Andbox Launches Valorant Team With Android and Yay
Andbox has announced their entry into the competitive Valorant scene (the same folks that brought you the NYXL and New York Subliners). They are billing it as New York’s Valorant team, even though it’s a game that is not geolocated and does not feature franchising of any sort at present. However, this does play into their larger goal of being New York’s premier esports team and gaming organization.
Matt “Warden” Dickens will coach the new Andbox Valorant team with Gordan “g0g1” Prošić as an assistant coach, with their first two players Bradley “Android” Fodor and Jaccob “Yay” Whiteaker. The rest of the squad will be chosen, uniquely, from public tryouts using Aim Lab software. The roster will ultimately feature five players with no substitutes signed to exclusive contracts.
Andbox Gives Warden, Android, Yay Another Chance
Andbox, much like other organizations, turned to former CSGO pros to form the core of their team. All three, Warden, Yay, and Android have serious competitive experience, though Warden’s inclusion is his first coaching role, as he was a tier 2 player in CSGO.
“It’s incredible to be joining Andbox to launch its newest team and build a world-class professional roster from the ground-up in a truly unique way,” Warden said. “Andbox has been the leader in putting New York on the map as a major esports and gaming hub, and I can’t wait for what’s ahead for us in Valorant esports.”
As Andbox is not yet fielding a full roster, they will not be competing for some time, instead focusing on finding their three, four, and five players. They’ll do this with a combination of scouting from Warden and g0g1 and assistance from the program developed by Aim Lab.
The details on this new system are scant, but here’s how Andbox described them in their release.
“Dickens and Prošić will assemble the rest of the roster with help from Aim Lab esports talent assessment software – developed by neuroscientists at Statespace – that leverages AI and data analytics to measure player performance. Top players being scouted by Dickens and Prošić will have their skills analyzed using this software, with Aim Lab introducing all-new custom content exclusively for Andbox that is specifically designed to simulate situations Valorant players would encounter in-game. Andbox and Aim Lab will also make a version of it available later this month to the public, so they too have the opportunity to be evaluated and tryout for a roster position.”
This software sounds remarkably similar to something promised (and never came to fruition) for Activision Blizzard’s Overwatch League. Should this software-based approach prove effective, it may become something of a new standard in Valorant, especially as the game is so new that scouting effectively right now is rather difficult.
A Departure From Tradition for Andbox
Andbox bill themselves as New York’s premier gaming organization, with the pedigree to back that up as the owners of the Overwatch League’s New York Excelsior and the Call of Duty League’s New York Subliners.
However, this time around, they’ve eschewed having New York in their team’s name and establishing a new brand just for Valorant, instead choosing to use their company’s name of Andbox, admittedly not a name most gamers are very familiar with.
“This marks a huge milestone as we are creating the first Valorant team that will represent New York on the world stage,” said Rohit Gupta, Andbox’s chief product officer and co-founder. “It will also be the first time that one of our professional esports teams will compete using the Andbox name. We’re proud to be the organization that gave New Yorkers professional esports teams that they could call their own in the New York Excelsior and New York Subliners, and we’re excited for what’s to come as we expand into this exciting new game.”
It remains to be seen if the Andbox name is the one they continue to move forward with, as it’s both against their normal naming scheme and isn’t a name that most would associate with an esports team. It’s also unclear if the Andbox brand will be used for future gaming pickups outside of Activision Blizzard’s ecosystem.