Soon after a plethora of reports on the matter, Cloud 9 has officially confirmed earlier in the week that they are cutting ties with VALORANT superstar player Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker just before the start of the team’s VCT Americas campaign. The announcement was made via a statement from owner Jack Etienne and head coach Matthew “mCe” Elmore via social media.
In their statement, the Cloud 9 management duo explained that the squad has still not found a solution to role issues that apparently existed before coach mCe or yay arrived in the team. Thanks to that, the team is ultimately not meeting the high expectations that such high caliber and talented players were supposed to meet, especially compared to the investment on the squad. Both Cloud 9 and yay decided to part ways, which means one of the hottest prospects in VALORANT is once again in the market for a home.
Now that it’s over, it feels like it was all a dream
Thank you @yay! We wish you nothing but the best!💙 pic.twitter.com/lLSW0v053i
— Cloud9 VALORANT (@C9VAL) March 1, 2023
Following Cloud 9’s offseason signings of both yay and Zellsis, the team has struggled to find true main roles for each of the players of the lineup. Soon after yay joined the roster, C9’s previous primary duelist back in 2022, leaf, decided to switch between sentinel, Raze, and Viper as his mains, while xeppaa and Zellsis both landed in the initiator role. More importantly, after a huge wave of nerfs, Yay decided to continue playing Chamber and Jett, while most of the other teams immediately dropped the agents going into the VCT LOCK//IN event.
As for head coach mCe’s response, he stated the decision was not made due to personality problems between the players and that yay was actually fitting well with the team attitude wise. Cloud 9’s head coach later explained that the removal of yay would most likely mean a slump might be coming result wise for the squad, as their main fire power is no longer on their ranks.
Cloud 9 did not waste any time and is currently holding tryouts, while head coach mCe acknowledged at the end of the statement that the team might even look to make further changes in the next couple of months. As first reported by Dot Esports, yay’s previous OpTic teammate Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen is part of Cloud 9’s scouting process becoming one of the main candidates for the role.
With the International Leagues starting rather soon, Cloud 9 will need to quickly find a replacement for yay while also leaving some time for the squad to know each other well enough to perform. Cloud 9 will be participating in their home league, the Americas League, which will be held right near their house in Los Angeles.
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