100 Thieves VALORANT has picked up Noah "jcStani" Smith and Sean "Bang" Bezerra to replace Adam "ec1s" Eccles and Hunter "Babyj" Schline following an embarrassing loss to The Guard this past weekend. Ec1s and Babyj have been cut from the team entirely, while JcStani and Bang are on loan from their respective organizations.
During the loss to The Guard, 100T was swept 13-0 on Ascent to lose their second VCT Challengers match in a 1-2 loss. The loss received significant ridicule from the VALORANT community, especially after 100T team put The Gaurd in the D-Tier in a recent tier list they made for NA VALORANT. Given the importance of early success on the VCT 2022 tour, the decision was sudden but not unexpected.
"Today, we have made the difficult decision to release @BxbyJ_ & @ec1s_, effective immediately, as we continue to build for the future," the team stated on Twitter. "We would like to thank Adam and Hunter for their contributions to #100T VALORANT and we wish them both the best moving forward."
"We are moving away from Babyj and ec1s," 100T founder Nadeshot explained in a video. "I think they are both incredibly talented players and clearly have a future in professional VALORANT, and I think they will land on their feet, or at least that is my hope. [...] It's tough to say this wasn't a results-based decision, but it really wasn't. [...] It comes down to the culture, the philosophy, the mindset of how the game is approached. [...] We just felt like we didn't want to wait out the inevitable, we just felt like the roster and the players and the way they meshed didn't fit well together."
Nadeshot also cited the "grueling" format that the VCT has, where if you miss qualification to the Iceland Major then your team is out of top-tier competition for a large amount of time, as a driving force in the decision to bring on new players and switch up the roster so early in the 2022 season.
Ec1s posted a response, supporting the decision from 100 Thieves: "This is a disappointing outcome, but a needed one. Our chemistry in the server was lacking and it's better to confront that and move on. I love all the players and wish them the best as they continue on their journey this season. Time to reflect on the past and improve."
BabyJ replied with simply: "Unlocky Really."
The decision has received mixed reactions from the broader VALORANT community, with some calling the choice ruthless, while others have defended the decision at Nadeshot prioritizing winning.
100 Thieves will play their next VCT NA Challengers 1 match against Luminosity Gaming later this week, leaving them with very little time to practice with the two new players. They are currently 0-2 in challengers, after losing to The Guard and Cloud9 Blue. We will have to wait and see if this roster change pays off for them, or if they end up continuing to struggle with the new roster setup.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.