After an unsatisfactory showing during the Pop Flash, Ignition Series tournament, T1 has dropped a promising duo in Austin ‘crashies’ Roberts and Victor ‘food’ Wong, from their Valorant roster — prompting shock and speculation on the future roster.
During the Pop Flash tournament, T1 finished tied for last place after losing 0-2 to Immortals and 1-2 to Team Envy (who went on to make the Grand Finals). Days later, they have cut both crashies and food from their roster, in a move that has completely blindsided competitive Valorant fans and increased speculation that Tayler ‘Skadoodle’ Latham may be ready to rejoin the starting roster, possibly amidst a larger iBUYPOWER CS:GO reunion.
We're thankful for all the work they put into the team and wish them the best for the future. pic.twitter.com/gHX5CORJDi
— T1 (@T1) September 3, 2020
On August 24, Ska stepped down from the T1 starting lineup, in a move that surprised many, but was explained by ESPN’s Tyler ‘FionnOnFire’ Erzberger as simply being because “he wants to expand his agent pool before returning to the starting lineup.”
As Erzberger explained, he ‘doesn’t think he’s out,’ which suggests that a Ska return to the lineup could be envisaged sooner than later. The decision to release crashies and food, who have grown popular for their mechanical skills, has therefore understandably been tied to a presumptive return of the team’s starter. But a bewildered community is still jostling with the question of who will fill the second newly vacated starting spot.
Ska is still on the team from last I know. From talking to a few people it seems as if he wants to expand his agent pool before returning to the starting lineup.
Don't think he's out.
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) August 17, 2020
At present, the T1 active roster solely consists of Braxton ‘brax’ Pierce, Keven ‘AZK’ Lariviere, and Daniel ‘eeiu’ Vucenovic. The latter player is technically assigned to T1 Academy, but the former two played alongside Ska on a stacked iBP CS:GO roster that was widely considered one of the scene’s more exciting teams before most members were banned indefinitely for a match-fixing scandal in 2015.
If Ska returns to the starting lineup, with his agent pool now deepened, then that would mean the team’s assumed three starters are all from iBP. Understandably, fans have now been linking Joshua ‘steel’ Nissan to the roster, as another former teammate who just recently decided to retire from CS:GO to pursue Valorant full-time.
T1 drop Food and Crashies
Hearing that Ska is moving back into the starting lineup
Lots of shuffling right now in NA
— The Esports Writer (@FionnOnFire) September 3, 2020
Just now stated by a Valorant Pro
Steel potential offers from both T1 and 100 Thieves
This week is gunna be fun lads
— Jake Lucky (@JakeSucky) September 1, 2020
That theory would connect to a former rumor relayed by JakeSucky, which detailed that steel already has an offer from T1 to reunite the dominant, albeit controversial former roster. If that’s the case, then an underperforming team like 100Thieves could most certainly ensure that either food or crashies do not remain jobless for long.
While some have speculated that Sam ‘DaZeD’ Marine may become T1’s fifth player, completing a full iBP reunion, there is no certainty for any of these moves. Conversely, with 100Thieves having dropped numerous starters, crashies and food have impressed enough to warrant serious consideration as new additions to captain Spencer ‘Hiko’ Martin’s lineup.
At the moment, though, all that is known is that T1 have released a duo of talented players into the North American player pool and iBP’s return may possibly be on the horizon. Ultimately, fans can simply expect some serious roster shuffling.