Thursday, 11 March 2021

European Coaches & Team Managers Poll #1

By Arran "Halo" Spake

The European VALORANT Champions Tour Masters have arrived! After three grueling Challenger events where the best teams in Europe battled it out to secure their place in the Masters stage, we are now at the business stage of the tournament. Eight teams will battle it out for the chance to not only win the first Masters event but will look to use this event as as spring board into the second stage as they look to secure their place at the first VALORANT international LAN event in Reykjavik.

While the teams continue to fight for the right to represent the European region, the Challenger Series has given us the opportunity to get a prolonged look at Europe's best teams and while a single man's power rankings or an algorithm are two ways to rank the best teams in the region. However, I've decided to go a different route and obtain the opinion of those within the scene with the most knowledge, the European coaches and Team Managers. Allow us to introduce you to the HaloofThoughts European coaches and team managers poll.

If you follow American College sports then the idea will be something you have seen before. However, for those of you who are unaware of how this works, I will break down for you here. We have asked coaches and team managers from both tier one and two for their top ten teams from Europe, based on their performances in the VCT Challengers stage.

Coaches and Team Managers are not allowed to include their own teams and can only pick teams in Europe, with teams currently in the CIS and Turkish regions not included. All picks are anonymous.

A team will receive ten points for first, all the way down to one point for tenth. This will be updated monthly and I will comment on changes as we go through out the season. The number of First place votes will be included next to the teams that receive it. 

FunPlus Phoenix- 184 points (14)

Ninjas in Pyjamas - 169 points (2)

Team Heretics - 162 points (4)

G2 - 108 points 

Guild - 97 points

Ex-DFuse - 93 points

Alliance - 66 points

Fnatic - 64 points

Team Liquid - 56 points 

Acend - 36 points

Other Teams to receive votes - Ballista, OG, Wave, Giants, Vitality & HSDIRR.

From the votes above it is clear to see that FunPlus Phoenix, Ninjas In Pyjamas and Team Heretics are strongly considering as the top three teams in Europe, with FunPlus Phoenix being the top team right now.

Though Team Heretics had more first place votes (4) than Ninjas in Pyjamas (2), NIP were considered the more consistent team and beat Team Heretics into third place overall.

G2 have fallen from their Ignition Series perch in dramatic fashion, after the three VCT Challengers events. It's also surprising that Guild are considered as their closest rivals with the return of Sayf and Ex-Dfuse, who beat G2 in VCT Challengers 3 are pretty much considered G2's equal.

Despite their late arrival to Valorant as a roster and organisation, Alliance have come in strong amongst their peers and beat Fnatic and Team Liquid into 8th, while the other two round out the top ten.

There is a gap between 9th placed Team Liquid and 10th place Acend but it's a lot shorter than you might expect, considering the difference in stature between the two organisations. 

Ballista who came out of nowhere in VCT Challengers 3, impressed a lot of coaches and Team Managers as they beat out OG and Wave by a few points.

With the European Masters starting tomorrow, it will be interesting to see if one of the top three can solidify the perceived dominance of the region or if G2 can claw the respect they once had back. Also can a team like Ballista can continue their shock run and take a few big names out along the way.

(For more VALORANT content, follow @haloofthoughts on Twitter)

(Images: RiotGames)


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