Team Liquid to replace FunPlus Phoenix for Valorant VCT Masters 1

Valorant Champions Tour Masters Reykjavik: A split iamge showing the purple VCT Masters logo and a screenshot of Valorant agents Cypher and Yoru

March 28, 2022 FunPlus Phoenix has released a statement on its absence from VCT Masters Reykjavik.

The Valorant Champions Tour has revealed that FunPlus Phoenix will not be attending the VCT Masters event in Reykjavik, Iceland next month, less than 24 hours after FPX was crowned the champion of the Stage 1 EMEA Challengers.

Despite securing a spot in Iceland, Riot has today announced that due to both COVID-19 restrictions and other restrictions brought about by the conflict in Ukraine, FPX will not be able to field a team for Masters 1.

While Riot says that it has explored all options, FunPlus Phoenix will “through no fault of their own” not be in Iceland. Due to roster continuity rules in the VCT, all teams that qualify for an event must retain at least three of the five players that played in the qualifiers. It appears that while Riot was willing to accommodate FPX by relaxing certain rules around roster locks and substitutes, it could not find a way for the organisation to field a team that wouldn’t break its continuity rules.

The FPX roster currently contains one Ukrainian player and two Russian players. The organisation has confirmed that these three players cannot enter Iceland due to travel restrictions, while a fourth player, Ardis ‘ardiis’ Svarenieks, cannot travel due to recently catching COVID-19.

While it won’t be competing, Riot will be acknowledging that FPX won the EMEA Stage 1 Challengers and qualified for the event by giving the team “VCT Points and a portion of the [Masters] prize pool”. The exact amounts for both of these were not confirmed, but it will likely be the equivalent of finishing in last place. While the total prize pool is yet to be confirmed, we do know that finishing last will award 125 VCT Points.

Replacing FPX in Iceland will now be the team that finished fourth in the EMEA Stage 1 Challengers, Team Liquid. It is currently not clear if Team Liquid will earn any prize money or VCT Points for competing at Masters 1. This means the three EMEA teams in Iceland will be G2, Fnatic, and Team Liquid.