The year 2020 saw many changes to established industries, and esports was no different as a new first-person shooter entered the arena.
Since the release of Valorant back in June 2020, the game’s competitive scene in Asia Pacific (which includes Southeast Asia) has been steadily growing.
Due to the scene still being very young, APAC teams haven’t quite had the chance to face each other enough times for us to make a comprehensive ranking for the region’s best teams. However, we do have a good idea of which teams are the best in their respective sub-regions as designated in the Valorant First Strike events for Asia Pacific.
Read on to find out who are our picks for the best Valorant teams, based on their prize money and performance during the year:
Philippines: Bren Esports
There is little doubt that Bren Esports are the best Valorant team in the Philippines right now, thanks to their experienced roster comprised of former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) players as well as one former Dota 2 pro in renowned Filipino esports veteran Jessie "JessieVash" Cuyco.
The team dominated the country’s Valorant scene from the start, even making a clean sweep through Mineski VxV, the Valorant First Strike event for the Philippines.
Bren Esports have also performed well in the regional events they have attended thus far, finishing fourth in the AOC Masters Tournament 2020 and winning the PVP Esports Final 2020. Heading into the new year, Bren Esports stands as the juggernaut of the Philippines as well as a worthy contender for the title of best Valorant team in Asia Pacific.
Total prize money for 2020: US$10,592
Indonesia: Alter Ego
Alter Ego’s Valorant team had a bit of a slow start when the team first started playing in July, only managing to place in the Top 4 of a number of local Indonesian tournaments. After the roster was officially announced by the organisation in October, however, Alter Ego started gaining steam and won back-to-back tournaments at the Indonesian leg of the AOC Masters Tournament and ESL Community Clash.
Despite a narrow 3-2 loss to Team nxl in the finals of First Strike Indonesia, Alter Ego bounced back with a resounding win at the AOC Masters Tournament regional finals for Southeast Asia. While their hold over the Indonesian scene — no doubt one of the most stacked in the region — may not be absolute, Alter Ego have shown they can be another worthy contender for being the best team in Asia Pacific.
Total prize money for 2020: US$11,361
Thailand: Attack All Around
Thailand is arguably the most contested country in the Southeast Asian Valorant scene, with a number of stacked teams each having a case for being the best in the country.
However, our pick will have to go to Attack All Around, arguably the country’s most experienced and prolific squad. They have been competing as far back as June, with their success keyed by a core of former CS:GO players, including Sarindhorn "JinNy" Wanothayarnchai, a female pro who has competed in CS:GO and PUBG.
Despite an early exit from the ESL Thailand Championship, the country’s First Strike event, Attack All Around has racked up a total of 10 tournament wins thus far.
With impressive showings at regional events, including a win at the AfreecaTV Asia Winter Invitational and Top 3 finishes at the AOC Masters Tournament and ESL Community Clash, Attack All Around has a solid case for being the strongest team in Thailand and one of the very best in all of Asia Pacific.
Total prize money for 2020: US$28,709
Malaysia and Singapore: Team SMG
The sub-region of Malaysia and Singapore is another of the more contested scenes in Southeast Asian Valorant, considering that the individually capable scenes of both countries meet more often than most. Out of the all the squads in both countries, Team SMG (Still Moving Under Gunfire) stands out for us the most. Not only has the squad proved itself more than capable thus far, Team SMG also seems set to improve with a retooled roster announced earlier this month.
Team SMG narrowly lost in the finals of the First Strike event for Malaysia and Singapore to Malaysian squad Todak, arguably their biggest regional rival.
If Team SMG’s revamped roster can overcome Todak in future meetings to cement its dominance over Malaysia and Singapore, then the rest of Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific will have to watch out.
Total prize money for 2020: US$7,011
Taiwan and Hong Kong: AHQ Esports Club
Taiwan and Hong Kong might not have as frequent encounters with Southeast Asia, but its top team, the AHQ Esports Club, are by no means a slouch.
AHQ have been outright dominant over the Taiwan and Hong Kong scene, not even dropping a single game in the sub-region’s First Strike event.
AHQ has also performed well in regional events, finishing in second place at the AfreecaTV Asia Summer Invitational in August then coming back to win the Fall Invitational in October.
Considering their local scene provides weaker competition, AHQ will surely be looking to compete more in regional events to help stake their claim as one of the best Valorant teams in Asia Pacific.
Total prize money for 2020: US$31,411
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