Looking back, the video of G2 owner Carlos Rodriguez partying with controversial public figure Andrew Tate might have been the most impactful moment on the outcome of Riot’s VALORANT partnership decisions.
Aside from it costing G2 a spot in either the EMEA or Americas league, it also might have cost a rising star on one of the best rosters of the past year a chance to compete in the Americas partnered league next year. It was reported yesterday, first by the Washington Post, that G2 had keen interest in picking up the XSET roster with an Americas league partner spot. A tweet from 17-year-old XSET rising star Zachary “zekken” Patrone appears to confirm G2’s previous interest.
“Having to explain to my mom how Andrew Tate cost me a job is not where I thought I’d be a month ago,” reads the tweet from one of last year’s breakout NA players.
G2 Carlos’ appearance with Tate sparked a ton of backlash online, as did his initial combative response to the backlash and the flurry of contradictory tweets he liked after G2 and himself posted a more apologetic statement. Riot leaders reportedly met in Istanbul during Champions 2022 and reversed their impending decision to give G2 a partnered spot in the Americas league.
G2 had “expressed strong interest in acquiring the roster and coaching staff of XSET,” according to the Post’s report, and everything was “good to go” assuming G2 got in and XSET didn’t. French FPS reporter NeLendirekt said that Riot moved to give LATAM team Leviatán the spot, reducing the amount of NA teams that could potentially pick up the XSET roster from six to five. But technically, any team in the Americas league could sign the XSET players.
Sources that spoke to Dot confirmed that the XSET players would like to stay together if they can, and today, XSET announced that all the players will be moved to free agency. Dephh and AYRIN will be unrestricted free agents, while zekken, BcJ, and Cryo are restricted free agents.