NRG announced two members of its debut Valorant roster in a tweet from the organization’s official Twitter account. The move confirms reports that the organization was interested in the CSGO veterans. Those rumors also linked Gen.G’s Sam “s0m” Oh to the organization’s plans, but neither s0m nor NRG has made any announcements regarding the transfer of the young talent.
— NRG (@NRGgg) October 5, 2020
The signing reunites daps and ImAPet under the NRG banner after more than a year apart.
Both were part of NRG’s CSGO in 2019 before the organization transferred daps to Cloud9 in July. ImAPet continued on, leading the NRG roster to a fourth-place finish at the StarLadder Berlin Major by defeating Natus Vincere in the tournament’s playoff stage before being eliminated by eventual champions Astralis in the semifinals. NRG parlayed the roster’s success into a deal that sent ImAPet and the NRG roster to Evil Geniuses.
ImAPet left EG on April 4 of this year for the head coaching slot at 100T. A tweet following his return to NRG implied that his time with both his two previous employers may not have gone well. ImAPet singled out “management” in the tweet, but declined to say which organization he was referring to.
— Chet Singh (@chetsingh) October 5, 2020
For his part, daps hasn’t publically commented on his signing. Unlike regional competitor Cloud9, NRG has declined to reveal the terms of the pair’s contracts, but Astralis’ Lucas “Bubzkji” Andersen speculated that NRG had offered both daps and ImAPet more lucrative deals than the duo’s previous teams were willing to match.
im pretty sure 100T and EG paid better for cheT, than what he will get as a start salary in VALO, same with s0m.
— Bubzkji (@Bubzkji) September 30, 2020
Valorant is slowly snaking its way into CSGO’s top talent after the firesale of tier-two talent from Valve’s shooter over the game’s summer release window. While the game’s Twitch viewership is down overall, organizations have started building competent rosters with CSGO’s top talent.
100 Thieves recently announced its full Valorant roster comprised of three of CSGO’s most experienced players after announcing its first signing in July. With top organizations dipping their toes into the Valorant pool, it’s now up to Riot to ensure the game’s success as an esport.
An adjustment to Valorant’s ranking system was announced on October 5 and should continue to improve the game’s basic functions. Riot also has a sharp eye on competitive balance with Patch 1.09’s much-needed operator nerf. Furthermore, organizations could be making more money with Riot even if CSGO is beating the shooter on Twitch. CSGO players traditionally receive 100% of tournament winnings, and it’s unclear if Valorant’s prize pools are distributed in that way or to the winning organization.
Valorant is slowly gaining on Counter-Strike, especially after the Esports Integrity Commission introduced evidence of widespread cheating in CSGO’s professional scene. At this point, all Valorant needs to do is what it’s already doing while the indisputable king of shooter esports plays catch-up.