Hiko Retires From CSGO, Captains 100 Thieves’ New Valorant Squad
Spencer “Hiko” Martin has announced his retirement from CSGO on his stream, which lined up with an announcement from 100 Thieves that he will now be joining up with their new Valorant squad.
CSGO’s Lack of Opportunities for Veteran Talent
Hiko has been one of North America’s most veteran talent, and despite his tenure, has had difficulties in locking down a solid opportunity. This was especially true after Rogue disbanded their CSGO team after they failed to qualify for several Majors in a row.
This is something that Hiko pointed out in an interview with Richard Lewis as a major issue in CSGO, that veteran talent simply wasn’t being scouted for roles anymore, with scouts instead turning to the next generation of rising stars on platforms like FACEIT.
Hiko will now play with 100 Thieves’ Valorant squad, following the trend of both veteran and rising CSGO players to jump over to Valve’s new title.
“The number one question that I’ve received as the founder and CEO of 100 Thieves is “what game will 100 Thieves field a competitive roster in next?” Nadeshot said in a Twitter announcement. “I have answers today – 100 Thieves is entering Valoant. We are going to build our own team and try to be the best in the game. That’s been our goal from day one with 100 Thieves, to be the best in the world.”
100 Thieves also has a moderately successful LCS team and Academy team that competes in Fortnite and CSGO as well.
“I want to win, I will do whatever it takes to win,” said Hiko in the same video. “My goal with 100 Thieves is to bring as many championships and as many trophies as I can to this organization.”
The arms race for top talent is already reaching a fever pitch in North America, with teams like Evil Geniuses and T1 already fielding full rosters. It will be interesting to see who 100 Thieves picks up to round out their roster.
The Rise of Valorant in North America
With the launch of Riot’s new hit FPS Valorant, several teams have now committed resources to the fledgling esports scene, with T1, in particular, committing to fielding three different teams, including an Academy squad and a South Korean team as well. Team SoloMid, 100 Thieves, Cloud9 and others have also committed to Valorant in the form of teams, and several other organizations have expressed interest in joining up with the fight.
Valorant’s in an interesting spot esports-wise. Riot has a limited amount of time to take full advantage of the hype for the nascent esports scene around their new FPS title, but with near-constant tournaments from third party organizers including Twitch and teams like Immortals, it seems that the load is being carried for them at present.
The clock’s ticking though. Viewership for the launch week of Valorant was markedly lower than that of the viewership during the beta, largely because people are no longer watching just to secure a beta key. Unless Riot comes up with a way to make the meta and pro scene dynamic on its own merits, the Valorant esports hype train will likely take some more time to leave the station. Or, you know, they could implement drops as they’ve done for League of Legends.