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Shubh Dangi | 20. September 2022

Zeek enters free agency, ready to make a comeback

Aleksander “Zeek” Zygmunt, the 2021 VCT Champions MVP, and Acend have officially split ways, bringing an end to the core that gained the UK-based organization’s highest honor in VCT last year.

The penultimate Valorant event of the season, the VCT Champions, has officially concluded with LOUD winning the championship, and the competitive Valorant scene is about to enter the off-season. A few players have been able to extend their contracts with their teams, but the majority of them will start seeking new opportunities as soon as the official transfer window opens.

The most recent player to join the free agent list is VCT Champions MVP Zeek, the European player who was benched by Ascent ahead of the Last Chance Qualifiers. Zeek, like other free agents, will look for a spot in a partnered Valorant team, which won’t be easy considering the high competition in the league, especially in Europe. The 21-years-old player could also consider signing up with relatively inexperienced teams like KOI and Karmine Corp, who have apparently been chosen for the partnership program and are anticipated to strengthen their lineup with a new edition ahead of the new season. 

End of Zeek or a new beginning?

The rise of Zeek in the flex role as both a dangerous rifler and incredibly effective support was the key factor behind Gambit’s success in the VCT 2021. The standout player added high average ACS and damage production while remaining composed in a stressful circumstance, helping the team win the 2021 VCT Champions and earning himself an M.V.P award. Zeek wasn’t just competent; he was phenomenal with excellent agent pool versatility, which enabled Acend to compete in the Champions meta and maintained their map pool. 

In 2022 VCT, however, Acend failed to replicate the same level of success and were seen missing out on major international events. As Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek chose to concentrate all of his attention on Chamber rather than the nerfed Jett, Ascend’s technique of gaining momentum off of his openings didn’t work as well. Any opportunity they had of making a qualifying run has been effectively destroyed by poor personnel management and frequent roster turnover.

As far as Zeek’s numbers are concerned, his ACS has dropped about 40 points since Champions. His agent pool was restricted to Initiators, even in a Raze-focused meta, which negatively impacted his damaged numbers. Acend thought it was time to move on because he wasn’t offering the same value playing off of his teammates, on executes, or as a site anchor. The departure of Zeek marks the official end of the Champions core, as Acend already parted ways with the lethal duo of Santeri “BONECOLD” Sassi and Vladyslav “kiles” Shvets on March 23rd, leaving just Mehmet cNed and Patryk “starxo” Kopczyński in the team from the Championship winning roster.

Header: Riot Games