Cryocells signing with 100 Thieves is the first official roster announcement in the 2022 Valorant offseason.
The rumor mill has been chirping overtime, reports are coming out as deals fall through and we have the first official move of the offseason. 100 Thieves make another step in the right direction, Sentinels are looking to reboot the entire roster and coaching staff while Evil Geniuses tread carefully.
100 Thieves Valorant roster rebuild
We have come to expect smart business decisions from 100 Thieves but this time around, they hit the nail on the head. Coming into 2022, they fielded a young roster brimming with talent and not a lot more. Banking on improvement and giving the young guys a shot has worked wonders for 100 Thieves rosters in other games, so why not do it in Valorant? Moving on from Hiko and Ethan resulted in a better placement at the Stage Two Challengers circuit and we saw immense growth from the third seed heading into Valorant Champions 2022.
They won the North America Last Chance Qualifier behind clutch performances from Derrek “Derrek” Ha, sustained excellence from Sean “Bang” Bezerra, and a noticeable coaching gap. Given they already had a budding superstar in Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk and a top five Controller player in the world on their roster, only a few pieces were missing heading into franchising. And today, one of the final pieces fell into place. With North America’s second seed failing to get franchised, XSET’s young roster hit free agency. Talented teenagers like Matthew “Cryocells” Panganiban and Zachary “zekken” Patrone don’t hit the market that often and 100 Thieves pounced at the chance.
— 100T Cryo (@Cryocells_) September 29, 2022
Cryocells fits the puzzle perfectly
As much as CEO Nadeshot would like to justify the move by praising Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker, everyone knows they made the right call. Yay might be the best player in the world right now, but he is a known commodity. His experience and competitive career have been well documented and Yay wasn’t at this level before Chamber. This is not to discredit greatness, as he headlines our best Sentinel players list, but you have to take a lot of things into consideration.
Cryocells is 19 years old playing competitively in his first game and almost matching Yay’s impact. Apart from matching the roster’s trajectory in terms of age, he is also a lot more marketable and affordable. And as much as esports athletes fail to capitalize on that aspect, 100 Thieves is one of the organizations that take full advantage of this. If Valorant is as big as we hope to be in a few years after franchising, and Cryocells is among the best players in the world, everybody wins. Winning games, media exposure, sponsorships, streaming, and everything included.
As we have seen in many examples across traditional sports, landing in the right environment is really crucial for the growth and development of a player. And when taking everything into consideration, Cryocells might have just made the best business decision of his life so far.
Sentinels looking to rebuild
Reports are coming out that apart from Tyson “TenZ” Ngo, nobody on the Sentinels roster is part of their future plans. If Sentinels have learned anything from their peers, they should stop banking on has-beens with clout from different games making career resurrections in their jerseys. As great as it is for marketing, it’s a bad business model. Sentinels are doing the right decision by sacking the roster living on former glory by winning the first international Valorant event.
Their lack of recent success and given how much the competitive scene has grown since then prove it. We are far removed from the time when the team with the most former CS:GO pros won events simply because they were the superior aimers. Only time will tell if we see ShahZam, SicK, and Dapr in one of the 30 roster spots tier one NA teams have.
Header: Twitter/ Cryocells