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Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker posing in his Bleed jersey.
Photo via Bleed Esports

Yay signs with Bleed Esports, leaves ‘financial drama’ of NA VALORANT behind to play in Pacific

New team, new region, new yay?

The rumors are true: One of VALORANT’s biggest superstars is moving halfway across the world to compete at the highest tier of VCT competition.

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Bleed Esports has officially signed Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker to a two-year deal, bringing the North American star and Masters Reykjavík 2022 winner to VCT Pacific to compete against the likes of Paper Rex, DRX, ZETA DIVISION, and others, the org announced today. While he’s not the first player to go from competing in NA to Asia, he’s arguably the most prolific yet.

With regards to the move, yay said the unique style of games in Asia and China really intrigued him, and he wanted to experience it first-hand to develop his own game. “APAC is known for being aggressive,” yay said. “Players here aren’t afraid to take risks, which is fun to play against because you get some really good training as you always have to be on top of your mechanics.”

Yay also said that due to “all the financial drama in North America,” moving to Singapore and the Pacific region “seemed right.” While exact numbers were never revealed, many speculate that yay garnered a massive monthly salary while with Cloud9, with Evil Geniuses’ coach Christine “potter” Chi claiming it was around $60,000 per month. But many teams are reportedly scaling back on player salary spending this year, with EG drawing ire from the community for reportedly forcing substantial pay cuts on its world championship roster.

Yay is also happy to be in a more friendly environment and away from the environments of past teams that were “a bit toxic, maybe too serious, with lots of drama.” Yay admitted that he doesn’t expect to “win championships instantly,” adding that it takes time to win trophies.

The official signing confirms speculation over the past few days that yay was heading to Bleed, with fans convinced that he was the one behind the “zommy” account duoing with now-confirmed Bleed teammate Derrick “Deryeon” Yee. Yay said it was a struggle to keep the move from getting out as people in Singapore were recognizing him in public and he couldn’t use voice comms during ranked matches.

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Image of Scott Robertson
Scott Robertson
VALORANT lead staff writer, also covering CS:GO, FPS games, other titles, and the wider esports industry. Watching and writing esports since 2014. Previously wrote for Dexerto, Upcomer, Splyce, and somehow MySpace. Jack of all games, master of none.