yay warns fellow pros about Valorant community’s recency bias

Luís Mira
yay on cloud9

Valorant superstar Jaccob ‘yay’ Whiteaker has spoken out about how fans will quickly turn against a team after a run of negative results.

Drawing from his own experience, the 24-year-old advised fellow Valorant players to get ready for a barrage of negative comments from fans after “one bad month of results” as the community tends to suffer from recency bias.

“One bad month of results, regardless of situation/context, will replace 3+ years of results/achievements in the eyes of the community,” he said in a since-deleted post on Twitter.

“You just can’t win.”

yay didn’t state who the recipient of the message was, but many have interpreted his comments as a defense of NRG’s players. The North American team surprisingly crashed out of Valorant Champions 2023 in the group stage after losing to Bilibili Gaming, who are making their first international appearance.

Although the team hasn’t lived up to the lofty standards set when it was playing under OpTic Gaming in 2022, NRG still had a positive season. The team finished top eight at VCT LOCK//IN, top two in the VCT Americas League, and top four at VCT Masters Tokyo.

yay’s current predicament

yay remains on the lookout for a team to represent in the 2024 VCT season after a disappointing year that saw him cut from Cloud9’s roster less than five months into his contract.

‘El Diablo’ then had a forgetful tenure on Disguised’s Challengers team, which was relegated from the tier-two league after an 11-match losing streak. yay himself has had to endure negative comments from fans questioning whether he’ll ever be able to return to the level of form that saw him named the Best Esports Athlete at The Game Awards 2022 because of the Chamber nerf.

Until recently, yay had the most kills in international Valorant events. On August 13, he was overtaken by NRG’s Victor ‘Victor’ Wong.

In a July livestream, yay said that he wouldn’t mind making league minimum to return to a VCT international league. And, according to recent rumblings in the scene, he is willing to change roles to play at the highest level again.

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