4th September 2020 – 4:03pm
The Ignition Series have ended for a time in the United States. The Pop Flash, the last official tournament across the Atlantic, ended with the victory of Sentinels. It was an intense competition from which we will also remember the prowess of Dignitas and Cloud9. However, one team has been performing so poorly that they are forcing their organisers to change their players: T1.
The situation for T1 is increasingly complicated on the Valorant scene. The team started well, competing with TSM and saying they wanted to repeat T1's historic successes on League of Legends, but on Valorant. The declared goal was to find the new Faker, a star player synonymous with excellence on Valorant for everyone. Besides performing well a few months ago, T1 has not shone for a while. Worse, they lost in the first round of Pop Flash. Their first game ended with a 3-13 and a 7-13 against Immortals.
For a few weeks now, T1 seems to be in turmoil regarding its players. Successive defeats were attributed to Skadoodle, star player of Counter-Strike who was criticised for only knowing how to play Sage. Skadoodle has been sidelined then, so he could expand his Agent pool, while his teammates Crashies and Food were just making fun of him in private.
But karma is not tender. Skadoodle being absent from Pop Flash, it's hard to blame him for these losses. On the other hand, it appears that T1 felt that Crashies and Food no longer belong to the team. They are therefore no longer part of T1 and are looking for a new team.
T1 isn't the first team to separate from its players due to poor performance. A few weeks ago, 100 Thieves also separated from 4 of its players following catastrophic results. These two teams will therefore compete in the search of new talents.
Cases like these, however, highlight the precariousness of esports players on Valorant. There is no secret: to have your place, but above all, to keep it, you have to stay on top of the best. So, was there a rush from American organisations to build teams, or did the players slack off once they had their place? We will never really know.
What is certain is that the Valorant esports scene is still trying to find its feet and that such scenarios will likely repeat themselves for a while, before any stability can be gained.