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Cloud9 has officially released a statement that star VALORANT player Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker and the team have parted ways after five months together.

Cloud9 most recently competed at VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo, where the team made it to the round-of-16, before being eliminated by Korean team DRX 2-1. While some saw the North American team's results at LOCK//IN as a result of needing more time as a team, it appears that the team is ready to make a major change.

Cloud9 CEO Jack Etienne and VALORANT head coach Matthew “mCe” Elmore spoke to viewers in the update video where they explained that there were “unresolved issues” before mCe and yay had arrived on the team. As a result, the team was unable to meet the high expectations set out for this talented lineup, resulting in a lackluster performance at VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo.

While a talented lineup, Cloud9 needed to make adjustments to their team when it came to what roles to play. As a result, Cloud9 primary duelist Nathan “leaf” Orf was placed onto different agents to accommodate.

Additionally, mCe made note that the decision was not due to personality issues or culture fit, and told viewers that there will likely be a “dip” in performance in the short-term for Cloud9 as they figure out their next steps to move forward in the long run. In the official announcement video, Cloud9 hinted that the team “may even be making more changes in the future” and that the team was currently holding tryouts to figure out a suitable replacement for the star duelist.

For now, yay will now have free reign to explore his options in 2023 and the list of suitors should be plentiful. Yay is competitive VALORANT’s biggest star and has achieved a number of accolades during his time as a professional VALORANT player. Since making the switch from CS:GO, yay found success in Riot Games’ new first-person shooter when he joined the Team Envy/OpTic Gaming core, where he found success internationally, most notably by winning VCT Masters Reykjavik 2022.

They will have less than one month before the start of the VCT 2023 Americas League on March 26, 2023, to complete their starting lineup as the team looks to move forward into the rest of 2023.

We will continue to update this piece as the story unfolds.