August 25 update (7:00pm PT): T1 have announced that academy player Daniel ‘eeiu’ Vucenovic will step in for Skadoodle in this weekend’s Pop Flash. It’s unclear if he will stay on the roster after the tournament if Skadoodle doesn’t return.
Earlier: Tyler ‘Skadoodle’ Latham will continue to ride the bench for T1’s Valorant roster in this weekend’s upcoming Pop Flash invitational, saying he made the decision to step back and “expand [his] agent pool.”
Skadoodle was noticeably absent for T1 in the Pittsburgh Knights Gauntlet on August 16. The Sage specialist was benched, with the star-studded NA roster opting to play with coach Daniel ‘fRoD’ Montaner.
This led to speculation about Ska’s future on the T1 roster. While the CS:GO major winner stayed silent for the most part, ahead of the next Valorant Igntion Series event — Pop Flash — the star confirmed he won’t be lining up for T1 yet again.
“As you may have noticed, I haven’t been playing with the squad in competitions, and again won’t be competing in this weekend’s event,” Ska confirmed on August 24.
Skadoodle has typically been locked onto Sage for T1, with no real flexibility off the healer. However, with the Operator meta moving towards picking duelists like Jett or even Reyna, who can get a pick and then quickly move away, Ska’s passive style has fallen out of favor.
To help bring more power to the team, Ska is stepping back to work on his agent pool. “I have been grinding to expand my agent pool and overall impact with the OP and will be back with T1 when the time is right.”
He will still be playing on other teams to keep his skills fresh. However, he won’t be on the T1 roster for the foreseeable future. “In the meantime I am going to be practicing with other teams to stay sharp. I’ll be back soon and better than ever.”
Ska’s position within T1 has been questioned for some time. A leaked Steam message between teammates Victor ‘food’ Wong and Austin ‘crashies’ Roberts claimed the veteran CS:GO player was “holding [T1] back big time.”
I have been grinding to expand my agent pool and overall impact with the OP and will be back with T1 when the time is right, but in the meantime am going to be practicing with other teams to stay sharp. I'll be back soon and better than ever
— Tyler Latham (@Ska) August 24, 2020
“Ska was holding us back big time. His comms were worse than normal. He seems really confident in the Jett AWPing caller,” Food said to Crashies.
Skadoodle’s likely replacement is coach Daniel ‘fRoD’ Montaner. Frod stood in for Skadoodle in the Pittsburgh Knights Gauntlet, where the T1 roster failed to make it out of the group stage.
Pop Flash kicks off on August 26. T1 will face off against Immortals, Sentinels, and Envy in Group B.