The European scene is beginning to settle down. We are seeing the same teams and organizations in events, with the same five typically at the top. The region is still somewhat of a mess from there on, but there’s enough smaller teams regularly participating in tournaments that it is finally becoming possible to rate which teams are the best. Without further ado, here are my picks for the top 10 teams in Europe.
Sebastian “NEEX” Trela
Michał “MOLSI” Łącki
Vladyslav “arch” Svistov
Egor “chiwawa” Stepanyuk
Mikhail “Duno” Fokin
This spot originally belonged to the Polish roster of THOSE GUYS, but after their defeat in the Polish Open #FRAMESWINGAMES to an Entropiq lineup that was fielding a substitute, it seems Entropiq are emerging as the better team from the area.
The CIS players on the roster played on the relatively successful Worst Players back around June and early July, but after their performance slipped, teamed up with Polish players Sebastian “NEEX” Trela and Michał “MOLSI” Łącki. They announced themselves to the world at the Mandatory.GG Cup, beating such prestigious teams as FABRIKEN and Team Liquid. Since then they’ve been relatively quiet, only playing in several GLX EU battles, one of which was second place. This win over a very good THOSE GUYS roster, though, means Entropiq are still deadly. They’re just waiting in the wings.
NEEX and MOLSI have been fantastic additions. NEEX is a deadly Jett player, while Mikhail “Duno” Fokin is a scary, if inconsistent, fragger. The supporting cast is where Entropiq shines, though, with MOLSI and Vladyslav “arch” Svistov holding down the line perfectly.
We haven’t seen Entropiq with chiwawa in a while, but if they can beat Poland’s best with a substitute, it is scary what they might be able to do as a full roster.
While all these big events are going on, don’t forget about Entropiq. They’re still there, and looking to surprise once again.
Fatih “gob b” Dayik
Alexander “alexRr” Frisch
Ceyhun “AslaN” Aslan
Alexander “Ultimate” Pauls
Michele “zonixx” Köhler
In the meantime, though, BIG have improved significantly. They challenged some of Europe’s better sides in the two GLX EU Battles they participated in, and really broke out at the recent LVL VALORANT Clash 2, reaching the quarterfinals.
Alexander “alexRr” Frisch has been most impressive to me when watching BIG, he’s a fantastic fragger on Raze that can completely turn the tides of the game. Fatih “gob b” Dayik isn’t to be outdone either, he’s one of the biggest names in Europe to make the switch to VALORANT and provides excellent secondary fragging. BIG have a ways to go, but they’re already on the upswing.
Harry “DPS” MacGill
Tautvydas “hype” Paldavicius
Jack “kpiz” Pragnell
Russel “Russ” Mendes
Brandon “weber” Weber
I’ll be honest, when I first saw that ROYALS had been signed at the end of July, I didn’t expect much. They’d been on a massive downswing ever since closed beta, when they had been one of the best teams in Europe. It really looked like ROYALS couldn’t compete anymore, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised with them under Rix.GG.
Rix.GG’s performances have been enough to advance them to GLX Elite after the GLX EU Battles, and they had a fantastic performance in the LVL VALORANT Clash 2, coming out of the gate hard and fast against Vodafone Giants, taking Ninjas in Pyjamas to overtime, and defeating Vodafone Giants again to advance to the bracket stage. Unfortunately for them, they were matched up against the titans of Europe in G2 Esports, but it was incredibly promising for the mostly-British squad. We will see what they can do in their upcoming home tournament, the Rix.GG Cup.
Jose Luis “koldamenta” Aranguren
Jeremy “hqrdest” Danton
Kostas “tsack” Theodoropoulos
Adam “Khegasi” Benaouadi
Tristan “Dawn” Bornet
Project SW burst onto the European scene at the qualifiers for Allied Esports Odyssey, where they nearly upset ZyppanGoKill, now FunPlus Phoenix, in a very tight Bo3. Since then, playing under the banner of Angry Titans, they didn’t drop a match in qualifying for the LVL VALORANT Clash 2, and put up a very good performance in the main event.
Things certainly looked scary for them when they were demolished by BBL Esports in their opening game, but they came back strong with a 13-5 win against Wave Esports and then gave BBL a taste of their own medicine with a 13-3 drubbing on Ascent to qualify for the bracket stage. They had a relatively good showing against bonk as well, but in the end fell to the eventual finalists.
There is something about Angry Titans that is just very solid. They don’t have any clear weaknesses. Perhaps this is down to the success of support players Kostas “tsack” Theodoropoulos and Tristan “Dawn” Bornet, but it makes it very tough to match up against them. I hope to see more success from this still very new roster soon.
Oliwer “LATEKS” Fahlander
Linus “Limpone” Wecksell
Oskar “PHYRN” Palmqvist
Gabriel “Shrew” Gessle
Andreas “Epzz” Vallvingskog
Perhaps it’s crazy to put a team that we’ve only seen one tournament from in 6th place, but with the unpredictable state of European VALORANT outside of the top 5, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say SKADE look like early contenders to break this mold.
The brand-new roster looked practiced and skilled in their defeat of Team Liquid. Gabriel “Shrew” Gessle looked calm and calculated as the team’s Jett OPer and Oliwer “LATEKS” Fahlander was a man on a mission to make FunPlus Phoenix regret leaving him behind. And this isn’t a Dignitas situation either, where SKADE looked good against only one team, no. They beat a Prodigy lineup featuring stars such as Vakaris “vakk” Bebravičius and Vincent “Happy” Cervoni 13-2.
