambit Esports. 

This year was a long battle for KRU Esports, and they successfully planted their flag among the best teams in the world. 

Cloud9 Blue

Cloud9 Blue had a rough start in 2021. Star Duelist Tyson “TenZ” Ngo stepped away from the team to focus on content creation before joining Sentinels and becoming one of the biggest names in VALORANT. But C9 Blue become one of the best North American teams in the final part of the season and one of the three NA teams to make it to Champions.

Cloud9 picked up former Version1 player vanity before the NA Last Chance Qualifier and proceeded to clean house. They beat Rise, 100 Thieves, XSET, Gen.G, and Version1 to earn their spot in Champions. They were also the only North American team to survive the group stage at Champions, although Team Liquid swiftly eliminated them. Hopefully for fans, we’ll see another impressive year from Cloud9 Blue next season. 

X10

X10 is an Asia-Pacific team that has dominated the region alongside Team Secret. X10 won the SEA Masters event and made their international debut at Masters Reykjavík. They beat Crazy Raccoon but were sent home by Fnatic. 

The team made it back to an international event at VALORANT Champs and qualified for the playoffs, defeating Vivo Keyd and Envy along the way. They were eventually defeated by Gambit, but they still won a map against the dominant EU team. 

X10 were one of the best teams in its region throughout the year and performed relatively well in international events. Don’t overlook this team going into the 2022 season. 

Vision Strikers

Vision Strikers are, without a doubt, the best Korean VALORANT team. They famously went on a 104-game winning streak and won the first Masters event in Korea. They didn’t make it to Masters Reykjavík, but they did make it to the quarterfinals in Masters Berlin. 

The team couldn’t make it past the group stage at VALORANT Champs and only beat FULL SENSE in their opening match. It’s clear Vision Strikers struggle on the international stage, but they’re still the dominant Korean team and will likely make another excellent run next year. 

Crazy Raccoon

Crazy Raccoon were the best Japanese team in 2021, although they failed to make a name for themselves on the international stage. They exited Masters Reykjavik without winning a match and only won one series against Havan Liberty in Masters Berlin. 

Champions was rough for the team. They were swept by Team Vikings and Team Secret, going home for the season without winning a single map in the biggest event of the year.

Team Secret

Team Secret were a sleeping giant that made their first international appearance at Champions. They were considered one of the underdogs in Group C, but they took out Crazy Raccoon and Team Vikings to secure their spot in the playoffs. VCT Champs Acend eliminated them in the quarterfinals, but they still performed significantly better than expected. 

Team Vikings

Team Vikings are one of the best Brazilian teams that won the regions’ Masters event. They qualified for Masters Reykjavík, where they beat X10 before losing against Sentinels and Team Liquid. They also started Champions with a win against Crazy Raccoon but were sent home by Gambit Esports and Team Secret. 

The Brazilian team did take a map against Gambit, who were one of the top teams in the tournament, showing they’re capable of hanging with the best. If Team Vikings can continue to improve against international opponents, they’ll advance from one of the best teams in their region to one of the best in the world.