What an amazing year for pro Valorant fans.
LAN events are back and we finally know which teams and regions have the best players. Moment of silence for NA.
Ahead, we'll discuss some of the standout performances of the year by way of a superlatives list.
Do you think we got something wrong? Let us know in the comments.
Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games
There are a ton of amazing plays to choose from, but I decided to take one of the best plays on the biggest stage so far: Champions.
nAts stood on his head with this one. I’ll let the clip do the talking for me.
Best team: Guild
It’s too easy to award the “best team” to the most recent winner.
Sure, Acend could arguably be the best team in 2021, but they didn’t have the same level of consistency that Guild had.
Neither team made Masters 2. Guild won Masters 3 while Acend lost to 100 Thieves in the second round of the playoffs.
Yes, Acend won Champions with a 3-2 win over Gambit, but that could have easily gone the other way.
All of the maps were close except for Fracture, where Guild actually won 13-3.
They were a few bounces away from a Champions trophy and are still, in my book, the most complete team in the world.
Jianhua Chenl/Riot Games
Best underdog performance: KRU
There was only one option for this one.
Nobody expected KRU to make any noise in Champions, especially after their previous performance at international events.
Not only did KRU upset Sentinels to make it out of the group stage, but they went on to beat Fnatic in the playoffs and give Gambit a run for their money.
The Cinderella story ended in the Champions semi-finals, but KRU’s run shows that any team has a chance on the biggest Valorant stage in the world.
Player of the year: TenZ
It might be a hot take to give “player of the year” to someone on a team that drastically underperformed expectations, but let me make my case.
First of all, TenZ is the single most popular Valorant player on the planet. Being the fragger for one of NA’s best teams plays into my decision.
Although Sentinels stumbled in Champions, TenZ remained strong and put the “choking at LAN” storyline to rest in 2021.
It might not have ended on a high note, but TenZ was the biggest name in Valorant this year - by a long shot.
Best signing: Vanity
The Vanity diff is real.
Vanity was the single most impactful signing of 2021 - at least, the one with the most tangible evidence to support him.
Version1 was a strong contender in Masters 2. After failing to qualify for Masters 3, the team parted ways with Vanity and he ended up on Cloud9 in time for the LCQ.
C9 blew through the competition in the NA LCQ, eventually winning the event. They went on to become the only NA team to make it to the Champions playoffs.
Sure, you could argue that someone like Nivera made a significant difference to his team as well, but Vanity has the strongest argument to back him up.
Is there a bigger fail than the main stage knife blunder in Masters 2?
Soulcas of Team Liquid had a flank on Vanity of V1. Instead of taking the shot, Soulcas wanted to humiliate Vanity with a knife kill.
As you can see, that didn’t go as expected.
Best Support: Chronicle
It’s hard to argue that Chronicle isn’t the best Valorant support in the game right now.
Not all support stats show up on the scoreboard, but they do for Chronicle. This support main mostly plays Sova, and he frags-out when he does.
In Champions, Chronicle had the best ACS (average combat score) of any support main - even higher than duelist mains like zeek and d3ffo.
Top Fragger: cNed
We had a bunch of fraggers in mind for this one, but it has to go to the most consistent and arguably best Jett main in the world: cNed.
Duelists are known to be volatile in Valorant, but cNed never is. He’s always doing his part, which is part of the reason Acend has enjoyed so much recent success.
In Masters 3, cNed was only outpaced by TenZ and yay in the ACS department - but cNed also threw some Sage in the mix.
At Champions, cNed remained consistent and placed within the top six with an ACS of 229.5 - also with some Battle Sage in there.