Cloud9 superstar Tyson ‘TenZ’ Ngo has announced his decision to step back from competitive play, just nine months into his professional Valorant career, in order to pursue a future in Twitch streaming and content creation.
Two weeks into Valorant’s first full year of competitive play, and one of its biggest names has already revealed his shock decision to step back from the scene.
“I’m going to be stepping down from the Cloud9 Blue team to pursue content creation,” TenZ revealed in a surprise January 12 announcement.
“For 2020, the year was amazing for me, it was the year I was able to blow up,” he said. “Towards the end of 2020,” though, Cloud9 “had some decline as a team. We started playing not as great and not to our expectations.”
As a result, TenZ has parted ways with the team, while staying under the C9 banners.
Thank you for all you've contributed to Cloud9 competitively – time to watch you shine in content! pic.twitter.com/moppk8q8pW
— Cloud9 (@Cloud9) January 12, 2021
“Stepping down from the team is a personal choice of mine,” he confirmed. “I’m just going to be doing content creation until [the ongoing global crisis] is up. I’ll re-decide what I want to do when there are LANs.”
Due to the current situation, the switch to online play was a major factor in the decision, TenZ soon added while live on Twitch.
“I’d say for me, [it’s] one of the things that’s making it hard for me to stay playing a professional player online. Just because I play with 60 ping and everyone else has sub 30 or sub 40.”
While competitive play helped TenZ grow his fan base across all platforms, the lack of in-person events seems to have impacted his motivation. When compounded with internal struggles on the C9 Blue roster, TenZ opted to go “all-in” on content.
“I have so much support from the fans for my stream, for my YouTube and everything. I’ll be putting in 100% to make the best content.”
Will TenZ return to competitive Valorant?
Despite a focus on creating content for now, the door remains open for a return to competitive play. “Right now for me, I’m just taking a break,” he added. “When everything gets better in the world, I’ll probably come back.”
In fact, he’s “still contracted to C9,” and will be keeping a close eye on the pro scene while streaming and making videos.
“I’m really excited for what the future of this game holds in the competitive scene,” the Twitch star said.
His statements while streaming were a little unclear, though a follow up tweet soon clarified his position. “I’ll come back to competitive play when the time is right,” he confirmed. All but locking in a return to pro play when things are on the right track again.
Hope everyone can support me in this decision. During this time while I am off the team, I will be dedicating it towards my personal stream/YouTube to produce some more content. I'll come back to competitive play when I see the time is right. Until next time everyone! https://t.co/PJb0ZUZ3RH
— TenZ / Tyson (C9) (@TenZ_CS) January 13, 2021
Following a lengthy Counter-Strike career – one that even saw this same transition from pro to content creator under the C9 banners – Tenz swapping to Valorant was one of the biggest transitions early on. The 19-year-old was the first member announced for C9 Blue’s Valorant roster back in April 2020.
Multiple Top 3 finishes and $23,000 in prizes later, and the lineup is now in need of two pickups; Josh ‘shinobi’ Abastado’s also parted ways with C9 last month.