Olivia R. May 8, 2020
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive veteran Daniel "fRoD" Montaner has been announced as T1's head coach for Valorant.
fRoD was one of the top CSGO players during his time competing in the popular first-person shooter. While playing under Complexity Gaming and Evil Geniuses, fRoD won multiple championships. In 2005, he was nominated for "Esports Player of the Year." The same year, he was also nominated for "North American Player of the Decade" for 2000 to 2010.
After his long and decorated CSGO career, fRoD switched to Overwatch. But the move was short-lived, and he transitioned to management within FaZe Clan in 2016. His most recent role was as head coach for Swole Patrol in 2019. Now, he will be leading T1's ever-expanding star-studded Valorant team. He will also act as a stand-in for the team when needed.
"Excited about this opportunity and for all the future holds. Couldn't have asked for a better org and better group to get this project going. Full steam ahead!" fRoD exclaimed on Twitter.
T1 and the future of Valorant esports
Over the past few months, T1 has been building a world-class Valorant scene. Their current roster includes Braxton "brax" Pierce, Keven "AZK" Lariviere, and former CSGO veteran Austin "crashies" Roberts. There are still two open slots on their North American Valorant team, and it will be up to fRoD to scout top players to sign.
T1 is one of the few organizations to announce an official Valorant team. Two other well-known organizations to make the early jump to Riot's new FPS are Sentinels and Gen.G. Sentinels recently nabbed Overwatch League's best player, MVP Jay "sinatraa" Won. Gen.G signed the majority of the CSGO team that represented Canada in WESG 2019, including Kevin "PLAYER1" Champagne.
"We made the jump from [Counter-Strike] to Valorant for a change of pace with a new game, but also because of the accessibility to the Pro League," PLAYER1 told ESPN Esports.
Valorant is currently in closed beta, with the game officially releasing in the summer of 2020. Riot has yet to announce any formal esports plans for their new FPS, but if it's anything like their support for League of Legends, it's no surprise organizations are preparing for it so early.
Recently, Riot revealed that they have discussed Valorant esports with 100 esports entities, including tournament organizers and organizations.
"Our primary focus early on will be forming partnerships with players, content creators, tournament organizers, and developers, unlocking them to help us to build the Valorant ecosystem," Riot’s global esports senior director Whalen Rozelle said to ESPN.
It's not yet clear if Riot is looking to step away from the franchise model for their new FPS game.