Shanks leaves NRG Valorant roster, pursues streaming

Fariha Bhatti • March 23, 22:04

NRG and Ryan “Shanks” Ngo have mutually parted ways following the team’s underwhelming run at Valorant Champions Tour: Challengers 3. 

The Valorant professional player will bid farewell to NRG and has stated that he’ll direct his focus on streaming and content creation. Shanks took to Twitter and announced that he’s still open to play “with the right squad.” 

The Canadian duelist has quite an eventful history in Valorant. He wore various jerseys before landing a permanent spot at NRG. Shanks’ resume is adorned with his long term at Dignitas, where he propelled the team to fourth place at Pop Flash Invitational. While Dignitas didn’t sign him, Immortals called on him to stand in for Andrew “ShoT_UP” Orlowski during UMG closed qualifier. Shanks’ performance remained squeaky clean with Immortals, helping the team secure a spot in the main event. 

The star player enrolled NRG’s Valorant roster in December and managed to maintain a consistent showing across several matches. With Shanks on its payroll, NRG qualified for both Challengers 1 and Challengers 3 but failed to make the cut for Masters 1. Shanks’ individual performance made him NRG’s weak link, leading the organization to drop him from the active roster. 

NRG had already acquired ANDBOX’s Bradley “ANDROID” Fodor to play in lieu of Gage “Infinite” Green who was absent from active lineup, following allegations of toxic behavior in Twitch chat. It’s unclear whether the organization will recall Infinite or find a new replacement for Shanks to compete in North America’s first VCT Stage 2 matches in April. 

Shanks dropped by NRG after Twitch ban

Shanks’ life outside of the server might have contributed to his wavering performance. Shanks was banned on Twitch along with NRG’s Fortnite player Cody “Clix” Conrod, who was unbanned soon after. Shanks, however, remained banned despite the organization’s efforts to prompt a response out of Twitch and unban him. According to Shanks, the reason behind the punishment is unknown. 

Fans have started petitions and Twitter trends to “Free Shanks” from Twitch’s punishment, but not much has changed after over a month. With his Twitch career hanging by a thread, NRG’s curveball surely puts him in an odd spot. The pro player has actively been streaming on YouTube and promises to create more content following his removal from NRG. 

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