It is far too early to decide whether SKADE can compete long-term with the best in Europe, but coming off such a good performance, it’s difficult not to rate them above the rest of Europe’s contenders.
Emir “rhyme” Muminovic
Niels “luckeRRR” Jasiek
Damien “HyP” Souville
Charles “CREA” Beauvois
Enzo “Fearoth” Mestari
Ninjas in Pyjamas continue to exist in a sort of lull state, where they cannot really compete with the top four, but are far better than any of the other teams in the region. Niels “luckeRRR” Jasiek is one of the scariest OPers Europe has, but the rest of NiP is quite inconsistent. All the other members of the team have games where they’ll top frag, get multikills with stellar ability usage, or clutch out big rounds for their team, but they all also have games where they’re invisible.
It’s very difficult to pin down what needs to change for Ninjas in Pyjamas to compete for trophies. A coach would be a good start. If just that doesn’t do the trick, we may need to see roster swaps. If NiP want to, as they themselves have said, beat G2, they have a long way to go.
Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom
Dom “soulcas” Sulcas
Adam “ec1s” Eccles
James “Kryptix” Affleck
Travis “L1NK” Mendoza
It’s been a volatile few weeks for Team Liquid. In the group stages of Allied Esports Odyssey, they looked like the best team in Europe. Putting the Operator in the hands of Travis “L1NK” Mendoza seemed to have finally solved their problems trying to find a main Operator player, and as a result they looked stellar, topping the group stages. But come elimination day, they couldn’t get it done, and fell out in third place. Then, the LVL VALORANT Clash 2 happened. Liquid looked shaky in their opening match against the brand-new roster of SKADE, lost to eventual finalists Bonk, and then lost the rematch against SKADE, failing to advance to the bracket stage.
The biggest thing that stands out on Team Liquid is that they don’t have a Jett player. Jett is absolutely essential in the current meta, and their lack of a player comfortable on the agent is seriously hurting them.
With massive Sage nerfs in Patch 1.07, perhaps we see L1NK, the team’s usual Sage player and, as mentioned, the player who has played the Operator for the team recently, take up the role. But something has to change in this regard, or more tough days are ahead for Team Liquid.
Malkolm “bonkar” Rench
Yacine “Yacine” Laghmari
Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel
Aron “xajdish” Fredriksson
Leo “ziz” Jannesson
The only team besides G2 Esports to have made the finals of more than one European Ignition Series tournament, Bonk are coming in hot after a very good performance in the LVL VALORANT Clash 2.
Yacine “Yacine” Laghmari, like Pontus “Zyppan” Eek before him, has proven himself as one of Europe’s best fraggers on an unsigned Swedish roster. With by far the highest ACS on the team at 274, Yacine’s Raze has become a staple of high-level European play.
Interestingly, Bonk, like Team Liquid, typically don’t use Jett, only opting for her on Haven where Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel plays the pick. But Bonk have managed to make their Jett-less compositions work much better than Liquid have. Perhaps it is their willingness to swap in other agents – while Liquid has been almost exclusively playing Cypher-Omen-Raze-Sage-Sova/Reyna, Bonk often switch in Breach or Viper. And it has been working out incredibly well for them. Whatever tier 1 organization decides to pick up Bonk is incredibly lucky.
Pontus “Zyppan” Eek
Tobias “ShadoW” Flodström
Johan “Meddo” Lundborg
Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow
Andrey “Shao” Kiprsky
FunPlus Phoenix’s run in LVL VALORANT Clash 2 was tragically cut short in the semifinals, when Zyppan lagged defending ropes on Split at match point, possibly costing FPX the series. But make no mistake – FPX had been nothing but stellar up until that point.
Coming off a second-place finish in Allied Esports Odyssey, FunPlus Phoenix came into LVL’s event hungry for blood. They dominated their group, winning 13-2 over Wave Esports and 13-3 over BBL Esports to advance in first place. They showed no sign of slowing down in the quarterfinals, beating SKADE 13-1 on Bind and 13-5 on Haven to advance to the semifinals against G2 Esports. Here, they took Europe’s final boss to overtime on Bind, before the aforementioned lag on Split shut down any chance of a comeback at 12-10.
Zyppan continues to be an absolutely ridiculous fragger. His 294 ACS is on par with that of Tyson “TenZ” Ngo in North America, who has 296. The latest patch should help FPX as well, with Tobias “ShadoW” Flodström being a very competent Breach player and Andrey “Shao” Kiprsky never quite looking at home on Sage.
Make no mistake – FPX are here to stay. And they’ll be beating G2 before you know it.
Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas Colocho
Patryk “Patitek” Fabrowski
Jacob “pyth” Mourujärvi
Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks
David “davidp” Prins
While FunPlus Phoenix may eventually catch up to them, there can be no mistake that G2 Esports are still Europe’s best.
They’ve only ever lost one match. They’ve won every event they’ve participated in. And it hasn’t been particularly close. Despite Bonk looking like they’d leveled up after their previous final in the Mandatory.GG Cup, G2 still beat them 13-8 and 13-4 to take home the trophy.
Where does G2 even go from here? Their only real regional competition is FPX. International showings may be the next time we see G2 truly tested, and those are a ways off. For now, Europe’s final boss needs to make sure they don’t get complacent before they truly can show themselves on that international stage.
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