This article is part of our VALORANT series.
VCT is back for the final week of the Stage 2 regular season. While most playoff spots have already been filled, some teams are fighting for seeding and for the final berths in the Stage 2 playoffs. Here's a look at some players to target, and fade, in the final week of Stage 2.
Players to Target
NiSMO has been an absolute revelation for fantasy managers and his team in Stage 2, lighting North America up and storming to a 1.37 rating in the event. Perhaps most intriguing for fantasy managers is his ability to take over on Raze and KAY/O as opposed to the Chamber that most top players have been using. NiSMO's flexibility and aggressive playstyle have kept him among the top players in North America and make him instantly worth targeting in all fantasy formats.
The reports of Derke falling off after one poor map seem to have been slightly exaggerated as the superstar sits with a 1.43 rating – far-and-away the best in Europe. The only player close to him? His own teammate Alfajer. Fnatic have been utterly dominant in VCT EMEA Stage 2, and are the clear favorites to take the top spot in playoffs. Derke has been incredible throughout the tournament making the switch to Chamber and dominating on the new agent. One of the hopes for Fnatic with this new-look roster was more freedom for Derke, who many would laud as the best player in the world. Not only has the plan worked and given him more freedom, but it's allowed Derke to ascend to previously unheard of heights in VALORANT.
Not many players can keep up with the best Chamber and entries players while playing more passive roles, and yet Leo has done just that. Despite playing a flex utility role, Leo has 1.34 rating throughout VCT EMEA Stage 2, while leading Guild to the top of the standings. This Guild lineup has come so close to qualifying for international events multiple times, only to be shut down by the absurd depth of talent in Europe. They will head into playoffs as one of the favorites alongside Fnatic and reigning champions FunPlus Phoenix, and if Leo can keep this level going, Guild might just qualify for their first VALORANT major.
Players to Fade
The Guard were one of the most exciting teams to come out of North America in Stage 1, with many tipping them to take the region to new heights internationally. Stage 2 has been nothing but a fall for grace from The Guard, who now face a decider match, taking on NRG with the winner making playoffs. One of the crucial problems for The Guard has been neT who has struggled mightily to one of the worst ratings and lowest ACS' in North America. The Guard is still a talented team, but this isn't the week to shoehorn neT into any fantasy rosters.
TSM has a new roster and a new star player, at least in theory. Over his career, seven's stats are good (1.16 rating, 240 ACS) and seemed to indicate he'd step up and dominate with TSM, especially taking over the star role on Chamber and Jett. Despite the team being setup around him, seven has been one of the bottom players in North America, and is set to take on the deadly duo of XSET: zekken and Cryocells. While seven has plenty of potential, and this TSM roster is one of the most exciting rosters the team has brought in VALORANT, it's hard to trust seven in Stage 2.
hype joined the worst team in Europe, a team where no players have even approached an even rating, and he has done as expected: awfully. OG LDN UTD as a whole are a fade given their struggles against top teams in Europe. Against Fnatic they lost 13-0, 13-4, and against FunPlus Phoenix, 13-3, 13-6. While FOKUS might not pose the threat that FPX or Fnatic pose, it's still a team with the star power to send OG LDN UTD packing, and with them, to keep hype with next to no fantasy value. The only possible positive for hype is his seeming transition to a more aggressive role, he started the stage on Viper and Killjoy and has recently played Raze and Brimstone.
Stats courtesy of Thespike.gg