Babyj and EC1S have been released from 100 Thieves after only two matches. 100T says this is due to the cutthroat nature of VCT.
100 Thieves have announced the sudden and shocking release of BabyJ and Ec1s from their roster, effective immediately. This comes as something of a surprise, despite the Thieves’ 0-2 start in NA VCT Challengers Group Stage. They will instead take JCStani and Bang on loan from Pioneers and TSM respectively to round out their roster.
The team, despite the losses, had shown some promise. After all, they lost to The Guard with a 2-1 scoreline, and were caught off guard by Cloud9 in their opener. However, it seems that 100T owner Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag is unwilling to wait any longer for the team to improve.
“I know this comes as a surprise that we’re moving away from babyJ and ec1s,” Nadeshot said in a video statement. “There is never, ever a situation where I want their involvement in our organization to be as short lived as this one. I think they are both incredibly talented players and both have a future in Valorant. They’ll land on their feet. At least that’s my hope.”
Nadeshot further elaborated on why 100 Thieves made the decision at all. Much of it seems to stem from their feelings on Riot’s system for VCT. Namely, that if you don’t make it past Challengers, your team is forced to sit on its hands while it waits for the next cycle.
Ec1s and Babyj only played two official matches for 100 Thieves, due to 100T being invited to Challengers and not playing in open qualifiers.
“I think a lot of people have a hard time understanding why we made this decision. It’s hard to say this isn’t a results-based decision. But it really wasn’t. Obviously, a disappointing loss to The Guard, Cloud9 got the better of us 2-0 last week,” he explained. “I think a lot of people don’t have the ability to look deeper into what causes issues with teams and rosters. A lot of cases, in terms of competing, it doesn’t come down to the talent. It doesn’t come down to results. It comes down to the mindset, philosophy and culture of how the game should be approached. Call of Duty was one thing – there’s really only a couple ways the game can be played. There’s a lot of wrong ways to play the game. But with Valorant, with all the utility and composition of agents, I feel like you can get lost in the weeds of how you should be competing on a given map. This was a decision we felt was necessary for the potential to qualify in the future of 2022 in all the tourneys to come. The format is grueling. Only two teams go to Iceland. And if you don’t qualify, your year is done aside from some of the tier two or tier three tournaments you can play in. It’s really make or break. We felt like we didn’t want to wait out the inevitable, and the roster and players didn’t mesh together. You have to take a big swing. “
Now, 100 Thieves looks to the future with bang and jcstani coming to the roster from Team SoloMid and Pioneers respectively.
“We’re excited to welcome bang and JCStani to the roster,” Nadeshot finished. “We hope we can find success. We’re really sorry to the community that’s looking for long term stability. I know it’s hard dealing with turbulence and shake ups like this in the roster. It’s never fun not to have confidence in the organization fielding these players. We’re trying to win, though. We never want that to come at the expense of players and not give players the opportunity to improve. But it’s a cutthroat circuit. These are changes for the best.”
It remains to be seen what the future of Valorant will hold for teams and players, and if there is any coming changes for the 2023 season that could encourage teams to give players a chance to improve. For example, if one was to look at the LCS, a franchised league, teams do take gambles on their rosters there a bit more often. However, franchising in FPS esports titles, especially CS:GO (where a lot of players come from for Valorant) has been heavily criticized in the past. It could take some persuading for them to get on board.
100 Thieves will take to the Valorant server with their new look roster this Sunday against Luminosity.