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Stewie2k Aiming to Make a Competitive Comeback in VALORANT, FNS Joins NRG Esports

When one of North American CSGO’s greats in Jacky “Stewie2K” Yip stepped back from competition this past summer, many anticipated that he would spend some more time playing VALORANT after stepping into full-time content creation.

Now there are some rumors and reports that suggest that Stewie2K is at least thinking about competing professionally in 2023, and the open bracket qualifiers of the NA VCT Challengers scene would certainly provide an avenue to playing.

Jacky "Stewie2K" Yip, professional FPS player
Jacky "Stewie2K" Yip, professional FPS player

Stewie2k is supposedly teaming with a stacked roster of former/current pros and the group is even looking for an organization to pick them up. This group includes Jared “zombs” Gitlin (former Sentinels), Braxton “brax” Pierce (T1), Shane “Rawkus” Flaherty (former FaZe player and Sentinels coach), and Ian “tex” Botsch (NRG).

The group has been spotted scrimming and running customs together via Sentinels sixth man SicK’s stream, with former Sentinels analyst Dani Hashweh either taking on the coaching role or filling in as a temporary fifth as Rawkus coaches. In an early November stream, Stewie2k said that he’s really enjoying the scrim atmosphere and that he’s been putting time into watching and learning from some of the top teams like Cloud9 and 100T and top players like Xeppaa and trent.

If he’s putting time into scrimming now with a consistent group, there’s a good chance this team could compete in NA Challengers for 2023. And with promotion to tier one via Ascension up for grabs, it’s not outlandish to consider that an organization could pick up such a talented team stacked with big names ahead of the start of Challengers play if Stewie2k and his teammates do make it through qualifiers.

Pujan “FNS” Mehta, player for NRG Esports
Pujan “FNS” Mehta, player for NRG Esports

Now looking at one of the most promising rosters for the upcoming 2023 season, the VCT Americas partnered team has now confirmed the reports and brought in the highly regarded in-game leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta, formerly of OpTic Gaming. The 30-year-old FNS comes to NRG for the first time, having spent his entire VALORANT career with the Envy/OpTic group up until this point.

Similarly, longtime teammates Victor Wong and Austin “crashies” Robert are expected to be announced this week as well, in addition to Sam “s0m” Oh and former FPX player Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks.

All of Ardiis’ former FPX teammates officially signed with EMEA-partnered team Natus Vincere earlier, with their official announcement alluding to ardiis’ imminent NRG arrival with the statement that he will “continue his career in a different region.” Ardiis will primarily take on the roles filled by superstar Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, who signed with Cloud9 last month.

FNS and the OpTic core are heading to NRG coming off a landmark year for the roster. Under OpTic, the team reached and finished top three at every single international event, which included a trophy at Masters Reykjavík and grand finals run at Champions 2022. The remainder of the NRG roster should be announced over the rest of the week. With NRG’s announcement coming soon, it means that the only North American partnered team left to reveal their hand will be Evil Geniuses.

All 30 partnered teams from the three global leagues will compete in the VCT 2023 Kickoff event in Sao Paulo, Brazil in February. Don’t miss out on the rest of our content as we’ll be covering a variety of VALORANT, CSGO and League of Legends tournaments in the coming months as well as sharing our esports picks with you! Don’t forget to bet on esports at BetUS Sportsbook & Casino. We’ve plenty of VALORANT odds for you to consider.

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