Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

VALORANT’s next superteam is here as Cloud9 lays the groundwork with yay

Let's go.

North American organization Cloud9 is set to acquire the best VALORANT player in the world, multiple sources told Dot Esports. 

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The deal, which will likely be completed soon, will see Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker join some of the best players in North America, such as Nathan “leaf” Orf and Erick “Xeppaa” Bach. The team will also be led by in-game leader Anthony “vanity” Malaspina. 

Yay solidified himself as the best player in the world following his consistent performances at the top of the scoreboard during his tenure with OpTic Gaming. At VALORANT Champions, which concluded earlier this month, yay had the second highest average combat score (254.6) and the highest kills per round (0.93), according to VLR.gg

His future was uncertain following OpTic’s failed attempt to secure a partnership with developer Riot Games for the Americas international league, which will begin next year. C9, however, was one of the few teams to secure a partnership with Riot. 

Read more: VALORANT post-partnership rostermania tracker: North America

Yay will leave behind his OpTic legacy to join C9. With OpTic, he won VCT Masters in Reykjavík, Iceland in April and earned several second-place finishes. At Champions, OpTic were defeated by Brazilian team LOUD in the grand final. 

C9 benched both Rahul “curry” Nemani and Mitch Semago on Sept. 22, which left two spots open on its roster. Both players will explore their options as restricted free agents under C9. 

The VCT 2023 season is set to begin in February 2023 with a kick-off tournament that will feature all 30 partnered teams in São Paulo, Brazil. 


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Author
George Geddes
George is an investigative journalist from the United Kingdom.