100 Thieves considered signing OpTic Valorant star Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker but ultimately decided to go in a different direction, revealed founder and CEO Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag.
yay is without a doubt one of the hottest commodities in the Valorant transfer market after OpTic failed to be selected for the Americas international league despite the successful year that their team enjoyed.
As the partnered organizations begin making moves ahead of the October 15 registration deadline (though the transfer window will remain open until February 1), a bidding war is expected for yay, who has even admitted that he could continue his career in the EMEA region.
100 Thieves were one of the first teams to pull the trigger on changes, but, to the surprise of many, they did not sign yay. Instead, they snatched Matthew ‘Cryocells’ Panganiban from XSET to replace William ‘Will’ Cheng.
100 Thieves yay was a possibility
Shortly after Cryocells’ unveiling, Nadeshot went on stream and revealed that yay “was part of the conversation, too” when asked by a viewer about where the OpTic player should be heading next.
After carefully measuring his words for a few seconds, he explained that 100 Thieves ultimately decided to go for Cryocells as he is the “best fit” for the team.
“At the end of the day, I think everyone would agree that yay is probably the best player in the world or one of the best,” Nadeshot said. “Anyone would be silly not to consider yay to join their team. It wasn’t a matter of expense, it wasn’t a matter of common ground between us in the idea of working together. We just think that Cryo, at this moment in time, for the rest of the team, is probably the best fit.
“yay in the off-season basically is f**king Michael Jordan. This guy has dominated Valorant for the last two years and I think that any team that lands yay is going to be very happy with their investment. And if there was a world where Cryo wasn’t the best fit for 100 Thieves, I would have jumped at the opportunity to work with yay.”
Cryocells is widely regarded as one of the best players in North America. He had been on 100 Thieves’ wishlist for several months, with the organization first attempting to sign him at the start of the year, when he was still playing for SoaR.
Nadeshot firmly believes that, with the right atmosphere, the 19-year-old can take his game to an even higher level.
“This is his first competitive game,” Nadeshot noted. “And if he’s already playing at this level, we feel that with the right investment, the time and resources that 100 Thieves have behind Cryo, he can really be rivaling yay one day for [the title of] one of the best players in the world, at least in that position.
“We have a lot of young players on our team and Cryo is 19 himself. Keeping everyone at the same level was probably the best step forward for us.”
100 Thieves ended the season with a 9th-12th place finish at Valorant Champions in Istanbul. Cryocells will make his official debut for the team in the VCT Kickoff Tournament, which will begin on February 14.
Keep up to date with all the transfer activity in the Valorant scene with our free agency live tracker.