Talon Esports to recruit a VALORANT roster from the Philippines.
Asian esports titan, Talon Esports announced on March 2 that the organization is looking to sign a roster for Riot Games’ breakout first-person shooter, VALORANT. The Hong Kong-based esports organization is one of APAC’s most successful at venturing into multiple esports titles and making a name for itself.
Talon Esports has its hands in League of Legends, Arena of Valor, Tekken 7, Street Fighter, Dota 2, Rainbow 6 and Overwatch. Late last year, Talon Esports shockingly announced their presence in the Dota 2 pro scene by signing superstars Tal “Fly” Aizik and Kim “Gabbi” Villafuerte. Their League of Legends team is also partnered with Paris St. Germain. Yes, that PSG. Simply put, the organization brings a level of pedigree that the Philippine esports scene is yet to catch a glimpse of locally.
KJC eSports was lucky enough to connect with Talon Esports CEO, Sean Zhang, and ask him a few questions about VALORANT and their plans for the Philippines. Here’s what he had to say about things.
Talon Esports entered the Philippine’s esports scene with Dota 2, but out of all the other esports titles out there to build another team for, why did the organization choose VALORANT over other possible titles like MLBB, Wild Rift, etc?
Talon has always been about creating a platform which can showcase amazing talents for Asia regionally and to the world. Historically we have been able to achieve this by bringing in a systemic and process driven approach to winning on and off the field. We want to do the same in The Philippines just like we have with all our other regions and squads. We see a lot of potential in the Philippines and we want to develop that talent to become world beaters.
We have a pretty wide pool of games and markets in which we currently operate and thus when looking at new markets we try very hard to not replicate titles and focus on regional titles which are really popular.
Thus looking at The Philippines the two key titles which we identified were DOTA 2 and Valorant. The other titles such as MLBB and Wild Rift are not ruled out for now but we are taking a slow and steady approach first of establishing a good foundation before jumping into further titles.
What made the organization choose the Philippines out of all the different markets in SEA and APAC (KR, JP, etc.)?
We have a lot of existence in running FPS titles within Talon with titles such as Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch which gives us a good grounding on how we can scout talent. Looking at SEA we really liked the talent pool, raw mechanical skill and the drive. Philippines specifically I think has an amazing talent pool of players however does need some more structure and process on how they approach Valorant to take it to the next level on the international stage. We hope we can provide that and create stability in a system in which we can develop talent from junior level up to our senior squad. In the end we think the potential to be a dominant force globally from the region is what excites us.
How will the team (players and support staff) be picked? Have you made any signings, staff or roster, you can talk about already?
HAHAHAHA it’s a secret for now. All I can say is we are speaking to lots of different FA’s / teams etc… and will make a decision about how it will all come together very soon. This is in relation to both players and coaches.
Will there be a place for players to send their portfolios and tryouts, or does the organization have eyes on certain people already?
This will depend very heavily on what the coach will require for each role. But we will most likely have some closed tryouts for certain positions. In the future as we develop our academy squad for this team as well for sure we will share more about tryouts so keep an eye out on our socials.
Besides signing a VALORANT roster from the PH, can you share a little more about what Talon Esports is looking to achieve in the PH esports scene?
When we enter a market we invest very heavily into developing infrastructure on the ground to support our players and staff. Thus we will invest a lot of money to ensure we have a strong platform of storytelling, performance and entertainment. For example, we will be building a TalonX creative studio (which we currently have in each of our markets/teams) will be coming to The Philippines which will mean a fully fitted out agency with staff to be placed on the ground in Manila. Also expect to see content creators to be further joining our platform in the near future as well.
What is Talon Esports expecting from the roster you are looking to sign? Is the organization entering the VALORANT scene / Philippine scene with a “win now” mentality?
Great question, it’s going to be a balancing act. We have always invested in young squads who can grow together over a several year project thus this philosophy will most likely remain the same with the squad. At Talon we want our players to adopt our mentality and culture. Each squad develops at different speeds so who knows we might end up winning sooner rather than later but the objective will be to dominate SEA Valorant first and then take on the international stage.
Along with the likes of Nigma Galaxy, Team Secret, and T1, Talon Esports has become another global esports organization that has decided to set up roots in the Philippines. Do you see this trend continuing? Why so and what do you think that means for local organizations?
YES for sure I don’t see why not. The market is massive with a huge amount appropriate for competitive esports. As more esports teams focus on Asia could see The Philippines as a great landing spot.
As of writing, and as you may have read from Sean’s answers, we’re yet to find out who Talon has signed to their VALORANT roster. One thing is for sure, with the organization’s eye for talent – we expect nothing less than our jaws to drop when we see the announcement.