Ex-CSGO pros join Andbox Valorant roster amid Counter-Strike exodus - Dexerto

Ex-CSGO pros join Andbox Valorant roster amid Counter-Strike exodus

Published: 17/Sep/2020 19:00 Updated: 17/Sep/2020 19:07

by Andy Williams


Andbox, the parent company behind the New York Subliners, have announced their entrance into Valorant as Counter-Strike players continue to flee from Valve’s FPS.

It’s no secret that a large majority of Valorant’s professional scene stems from CS:GO. Between the obvious gameplay similarities and Valve’s percieved lack of support for Counter-Strike’s tier-two scene, some players are jumping ship.


When you also consider Riot’s reputation with handling premier esport titles (specific reference to League of Legends) and their efforts to create a level playing field for all, it should come as no surprise that New York-based esports titans, Andbox, are planting their flag in Future Earth.

Those familiar with the esports landscape will already recognize Andbox as the brand behind the Call of Duty League’s New York Subliners and Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior. And on September 17, they announced their Valorant lineup, who will be the third esports team to fly the New York banner.

New York Subliners in the CDL.
After a successful debut season in the Call of Duty League with NYS, Andbox are moving into Valorant.

Andbox to utilize AI with Valorant team

The New York-based team will be known as ‘Andbox’ and will be coached by CS:GO veteran, Matt ‘Warden’ Dickens — who some may recognize from his time under Complexity both as a player and coach.

Joining him as Assistant Coach will be Gordan ‘g0g1’ Prošić, and together, they will both leverage Andbox’s recruitment process through the support of AI software. Forming the core of the roster, will be former CS:GO pros, Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker and Bradley ‘ANDROID’ Fodor — who are both perhaps noted for their success during their time with Complexity.

As part of their press release, Andbox stated: “Dickens and Prošić will assemble the rest of the roster with the support of Aim Lab, a talent assessment software developed by neuroscientists at Statespace. Aim Lab uses AI and analytics to measure a player’s performance based on fundamental motor and cognitive skills.” As of September 17, Andbox’s Valorant roster will be:

  • Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker.
  • Bradley ‘ANDROID’ Fodor.
  • Matt ‘Warden’ Dickens (Coach).
  • Gordan ‘g0g1’ Prošić (Coach).

The Aim Lab platform will be made publicly accessible towards the backend of September, where players will have the opportunity to trial for a position on the team, based on reaching set criteria in their assessment.

Warden expressed his excitement in being at the helm of Andbox’s Valorant venture. “It’s incredible to be joining Andbox to launch its newest team and build a world-class professional roster from the ground-up in a truly unique way.”

Think you’ve got what it takes to mix it with the best in Future Earth? Perhaps Andbox’s AI-driven recruitment process could be the ticket you’ve been looking for. Stay tuned for more on when the platform will launch for public access.


Valorant First Strike: streams, schedule, format

Published: 17/Oct/2020 6:41

by Andrew Amos


Riot are now taking the reins with Valorant esports. First Strike marks Riot’s intentions of taking over the game, after giving community organizers the chance to give players a taste. There’s more on the line than ever before too.

We’ve had a taste of what Valorant esports could look like with the Ignition Series. Now, Riot are looking to up the ante to make sure Valorant sticks around for the years to come.


First Strike comes just months after the game’s release, and it’ll be Riot’s first endeavor operating the game’s esports scene directly. While there’s still community involvement, Riot are taking the reins.

It marks a shift towards a more League of Legends-style model of esports than the CS:GO-style of community tournament organizers. Whether this means regional leagues are down the line is anyone’s guess, but it’s a big step forward for any aspiring pros.


Here’s what you need to know about Valorant First Strike, from the regional events, how to enter if you are keen, as well as keeping track of the big winners across the world.

What is Valorant First Strike?

First Strike is a new global tournament series for Valorant. It will be organized and operated by Riot themselves, a change from the format they did for the Ignition Series.

Events will take place across the globe, with regions being divided up into major and minor. Major regions will get bigger prize pools and events, while smaller nations will still be supported as minor regions.


“First Strike will provide our thriving competitive ecosystem with the platform to showcase their greatness, build regional legacy, and a foundation that will support the esport for years to come,” Senior Director of Esports Whalen Rozelle told players.

Icebox in Valorant
Riot Games
Icebox could be in play for the First Strike regional finals.

Valorant First Strike rules

There’s a few rules you need to follow if you want to take part in Valorant First Strike. First of all, some requirements: you have to be aged 16 or above, and have a rank of Immortal 1 or higher.

Teams also have to be made up primarily of players local to their respective regions. Three of the five members of each team must be local to each respective region they are playing First Strike in.


Valorant First Strike stream

While there are many regions, you can find all of the First Strike streams in one uniform place ⁠— on the official Valorant account. Individual regions will also have their respective events streamed on different accounts, depending on who Riot has licensed to run the event.

We’ve embedded the main stream below.


Valorant First Strike format

Each First Strike event will feature open qualifiers which lead into regional finals. Any team that meets the requirements are able to sign up and test their mettle to fight their way to the top.

The open qualifiers vary from region to region, but for the most part the open qualifiers will involve single-elimination, best-of-one brackets to help find the top eight teams in each region.

Once the top eight are decided, they’ll be sent off into a regional final across four days ⁠— December 3 to 6. From here, only one will be crowned the First Strike champion, taking away all of the regional bragging rights.

First Strike will take place across these regions:

  • North America (Major)
  • Europe (Major)
  • Korea (Major)
  • Latin America (Major)
  • CIS (Minor)
  • Turkey (Minor)
  • Japan (Minor)
  • Asia Pacific (Minor)
  • Oceania (Minor)
  • Brazil (Minor)

Valorant First Strike events schedule

Qualifiers for First Strike will be starting in late October, although not all regions have locked their dates in. This will lead into the regional finals in December.

We’ve listed the currently known qualifiers, schedules, and results below. Once more information is made available, we will let you know.

First Strike: Europe

Valorant First Strike Europe format

  • Open Qualifiers: November 9 to 22, four in total.
    • Top 16 teams from each Open Qualifier will progress to Play-Ins.
    • Top 16 teams from Play-Ins will progress to Playoffs.
    • Top 8 teams in Playoffs will progress to Regional Finals.
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6

More information can be found here.

First Strike: Brazil

  • Open Qualifiers: October 17 to November 8. Four in total. Top 8 in each will qualify for Closed Qualifier.
    • Open Qualifier 1: October 17 and 18
    • Open Qualifier 2: October 24 and 15
    • Open Qualifier 3: October 31 and November 1
    • Open Qualifier 4: November 7 and 8
  • Closed Qualifier: November 14 and 15
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6

More information can be found here.

First Strike: Korea

  • Open Qualifiers: October 6 to 28. Four in total. Top 24 teams across all Qualifiers will make Closed Qualifier.
    • Open Qualifier 1: October 6 and 7
    • Open Qualifier 2: October 13 and 14
    • Open Qualifier 3: October 20 and 21
    • Open Qualifier 4: October 27 and 28
  • Closed Qualifier: November 22
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6

More information can be found here.

First Strike: Oceania

  • Prize Pool: $20,000 AUD
  • Open Qualifier 1: Saturday October 24 and Sunday October 25
  • Open Qualifier 2: Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1
  • Rise of Valour: November 14 to 29. Top 32 teams from Open Qualifiers.
  • Regional Finals: December 3 to 6.

More information can be found here.