New Chapter: Pros Who Chose VALORANT
VALORANT began to attract players the moment it was announced and resulted in big names switching to the game.
When Riot Games announced the mysterious Project A a long time ago, other esports developing companies shuddered. And that makes sense: Riot has unimaginable experience in creating and maintaining competitive games behind them, and their fan base is strong and unconditionally loyal, which is a result of their attitude and deep, painstaking work with the community. Surely, the result was quite natural: VALORANT is hype, receiving best reviews, and a series of official esports tournaments have already been launched. This is a great and balanced shooter from a company that knows what to do.
And, as expected, VALORANT began to attract players. Some started with simple mixes, which were then signed by large brand organizations, others immediately entered the arena alongside the famous tags, and some still cannot find a haven. In this article, we will talk about professional players who left their disciplines to start a new chapter in their lives. This is not a list of the best, just a couple of people who were or could have become very big, but switched to a new discipline. By the way, Liquipedia recently compiled a list of the most requested players on the site. After reading this article and comparing to Liqui's list, you will understand how switching disciplines worked for these players.
Lots of people check our wiki for player information. Some of these players are clearly more popular than others. Here they are:— Liquipedia VALORANT (@LiquipediaVAL) July 15, 2020
1: 🇺🇸 @brax1wnl
2: 🇨🇦 @AZKcs_
3: 🇧🇪 @ScreaM_
4: 🇺🇸 @Crashies
5: 🇺🇸 @food_cs
6: 🇺🇸 @Ska
7: 🇨🇦 @TenZ_CS
8: 🇪🇸 @Mixwell
9: 🇨🇦 @WVRDELL
10: 🇺🇸 @sinatraa pic.twitter.com/Qo0WIqTSPh
Braxton “brax” Pierce
And the first in line is Braxton "brax" Pierce, surely, also known as "swag". The guy is only 23, and he has already achieved a lot, however, in CS:GO. Baxton played for Complexity, iBUYPOWER, and many other teams. And, despite all the misadventures in iBP, he continued to stream and play CS at unofficial and then official tournaments. Brax is a very good player - at 17, he became the first under-18 player to receive an HLTV MVP Award, and in the US, he was considered one of the most outstanding young players and the nation's hope.
Brax is now a part of T1. The organization signed him on March 9, 2020, just over a week after his lengthy post on the discipline change. His friends are playing with him — they’ve known each other since the beginning of their careers - AZK and Skadoodle. Braxton plays Omen, Raze, and Cypher.
Trivia: He became the first VALORANT player signed by an organization.
Keven “AZK” Larivière
It will be logical to continue with brax’s T1 teammate: Keven "AZK" Larivière. Keven is 29 now, but he boasts experience in both CS:GO and Overwatch, where he spent almost a year playing in the competitive scene. AZK is a case where serious experience complements and balances the team. Keven perfectly understands how a hero-shooter can work, in addition, he managed to be a coach on one of his teams. He plays Sage and Breach, often serving as a support.
Oscar “mixwell” Cañellas
Next on the list is Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas; Spaniard and G2 Esports star. The 24-year-old is considered one of the best in the world, if not the best. G2 was very conscious about building their roster, forming it around mixwell, and this is already bearing fruit: the team won three tournaments, and Oscar, of course, stood out the most.
Oscar has years behind him in CS:GO. He played for Cloud9 and OpTic Gaming, attended a bunch of major LAN events, but fully revealed himself in VALORANT. Mixwell often makes non-standard decisions — and he believes that this is how you can win. He plays Sage and Breach but loves Viper, which, unfortunately, is a rarity at official tournaments.
Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom
Another European is Adil "ScreaM" Benrlitom. A very strong Counter-Strike player, who played competitively for ten years but decided to turn his life around and challenge the brave new world of VALORANT. Adil is 26 years old and has played for such outstanding clubs as G2, Team Envy, Fnatic, and GamerLegion. Moreover, during his G2 days, he helped the team to become top-2 on the HLTV list. The Belgian himself also got into the top 10 players of the site of the same name, but that was in the distant 2013 and 2016.
Now, Adil is playing for Fish123, who is rumoured to become Team Liquid. His signature characters are Sage, Reyna, and Sova.
Trivia: ScreaM had one of the best headshot ratios in the history of any Counter-Strike game.
Harrison "psalm" Chang
Fortnite Worlds runner-up Harrison "psalm" Chang is also on the list. Switching to VALORANT was a rather unusual decision, as the American could have achieved a lot in Fortnite, given his background and skills. However, sometimes in life, you need to set new challenges to prove to everyone how good you are.
Harrison plays in a stack called China Nguyen, which currently has no organization. The guys have already won several mini-tournaments in North America. Psalm himself plays on Sova, Viper, and Breach.
Spencer "Hiko" Martin
We couldn't get around Spencer "Hiko" Martin, could we? The 30-year-old American now plays for 100 Thieves. In his youth, he was engaged in various types of active sports, intending to become a pro. However, he got injured while playing hockey, which did not put an end to it, but allowed him to try himself in computer sports, after which Spencer decided to switch to CS 1.6 and make a name for himself in it. He played for Quantic Gaming, Complexity, Cloud9, Team Liquid, and Rogue, won tons of tournaments and fulfilled his goals. And when the opportunity to try something new turned up, he accepted it with pleasure.
Hiko came to VALORANT with nearly a decade of top-level gaming experience. He has a lot to share with his younger teammates, and yet he is one of the key members of the 100 Thieves team. He mostly plays Breach, Raze, and Omen.
Trivia: Spencer is colour-blind.
Jay "sinatraa" Won
This guy is 20-years-old and is a very good player. Jay "sinatraa" Won won Overwatch League 2019 in San Francisco but decided to move into a new discipline. He was the best player in North America twice, in the third and eighth seasons, and played for the national team. He's the only player in the world to win an Overwatch League championship title, be the Regular Season MVP, win an Overwatch World Cup title, and be the World Cup MVP all in one season (Season 2). Do you see how good he is?
Now he plays for Sentinels, mainly on the frontline: Phoenix, Sova, and Raze. His team is just getting started, but Jay definitely has a bright future in this discipline.
Tyson "TenZ" Ngo
Young talent and a Canadian pro Tyson "TenZ" Ngo launched his career with CS:GO. He didn't play professionally that much, but at the age of 19, he was a pretty popular streamer for Cloud9, which helped him get into the main roster of the club when Riot released their creation. Tyson has every chance of becoming a real VALORANT star. His main characters are Jett, Sage, and Viper.
Trivia: He became the first player to reach Diamond rank in the game, which happened back in the closed beta.
Matthew "Wardell" Yu
Another young Canadian, Matthew "Wardell" Yu. Matt has played for Rogue and Ghost Gaming in CS:GO, and has won a couple of tier-2 tournaments. Then, when VALORANT came out, he immediately switched to a new discipline — and it paid off. He started with mouseSpaz, and they were so powerful that Team SoloMid signed the entire mix. With this organization, he won a couple of important tournaments in North America and showed that he can do more. He plays Jett, Sova, and Sage.
Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik
And yet another good CS:GO player, Wardell's partner, Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik. He and Matthew are a formidable and unstoppable force that crushes opponents in their path. These guys play very well together. Of course, he is older than his partner, so he has more experience, as well as a track record. Subroza has attended several major LAN events, so his advantage is his intimate perception and icy veins.
His mains are Brimstone, Omen, and Phoenix.