Pioneers' CGO clarifies organization will still compete in VALORANT
Pioneers esports logo
Pioneers esports logo

Pioneers’ CGO clarifies organization will still compete in VALORANT

The team released its players Friday to some confusion

Former Kansas City Pioneers players posted that they were looking for new teams to play for on Friday, along with saying that their former team was exiting VALORANT as an esport. The organization’s Chief Gaming Officer and co-founder LJ Browne later specified that the organization is taking “a pause” in VALORANT for the moment, but plans to trial new young players and compete in the next VALORANT Champions Tour.

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“We do not plan to be out for long we’re just taking a pause,” Browne said. “We are going to see if we can come back and maybe rebuild. We are going to be trialing new players and seeing what we can do in the next coming weeks to see if we can have a shot at the next VCT.”

In a four tweet thread, the Pioneers executive explained his feelings around the social media response to his players announcing their leave from the team and ceasing of operations around the VALORANT squad. Browne expressed his displeasure at reporters and other organization owners criticizing Pioneers’ business and VALORANT squad.

“We are all learning in this scene, everyone is learning we are learning,” he said. “Nothing we do has ill intent behind it. We are learning what we can do, what we can’t do, what we should do, what we need to do, what we didn’t need to do, we are f****** learning.”

He went on to explain how he takes this outside criticism personally as a founder of an esports organization that doesn’t have celebrity backing or venture capitalist investors.

“Yeah you may have built your company from ‘scratch’ but if from scratch is having a foundation of celebrities, investors and s*** ton of esports experience, I don’t know if you really started from scratch,” Browne said.

Lastly, he said that the players are treated well, paid and that Pioneers is still figuring out what works for their business in terms of VALORANT and the team under contract.

VALORANT fans last saw Pioneers in the Nerd Street Gamers Winter Championships Finals group stage where they lost to Knights in the deciding match to move on to the playoffs in early February. The team were two series wins away from making the North American VCT in the second open qualifier, but fell to Luminosity Gaming in the lower bracket.

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Declan McLaughlin
Declan is an esports journalist and part-time editor for Upcomer. He is an avid gamer and League of Legends player. You can find him at the bottom of the leaderboard in most games or on Twitter.