The NRG roster construction is nearly complete with the signing of 2022 VCT Masters Reykjavik Champion, Austin “Crashies” Roberts, going official

The former OpTic Gaming star, known for his play on Sova, has officially signed on as an Initiator for NRG. With 33 total VCT games played (23 in 2022 alone), Austin “Crashies” Roberts is certainly one of the most experienced free agents available. He’ll be a key piece for NRG and joins a number of his former teammates. The announcement of the signing was made on NRG’s official Twitter, on November 9th, 2022.

crashies Impact on Initiator

Ending the OpTic Gaming VCT run with an impressive 223 ACS, and 72% KAST on a variety of Initiator agents proved to be a huge factor in OG finishing second at Champs. Alongside the signing of in-game leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta, NRG are rebuilding with the core of OpTic. A group of tournament tested, cerebral players that excelled at every level of VALORANT.

In fact, crashies was widely considered the best Sova in the world during previous era’s. In Meta’s where Sova was an instant-lock agent and an important part of any composition, he exceled. On a team of super stars, including Cloud9’s recent signee Jacob “yay” Whittaker, crashies always found ways to make an impact. For one, he was extremely proficient in executions and had an incredible ability to pull out clutch rounds. He was crucial to the OpTic success in the two years he was with the team, deapite less eye-popping numbers.

With one Masters championship, and two Masters Finals appearances, Crashies, along with his former OpTic teammates, are more accomplished than any team in the world. During the pre-partnership run for VALORANT, OpTic had the most top three finishes at Masters events. Thus, making any free agent stemming from that team a priority signing. They end phase one of VALORANT with the most VCT wins in history as well.

NRG Targeting former OpTic Gaming Core

So, with the rest of the OpTic core being targeted alongside FNS and Crashies, NRG is attempting to build a super team with built-in chemistry. Unlike Cloud9 and Sentinels, NRG are starting with players that have played together. The transition should be easier for NRG moving off players like Ethan “Ethan” Arnold and Ian “tex” Botsch.

VCT 2023 Roster Tracker: (🔴Live ) Valorant rosters and free agents – NA, EMEA and Asia-Pacific

As for crashies’ role, outside Jordan “Zellsis” Montemurro signing with Cloud9, he was the premier Initiator free agent in North America. It’s a new age of NRG VALORANT. And, while it’s not the full OpTic roster, poaching players from a former championship team is a full proof plan. Watch out for NRG heading into 2023.

Feature image via of Colin Wolff and Riot Games

Filed Under
Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022