VALORANT rostermania: 2 The Guard players allowed to explore offers

Will they find a new home to play for?

Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

The Guard VALORANT players Jacob “valyn” Batio and Michael “neT” Bernet became unrestricted free agents today after their organization failed to secure a spot in the Americas partnership league.

Valyn is looking to in-game lead for a partnered squad and “bring a winning culture to any team.” Similarly, neT is also looking to join one of the partnered teams and he wants to prove that he is a “top sentinel player” in the world with the new meta changes. Valyn wants to play smokes or initiator, while neT is open to in-game lead and play as initiator if needed.

The Guard were one of the North American teams left out of the Americas franchised league alongside OpTic Gaming and TSM. Riot announced today that Sentinels, Cloud9, 100 Thieves, Evil Geniuses, and NRG took the five NA spots in the league, in addition to revealing all 30 partnered teams across the world.

NeT and valyn have played for The Guard since November 2021 when the organization entered the Riot FPS scene. The duo most notably helped The Guard win VCT NA Challengers One over OpTic in March 2022 but failed to display the same form at VCT Masters One Reykjavík in April, their first international tournament. The Guard also lost the opportunity to play at VALORANT Champions 2022 following a loss to 100 Thieves in the grand finals of the NA Last Chance Qualifier.

The future of Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo, Jonah “JonahP” Pulice, and Trent “trent” Cairns, the other players on The Guard, is up in the air and it’s unclear whether they plan to stick together and sign with one of the partnered teams or just seek individual offers. The organization hasn’t revealed its plans for 2023 as well.

The Americas partnership will feature LOUD, MIBR, FURIA, Leviatán, and KRÜ in addition to the five NA teams. The inaugural tournament of the franchised circuit kicks off on Feb. 14 at VCT São Paulo and will feature all 30 partnered teams.