Brax, AZK Dropped From T1 Esports Valorant
Braxton “brax” Pierce and Keven “AZK” Larivière have both been dropped from T1 Esports’ Valorant roster, effective immediately. With the signing of CSGO star Autimatic, it was assumed that this roster move would be coming, but it was not quite known when it would.
T1 Valorant Looks to Old CSGO Faces for New Energy
With Timothy “Autimatic” Ta joining the roster to rejoin his former Cloud9 CSGO teammate Skadoodle, T1 is looking to redeem their subpar 2020 season. Despite this, T1 was quick to note that Brax is one of the best minds in Valorant, and that he will be missed on the team.
“Brax is an elite mechanical player with a deep understanding of a tactical FPS like Valorant,” T1 Valorant head coach David Denis said. “He is one of if not the most talented in North America. We’re really proud of T1 and everything he accomplished with us. A lot of what we accomplished last year was in large because of his talent and his hard work. As of today however, we’re allowing Brax to explore other opportunities within Valorant. Brax, we wish you the very best of luck and we look forward to seeing what you do and competing against you.”
“I learned a lot when I was at T1,” Brax said in a statement following being dropped by T1 Esports. “I have a ton of appreciation for everything the organization has done for me. Although we didn’t get as far as I wanted us to, I’m super thankful for the support everyone has given me while I was here, and I hope you continue to support me in my next chapter.”
As Brax noted in his statement, T1 did not get nearly as far as he would have liked in 2020. The team did not net any victories and, aside from their debut tournament where they placed 2nd, there was not much signs of life from the team where they pretty consistently finished in the bottom half of tournaments they attended. Their most notable finishes included: the 2nd place finish at the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Showdown, seventh at Pop Flash, and then fifth at First Strike: North America.
“AZK is a total legend, an incredible team player, and has set his teammates up for success while he was on T1 Valorant,” Denis said. “There’s no doubt in my mind that he is going to be an incredible piece of the puzzle for whatever team he is going to end up on next. I understand that this is a lot of change all at once, we sincerely hope you continue to be fans of Brax and AZK wherever they go next. This was the change that was needed to give us the best chance of success possible in 2021 – we’re really excited to show you what we’re made of.”
Brax Leaves T1 Esports: A Rocky Start to the Valorant Squad
With T1 currently in a rebuilding phase, they were forced to switch head coaches when Daniel “fRoD” Montaner was forced to leave the team over “ethics” concerns, namely that they had a difference of opinion on how to run the team and organization.
That led to the addition of new head coach David Denis, a performance coach who previously worked with Cloud9 in League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive for three years. When his time with Cloud9 was over, he joined TSM’s League of Legends and VALORANT roster and lead them to their First Strike North America success. He soon left TSM to join Gen.G Esports in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and later Evil Geniuses where he was part of the organization for only a short period of time.
At the time, he noted that this would be a long road and that a lot of changes would be needed for the Valorant squad to find success. With the addition of Autimatic and Skadoodle, their rebuild appears to be approaching completion. As of press time, their roster consists of:
Sam “DaZed” Marine
Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham
Ha “Spyder” Jung-woo
Timothy “Autimatic” Ta