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VALORANT- The Best NACE Teams by Region

We examine which schools are the best of the best in Starleague within their respective regions.

The National Association of Collegiate Esports spans most of North America, from Canada to California. Within Starleague VALORANT, teams can be categorized into five main areas of origin. In the United States, teams hail from the Northeast, the West, the Midwest, and the South. Finally, many contenders also originate from Canada. While fans closely watch and support all of NACE VALORANT's players, it's always nice to have a home team to root for – so let’s examine the strongest college teams from each region.

All data courtesy of VLR.GG

Northeast: Fisher College

As the winner of both the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 Starleague Open brackets, Fisher College is a consistent NACE Valorant powerhouse. After destroying the competition in two consecutive seasons, Fisher will likely continue its win streak.

Fisher College regularly sweeps games 2-0, with double the K/D ratios of their opponents. Their win rates range from an impressive 63% on Pearl to a wild 90% on Icebox. This team is nearly unstoppable and stands out from the rest of the Northeastern Starleague teams. Jett and Chamber player Logan is a superstar, regularly accomplishing impressive 4ks and even acing against the University of Alberta’s UAESA Green. While Logan may get the flashiest kills, the team’s roster all share incredible discipline, game sense and aim.

West: University of California, Santa Barbara

The University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Gold solidified their standing in Starleague in Spring 2023 as a Semifinalist in the Open division. UCSB has a robust esports program with evident results. Alongside UCD Gold and CCP Black, it is one of only three West-coast teams represented in the best-of-16 from the previous two seasons.

UCSB holds its own against long-standing teams and powered through Starleague’s Open bracket until it faced Fisher College. With a 75% win rate on Icebox and 100% on Pearl out of all their NACE matches, the team plays with consistency and calm. Its compositions are utility-heavy, making UCSB’s defense fearsome. VibinRyan, who was able to ace as Viper against the Dark Knights, is a player to watch.

Midwest: Northwood University

Hailing from Michigan, Northwood University has already made a name for itself in NACE VALORANT. Northwood Esports swept the competition as Varsity Grand Finalist champions in Fall ‘22 and returned as semifinalists in Spring ‘23.

Northwood Esports will likely continue its reign as one of the most fearsome teams in Starleague. The team prioritizes cooperation and coordination – Northwood players are comfortable making callouts and combining utility. This university’s practice time is put to good use. The result is a confident, almost mechanical team that expertly executes plays.

South: University of Missouri

Hailing from the University of Missouri, Mizzou Esports placed as a Quarterfinalist in both the Fall 2022 and Spring 2023 NACE Starleague seasons. The team has remained strong over the past year.

Mizzou specializes in map control. It prioritizes compositions containing agents with the capability to take and preserve space, such as Chamber, Killjoy, Viper and Omen. Mizzou’s significant win rates on Fracture, Pearl and Breeze (83%, 68% and 67%) illustrate its mastery of map control and show that it is a team to watch. With strong players such as P I G G Y and Conch fragging out, Mizzou Esports is only becoming stronger with every Starleague season that passes.

Canada: Saint Clair College

Residing in beautiful Windsor, Ontario, The Saint Clair Saints are one of the strongest NACE VALORANT teams. They reached Quarterfinals in the Fall ‘22 Varsity bracket and Grand Finals in the Spring ‘23 Varsity bracket.

After narrowly missing out on the ‘23 Grand Finals crown, there is little doubt that the Saints will return with a vengeance in future seasons. Alongside Northwood Esports and OC Esports, this is a team that has the potential to win upcoming Grand Finals. Its most successful maps, Fracture, Lotus and Pearl, are also some of the most commonly selected – the Saints are prepared for anything. The team operates with intelligence and awareness, using game sense to set star players like Sushi and 4Tapping up for kills. Its roster is precise, calculating and determined to win.

As the Fall 2023 Starleague VALORANT season fast approaches, fans can excitedly watch and expect great things from each of these teams!

Written by Gabrielle DeSena

This article was created as part of an internship collaboration with NACE