In every single aspect of franchising and considering how Riot were picking the teams, The Guard should've been invited to the Americas League.
CONTENT: The Guard's content is top-notch. Just look at their matchday graphics and YouTube skits/mini-documentaries on the team and players. This type of content makes you love the players and the team so much more than a team like EG, who haven't made any content surrounding or with their main roster. Even the player announcement graphics were abysmal - just look at their twitter. Is a franchise team really producing that as a player announcement?
FINANCIAL BACKING: If you're not already aware, The Guard is owned by Stan Kroenke (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment), who also owns Arsenal FC, the Los Angeles Rams, the Denver Nuggets, the Colorado Avalanche, and the Colorado Rapids. There is significant financial backing behind The Guard, so this is not a worry at all when looking to invite them into a franchise league.
FANBASE: Over their fairy-tale run at the start of 2022, The Guard created a respectable fanbase in NA Valorant. Their players went from literal nobodies in the scene to having huge support from every region across the world. Even though their run at Masters Reykjavik wasn't that successful in a competitive sense, it launched them into the international Valorant sphere, in turn generating hype around their players. EG's fans are still yet to be located.
MANAGEMENT: The Guard showed that they could take home-grown NA talent to the top levels of international competition. I mentioned before that they have the money to buy top players in, but decided to go with a route that benefitted competition in NA and allowed it to flourish. EG has done much the same in Valorant (to less competitive success), but in other games such as CS, they have shown their questionable decision-making when it comes to building rosters... which seems to have spilled over into the upcoming franchise league.
I have no problems with EG as an org, and if NA had more slots than 5 I would definitely consider them a strong contender to be invited - but it really is crazy how they got in over The Guard.