Valorant star yay open to joining EMEA team after OpTic partnership snub

yay claps his hands on OpTic before he signed with Cloud9 ValorantLance Skundrich/Riot Games

Valorant star Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker has said that he is entertaining the thought of moving to Europe after OpTic Gaming failed to make it into the Americas league.

yay and his OpTic teammates are currently exploring their options as restricted free agents after the organization was surprisingly left out of Riot’s partnership program for the Americas international league.

There should be no shortage of interest in yay, who has risen to the top of the Valorant world. He played a key role as his Envy/OpTic squad took North America by storm and became a contender at international level, winning VCT 2022 Stage 1 Masters Reykjavík and finishing second at two other tournaments, including the recent Valorant Champions event in Istanbul.

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Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
While with OpTic, yay won a VCT Masters trophy

As Valorant rostermania begins following Riot’s announcement of the partners for the international leagues, yay is expected to be the subject of a bidding war from North American teams. However, the 24-year-old has indicated that he could continue his career in Europe.

“I am open to all partnership teams in both North America and EMEA,” yay wrote on Twitter.

yay also thanked OpTic for the opportunity to represent the organization. A former CS:GO professional, he began his career in Andbox before being picked up in August 2021 by Envy, who later merged with OpTic.

“They took a chance on me early in my Valorant career and it has forever changed my life,” yay wrote. “They’ve been more than accommodating, and it’s allowed me to grow into the player I am today.”

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OpTic are yet to announce if they plan on staying in Valorant despite the setback. TSM, another snubbed North American organization, have already stated that they will remain in the esport. “We will continue to field a competitive Valorant roster and provide competitive player salaries”, Dominic Kallas, TSM’s vice-president of esports, said.