The Union slams Riot as it joins exodus of orgs from tier 2 Valorant

The Union ValorantThe Union

The Union has announced its exit from tier 2 Valorant esports and slams Riot Games for its handling of the leagues and their future.

The Union won both splits of the Brazilian Valorant Challengers League in 2023 and placed third at the Americas Ascension tournament. Despite that success, the esports organization announced its exit from the tier 2 Valorant league on August 7 in a lengthy statement.

The statement said that the organization was “forced to withdraw from the competitive Valorant scene” against its will. The org also said all of its players have been benched from competition and it will facilitate “easy negotiations” for VCT Americas teams interested in them.

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The Union joins 00Nation and Keyd Stars as another organization from the Brazilian Challengers League that has pulled out of the competition. Blix journalist Rafael Ferreira has also reported that every team in the Brazilian league is either linked to a possible exit or has paused their investment in Valorant.

Other teams in North America like TSM, FaZe Clan and G2 Esports have dropped their Challengers League rosters, however, they have not announced or indicated that they are leaving tier 2 Valorant.

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Tier 2 Valorant in peril as more organizations pull out

The organization’s statement also slams Riot Games for its proposed changes to the Challengers League system. The Union explained that it planned for an extended investment in Valorant, to stay for longer than one year, and that Riot guaranteed it would handle the Challengers League in a similar fashion to CBLOL.

“In this statement, we are not talking about unpreparedness or lack of planning on the part of Riot Games. It is precisely because we are aware of the effort and care that the company plans its tournaments that we are concerned. In our view, the dismantling of Valorant’s national scenario — Tier 2 before VCT Americas — was in the developer’s plans,” the org said.

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“The format proposed by Riot for 2024 does not include professional organizations. It does not include companies and players who make a living from it while they work, it does not include professional athletes and the structure they demand to achieve competitive excellence.”

Riot Games has yet to reveal what the format for 2024 will be for Challengers. However, it has been reported that teams in the VCT international leagues will be able to partner with Challengers squads to sign their players as substitutes for the tier-one team.

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“In this scenario, The Union is forced to withdraw from the competitive Valorant scene, absolutely against our will. It is against logic for a two-time Brazilian champion to withdraw after winning everything. But the scenario in which we won was not the scenario we dreamed of and invested in, and we deeply regret having to make this decision,” the team concluded.