Chinese esports organization FunPlus PhoeniX has reportedly entered the competitive VALORANT scene, signing a full roster of European talent. The move was reported by ESPN Esports' Tyler "Fionn" Erzberger via Twitter. FPX experienced huge success in winning the 2019 League of Legends World Championship, and a venture into VALORANT seems likely for the org to expand after a successful season last year.
The five players FunPlus PhoeniX is reportedly signing to its VALORANT roster are Pontus "Zyppan" Eek, Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow, Andrei "Shao" Shao Kiprskii, Johan "Meddo" Renbjörk Lundborg, and Tobias "shadow" Flodström. Every player except Shaolele has previous professional experience in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and the latter pair of players have also competed in VALORANT for FABRIKEN. Shaolele is the only player on the roster native to VALORANT.
As the first seed qualifying from the 2019 League of Legends Pro League for the World Championship, FPX shook off a shaky Group Stage to dominant the back-half of the event and crown itself as the second consecutive world champion from China. Invictus Gaming became the first team from China's LPL to win the World Championship in 2018.
Valorant would certainly be a different approach in terms of in gameplay, regional familiarity, and overall esports ecosystem, but the excellent FPX showcased in LoL esports in 2019 makes the organization and exciting addition to the development of VALORANT esports.
Should Fionn's report ring true, FunPlus PhoeniX would join G2 Esports, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and Team Liquid as major organizations investing in VALORANT. Despite being a North American organization, TL signed the entire fish123 roster last week.
UPDATE 8/12: FunPlus PhoeniX confirmed the signing of the five players reported by Fionn via Twitter, and also stated that the team had made its debut in the Allied Esports Odyssey Ignition Series tournament.
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