Many big-name esports organizations have started planning for Valorant’s competitive scene, including Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Envy, and Cloud9. In fact, Valorant has already become competitive enough that teams have started competing to be the top squad in the new tactical first-person shooter.
But not every organization is rushing to form a Valorant team just yet.
Fnatic told GGRecon that they weren’t planning to form a Valorant team until 2021.
“It’s more likely to be in 2021 than 2020, but if we find the right combination of players, if we feel really good about an opportunity and we really believe that it’s worth the investment and we’ll take the shot on it,” senior team director Colin “Cojo” Johnson explained.
Despite speaking to almost 70 European competitors, Fnatic hasn’t yet felt right about any particular group of Valorant players. As a result, Cojo said they haven’t felt like investing in anyone thus far. Even though they could possibly sign a team by the end of the year, Cojo explained that they’d rather be careful with their money.
Cojo also noted that North America seems more willing to shell out money on Valorant teams at the moment. And he isn’t sure that’s the right way to go about it.
“NA, in general, are always spending more on salaries, I mean, the LCS salaries are higher than the LEC salaries, but LEC seems to perform better at worlds and those international events. It’s not always a ‘money equals success’ type of thing necessarily. I just think it’s different markets. For us, it’s just been a case of feeling things out at the moment, and that’s what I’ve been doing,” Cojo explained.
Cojo said that some teams have been spending a lot of money for big names, like former Overwatch League MVP Jay “sinatraa” Won.
“And I think that obviously there’ll be great additions to those organizations. But I think for us, I wouldn’t say we’ve never really been the organization to go out and splash huge money really early with titles like this. I think we’ve always taken a bit more of a careful and considered approach. Not to say that one style is better than the other, but that’s just the way that we tend to approach things,” Cojo said.
Fnatic’s been a little weary about shelling out that kind of money when it comes to Valorant’s early competitive days. Johan “Meddo” Renbjork Lundborg, a Valorant player from the Swedish lineup FABRIKEN, confirmed Fnatic’s mindset. For a while, many people in the scene figured Fnatic would sign Meddo and his squad, but Fnatic wasn’t interested in the all-Swedish roster.
“It’s a big investment for organizations to go in,” Meddo said. “I don’t think they get so much value right now signing teams like ours because right now we probably don’t give them a lot of profit. So I’m guessing that’s the reason we didn’t get picked up, but we had offers from smaller organizations.”
For now, Fnatic is still scouting for talent.