The Guard to round out 2023 VALORANT Challengers roster with NRG pick-up
The Guard has its sights set on Ian “tex” Botsch to complete its VALORANT Challengers roster, multiple sources have told Dot Esports today.
Tex spent the past year with NRG, during which time the VALORANT lineup experienced mixed success. During the first stage of the North American VCT, NRG managed to qualify for the group stage. They ended the group stage with a 1-4 record, however, cutting short their Stage One run.
In Stage Two, NRG again qualified for groups, and this time managed a 2-3 record, which was enough to earn their spot in the playoffs. Due to coming in fourth place in their group, they began their playoff run in the lower bracket. They managed victories against Ghost Gaming and Evil Geniuses before falling short against FaZe Clan.
Despite their shortcomings versus FaZe, a fourth-place finish in Stage Two earned them enough circuit points for a spot in NA’s Last Chance Qualifier. NRG were unable to find their foothold in the LCQ though, and losses against 100 Thieves and Cloud9 ended their shot at hoisting the VALORANT Champions trophy.
The Guard turned heads in Stage One, qualifying for VALORANT Masters Reykjavik as well as beating OpTic Gaming in the Stage One finals. At Masters Reykjavik, however, the team failed to transfer their regional success to the international stage; The Guard did not win a single match at the event.
In Stage Two, The Guard finished with a disappointing 1-4 record in the group stage, which was not enough to earn them a playoff spot. Due to their success in Stage One, they were locked in for NA LCQ.
At the NA LCQ, The Guard found themselves one win away from VALORANT Champions. A hot-handed 100 Thieves proved to be too much for The Guard to handle; they lost 0-3, marking the end of their 2022 campaign.
With the addition of tex, The Guard will look to get back to their winning ways in the VALORANT pro scene as the start of the 2023 VCT season rapidly approaches.