Wardell, TSM Valorant Part Ways Amid Team's Move to Texas
Matthew "Wardell" Yu will no longer be competing for TSM Valorant moving forward, the North American organization announced Wednesday.
One of the core pieces for TSM since its original founding roster that dominated the early days of North American Valorant, Wardell reportedly parted ways with the org after deciding not to commit to a move to Texas.
"Valorant is incredibly important to TSM," the announcement reads. "We've been a part of it since the start and we're determined to build a championship-winning roster. This takes commitment by all players, alignment with a competitive vision and the desire to work together to take the team to the next level.
"Today, we mutually parted ways with @WARDELL416. He's decided not to move to Texas with the rest of the team and has therefore chosen to step down. Matt has been an important part of TSM from the beginning, and we wish him nothing but success in his future endeavors."
Widely known in and out of the server as the captain of "Op Academy," Wardell's departure comes at perhaps the most important juncture for TSM Valorant yet, having several foundational changes being made to its program after failing to make it out of the VCT NA Stage 1: Challengers open qualifiers in late January and early February.
On Feb. 6, TSM VP of Esports Dominic Kallas first announced the plethora of standard-setting moves coming to its Valorant program, including gathering its players in Austin, Texas to "better improve teamwork, set practice/work ethic expectations and reset the culture," as well as participate in "every open event possible until the next VCT."
Although the org was unable to convince Wardell to get on board with the plan and leave Canada, it appears they didn't go 0-for-2 as lone TSM Valorant founding member and current IGL of the squad, Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik, will relocate to lead the team in Texas.
It will certainly be interesting to see what the next move is for Wardell, as well as TSM and the glaring roster hole that the star sharpshooter leaves behind.
Just days ago during this month's Knights Arena Monthly Gauntlet, TSM notably had T1's inactive Johann "seven" Hernandez fill in as a sub for Wardell, which initially sparked controversy within the scene as to whether or not a roster move was incoming.
For now, TSM's main Valorant roster remains:
- Yassine "Subroza" Taoufik (IGL)
- Aleko "Aleko" Gabuniya
- Corey "corey" Nigra
- Daniel “Rossy x1” Abedrabbo
- Preston "Juv3nile" Dornon (Head Coach)
- Andrew "aRubyz" Seewer (Coach)
- Austin "Apex" Copeland (Coach, Manager)