Acend announced Semyon “purp0” Borchev will substitute in for Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt in the team’s final VALORANT Championship Tour Stage 1 Challengers group stage match against BBL Esports on Sunday. The Europe, Middle East and Africa region team cited mental health struggles for zeek’s absence. Zeek released a Twitlonger Saturday about his mental health in 2022 after his match against Fnatic.
— Acend (@AcendClub) March 13, 2022
“As many are already aware, zeek has been struggling with his mental health over the last few months,” Acend said. “It takes a huge amount of bravery to acknowledge issues when they arise and we are committed to helping zeek and getting him back on track. For this reason we have been granted an emergency substitution for the game versus BBL today.”
In his statement on Saturday, zeek apologized for his performance in 2022 and explained his current mental health state.
“After big breakdown today I felt like I have to explain why I don’t act or play like my normal self this year or especially this week,” zeek said. “Hopefully I’m gonna catch a break soon and get some help.”
Purp0 before Acend
Zeek’s stand-in for Acend’s final group stage matchup is the Russian player purp0. Before subbing in for the 2021 VALORANT Champions winners, purp0 played in the Commonwealth of Independent States region for multiple different organizations including Rebels, Team Empire and recently B8 Esports. With B8 Esports, he last played in the VALORANT Regional League: CIS Milestone closed qualifiers.
Purp0 is primarily a Duelist player with all of his 2021 matches played on Jett and Raze. He has played Sentinels and Sova in the past.
Acend’s final matchup does have playoff implications for the squad. If Acend win with the emergency sub then they would tie G2 Esports in the standing with a 3-2 record and make it into the playoff stage thanks to having the head-to-head against G2 from Week 4. If they lose, Acend move to 2-3 and lose out on competing in the playoff stage and the next masters event. Win or lose, Acend will not go lower than SuperMassive Blaze, who have already locked in last place in the group and will go to the VCT promotion tournament.