T1 have released Austin “crashies” Roberts and Victor “food” Wong from their VALORANT roster on Thursday. Both players were inaugural members of the T1 VALORANT team, signed earlier this year. The departure of the players leaves T1 with only two active players left on their roster, since Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham stepped away from the team in late August. T1 is taking their lineup back to the drawing board in a bid to turn around their recent streak of disappointing tournament placings.
We're thankful for all the work they put into the team and wish them the best for the future. pic.twitter.com/gHX5CORJDi
— T1 (@T1) September 3, 2020
Both Food and Crashies are former CS:GO veterans who made the jump to VALORANT back in April. The players made a name for themselves competing for Team Brax in some of the earliest VALORANT invitationals during Spring of 2020. They were signed to T1 along with their team captain Braxton “brax” Pierce near the beginning of May. Although Brax has continued to put on impressive performances, Food and Crashies have not performed at the elite level T1 was hoping for, leading to their release.
T1 was one of the earliest esports organizations to jump feet first into VALORANT, as both competitors and tournament organizers. They started off strong, coming in second at the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Showdown back in June, a tournament which they co-hosted. However, since that time they have struggled to find success, placing no higher than quarterfinals in their last four VALORANT events.
Most recently, they were eliminated from the B-Site organized Pop Flash VALORANT tournament by Envy in the group stage. To be fair to the team, they weren’t playing at full strength. Skadoodle stepped back from official competition in mid-August to focus on expanding his agent pool, forcing T1 to play with Daniel “eeiu” Vucenovic as their stand-in during the tournament. Regardless, the team looked weak in both of their Pop Flash matches, casting doubt on the true strength of the T1 lineup.
— T1 (@T1) August 25, 2020
With the release of Food and Crashies, T1 now has three open player slots to fill before they can compete in tournaments. Some have speculated that Skadoodle will soon announce his return to the active lineup, though this has not yet been confirmed. A number of other VALORANT prospects are also currently available for T1 to recruit, including Counter-Strike veteran Joshua “steel” Nissan, who retired from CS:GO earlier this week to become a VALORANT focused content creator.
T1 is the second major esports organization to take their original VALORANT roster back to square one. 100 Thieves cut four of their original players in mid-August, and picked up former CS:GO phenom Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella. Like T1, 100 Thieves’ roster currently has only two active members. It would not be surprising to see more teams make similar roster shake ups in the coming weeks and months, as teams jockey to be the best VALORANT team for the first major tournaments, which have yet to be announced.