The 9-3 curse has become more severe in competitive VALORANT, which includes teams joining international events.
A new curse has been cast upon the VALORANT Champions Tour after Paper Rex's early departure from VALORANT Champions Istanbul today. Every team that has placed second at an international tournament has suffered setbacks at or before the following tournament.
Fnatic were the first team to be hit with the curse when they finished second to Sentinels in Masters: Reykjavik, only to miss out on qualification for Masters: Berlin a few months later. Then it was Team Envy who placed second in Masters: Berlin, but fell out at Champions in 2021.
LOUD finished second in Masters: Reykjavik to OpTic Gaming, only to lose without a win at Masters: Copenhagen. Then, to continue the tradition, Paper Rex, who finished second at Masters: Copenhagen, have now been eliminated from VALORANT Champions Istanbul after only one win.
This pattern has remained constant throughout the last two years of competitive VALORANT, and may be the greatest curse to date. Previously, VALORANT had a six-round lead advantage.
Although the previous 9-3 trend had little statistical support, the second place curse does exist.