Masters Tokyo will feature two Chinese teams alongside the 10 qualified VCT teams, marking the third straight VCT LAN in which China will have at least one representative.
Coming off a strong performance in LOCK//IN just a few months ago, EDward Gaming EDward Gaming China Rank #1 returns for a third consecutive event in hopes of proving this time they can compete for a title. They'll be joined by Attacking Soul Esports Attacking Soul Esports China Rank #5 , who surprised everyone as they rose from an underachieving squad into one of China's top teams.
Photo by Valorant Esports China/TJ Sports
EDward Gaming have consistently maintained the distinction as the definitive "best team" from China. As the region's most experienced roster in terms of international experience, it is not out of the question to consider EDG as one of the primary dark horses for making a deep run in Tokyo.
However, they weren't spotless at the start of the 2023 circuit. While EDG was steadfast in dominating the early competition during the FGC Act 1: Invitational, they were stopped in their tracks during the grand final against fellow Chinese representative Attacking Soul Esports, losing their first chance at glory with a 3-2 loss. While the loss didn't affect EDG's qualification into Tokyo, it was enough to stir conversation about EDG's dominance within the region.
In response, EDG swept through on a near-perfect run of the FGC Act 2: Invitational, only losing (once again) to ASE during the upper playoff rounds. But this time, EDG returned the favor with a sweeping win in the lower final before decimating Bilibili Gaming Bilibili Gaming China Rank #2 in the grand final.
EDG's main star ZmjjKK will remain as their x-factor in many of their matches, but the impact of nobody and CHICHOO will certainly give any of their opponents a headache. EDG will face off against fellow underdogs T1 T1 Korea Rank #3 , igniting yet another chapter in the long-storied esports rivalry between China and Korea.
Another international tournament, another stage for EDG to rumble. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
During the majority of the 2022 season, Attacking Soul Esports weren't much more than an afterthought — their most notable moment being a 14-game losing streak. Not only was the team floundering, they also weren't improving, sentencing them to the distinction of one of China's worst teams.
But the aftermath of that year brought new life into the team — literally.
Life had just left EDG after their Champions 2022 campaign and joined ASE soon after; debuting during FGC 2022 Invitational: Epilogue. During the tournament, Life's impact was immediately felt, alongside star initiator YHchen , controller bunt , and the infamously named hfmi0dzjc9z7 . The team reached their best finish to date in fourth place, even if they didn't become champions.
Continuing their upwards trend, ASE went flawless in the FGC Act 1: Invitational group stage, eventually shocking everyone with an upset against EDG in the grand final, a 3-2 upset that etched their name in Chinese Valorant history. The team maintained their strong performance towards Act 2, and even though they eventually suffered a revenge loss against EDG in the playoffs, ASE were no longer the doormat they once were last year; now, they have a dynamic lineup that has potential to catch teams off-guard if they're not weary of them.
As if by fate, EDG's match against T1 won't be the only China vs. Korea showdown in the tournament; ASE's first test on the international stage will be against one of the powerhouse of the region, DRX DRX Korea Rank #1 .
If hfmi0dzjc9z7's name won't terrify you, their playstyle will. (Photo by Valorant Esports China/TJ Sports)
Masters Tokyo will kick off at 11 p.m. EST on June 10 with two Group B matches: