Jamppi Announces Switch To VALORANT
The young Finnish Counter-Strike prodigy Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen is leaving the game behind and beginning his transition to VALORANT, per a Twitter announcement from him on January 26th. The 19-year-old AWPer was most recently played for ENCE throughout the majority of 2020, but was left off of the active roster when the organization announced their new international roster just days earlier. “Obviously, it’s a fresh start for me…and I can become one of the best players in that game,” he said while casually strolling through a snow-covered forest.
Jamppi’s options in CS:GO have been limited since receiving a VAC ban in 2015 when he was just 14-years-old. In the lawsuit he filed against Valve, he alleged that he purchased a second CS:GO account for a friend to play, and that the account received a VAC ban later after Jamppi had sold it to his friend. Many members of the community have been outspoken regarding Jamppi’s inability to receive a second chance in the eyes of Valve. So much so that in late 2019, 93% of FPL players voted in favor of allowing Jamppi to play PUG games with the pros.
Valve’s decision to let Jamppi remain banned has cost him numerous opportunities in the realm of Counter-Strike esports. He was initially picked to join the OG roster under the leadership of fellow Finn Aleksi “Aleksib” Virolainen, but his connection to a VAC account prevented him from even signing a contract with them, let alone competing at a major. Not to mention the likelihood of a plethora of other top-tier teams not even bothering to reach out to him because of his VAC status.
Several former CS:GO players have left for VALORANT over the past year to simply seek out fresh opportunities. Some saw greater potential in that game versus CS:GO, while others had their chance in Counter-Strike and just wanted something different. But Jamppi joins a small but insanely talented list of players who were forced to transition because of Valve’s needlessly stringent rulings.
The former iBUYPOWER CS:GO players were handed lifetime bans for their match-fixing incident in 2014, and would have to wait nearly six years before a new opportunity in VALORANT arose. Valve handed out lifetime bans, with no precedent, with the idea of scaring off players from even considering match-fixing or betting on their own games, but the latest scandal in tier-two Australian CS has indicated that that endeavor has failed. Now, all they have to show for it is a gap in the careers of promising and talented players who were cheered and congratulated for leaving CS:GO despite doing so with little to no choice.