The Guard, the most poorly managed org in esports, will now miss the 2024 VCT Americas after failing to deliver Riot’s Team Participation Agreement for the tour by the deadline. Add this to the list of horrendously shitty behavior by the org in the year of our lord 2023.
The Guard had to win their way into the partnered Valorant league through the Challengers League, and earn a spot into the Ascension tournament. Which they did. After that Cinderella-esque run (The Guard won every series in the tournament including a 3-1 win over M80 to earn their spot) – The Guard punched their ticket for two years in Valorant’s top tier league – and would have been entitled to similar benefits that Riot’s ten top-flight partnered teams receive… That is, if they filed their paperwork on time.
Although Riot’s statement pretty clearly indicates that this disqualification was entirely the fault of The Guard, the statement released by the org calls the decision “disappointing” and “unexpected”. They also added in that the entire roster has been released.
Pretty much anyone paying attention to this story is extremely frustrated, confused, sad, angry, or any mix of all four right now. I can’t even imagine how the players themselves feel. DisguisedToast has even mentioned signing the roster just to give them a chance to compete for the spot that they worked so hard to earn.
All of this is made 30,000 times shittier when you realize that The Guard’s owner, Stan Kroenke presides over the most valuable portfolio of assets in team sports. In the last two years, Kroenke’s Los Angeles Rams, Colorado Avalanche, Denver Nuggets, and Colorado Mammoth have all won their respective championships. Just last season, the Kroenke-owned Arsenal Football Club was runner up for the Premier League Title as well – and looks primed to make a top four run again this year.
The only thing Kroenke Sports & Entertainment couldn’t give a fuck less about, apparently, is esports… And it’s incredibly sad to see.
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