After a tumultuous career, VALORANT’s first-ever signed professional player will be transitioning to full-time streaming.
Braxton “brax” Pierce has announced that he’s retiring from professional VALORANT to pursue full-time streaming.
Brax’s VALORANT career
Brax has had an up-and-down career in VALORANT. He was the first professional player ever signed in the game, joining T1 even before the game was released in beta. He and T1 were one of the best rosters in the early months of the game. Brax in particular became well-known in the community for his streaming highlights.
As 2020 went on, though, T1 heavily dropped off. They had a resurgence around late 2020 and the First Strike tournament, going out in the quarterfinals in a tight match against eventual champions 100 Thieves, but haven’t been able to replicate any success ever since. Brax was kicked from the team in February of 2021, joined TSM for a brief stint, then found himself back on T1 in June.
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Despite brief flashes of success, this final T1 iteration still failed to advance to any meaningful VCT stage. With today’s announcement, brax’s future as a professional player is over for the time being. “I know this isn’t the route most of you wanted me to take,” he said in his Twitlonger, “but I hope you guys understand.”
Over the course of his competitive career in esports Brax has earned $91,299, $76,000 of which came from 8 years competing in CS:GO. During the first year of competitive VALORANT he earned $7,850, putting him at #199th overall for the game.
Where do T1 go from here?
T1 have continually shown that they’re committed to the game of VALORANT, despite their lack of success. The most recent rumours and reports on the team suggest a major roster revamp before VCT 2022. Ha “Spyder” Jung-woo still sits on the team’s bench; he has, however, come back to North America after spending some time in Korea.
With their seeming lack of ability to field a top-tier North American team, though, many have suggested that T1 go to Korea. They previously fielded a Korean roster, and of course have their roots in that region. It seems likely they’ll stay in North America, but there’s still plenty of time for things to change between now and the beginning of the VALORANT Champions Tour in 2022.
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