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18-year-old Rahul “curry” Nemani announced he is signing to T1 Valorant. He is a former Counter-Strike professional who recently played for the teams Under 21, Triumph, and Rebirth Esports. On Triumph he accomplished the most, playing against top teams in the region such as Gen.G, Evil Geniuses and 100-Thieves. His move to Valorant came as no surprise. Many Counter-Strike players left behind because of Covid-19 have moved on to find a better future in the new FPS game. Now, he will be playing against former teammates Matthew “Wardell” Yu and Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik in Valorant.
In early February, curry started playing with T1 for the Valorant Champions Tour Challengers qualifier; T1, however, would be eliminated in the Round of 64. His addition comes after T1 released both Keven “AZK” Larivière and Braxton “Brax” Pierce from the roster, despite being two original team members. According to Curry’s Twitter Bio, Nemani will be “placing tripwires for @T1 Valorant.” So, with Sam “DaZeD” Marine primarily playing a sentinel, curry will join him as a Cypher.
Brax and AZK out of T1 is bittersweet, the pair sought redemption in VALORANT and neither have been kept by the org.
I expect former Triumph player Curry to be the replacement for brax while autimatic replaced AZK, not 100%.
These guys will be back, for sure🔥. pic.twitter.com/OpjzjJEIxH
— George Geddes (@GeorgeCGed) February 8, 2021
Curry’s departure from Counter-Strike
Curry’s exit from Counter-Strike contributes to the current aforementioned trend. Due to Covid-19, the top NA Counter-Strike teams like Liquid and Evil Geniuses went to play at their facilities in Europe. With no top teams in the region, tournament organizers cut off North America. The few remaining events weren’t enough to keep organizations interested, which caused rosters like 100 Thieves to fall apart. So, when Riot’s Valorant was released, several CS players–including autimatic and Nathan “leaf” Orf–switched games to find stability and a higher salary compared to their previous teams.
Following their win at Twitch Rivals, T1 hasn’t been able to find success, especially after a disappointing First Strike run and, even more recently, falling short during the Valorant Champions Tour Qualifier. Currently, T1 sits 15th place in North America according to thespike rankings.
Zain Merchant is an Esports writer who has previously worked with Team Dignitas. He loves FPS games such as Valorant, Counter-Strike and Valorant.