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TSM have removed Stephen “reltuC” Cutler (commonly referred to as “Cutler”) from their active VALORANT roster after dwindling performances at the VALORANT Champions Tour.
Cutler was a critical part of TSM’s early VALORANT success in April of 2020. Alongside top-tier names, like Matthew “Wardell” Yu and James “hazed” Cobb, TSM appeared to be an unstoppable force. That headline began to change, however, when 100 Thieves defeated them 3-1 at the First Strike North American Final. After that, TSM struggled to find their footing against teams that they’d previously crushed. They finished bottom 16 at the JBL Quantum Cup after First Strike and fell short at both VCT open qualifiers.
TSM eventually made it to the Stage 1 Challengers 3 closed qualifier, but they were eliminated by 100 Thieves in the second round of the lower bracket. Masters 1 would go on without TSM in attendance, forcing them back to the drawing board. After three more lackluster performances at qualifiers, they would fail once again to make it to the Challengers Finals for Master 2 in Iceland.
TSM remove Cutler, potentially move up Brax
Braxton “Brax” Pierce signed with TSM as their sixth man at the end of March. He was the star player for a previously dominant T1 roster before they, too, fell off. Brax was one of the members of the infamous iBuyPower roster; a team that match-fixed in the early days of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
As of today @reltuC is benched from our starting Valorant roster.
Whilst Cutler explores his options, he’ll continue to stream under the TSM banner. We’ll forever be grateful for what he achieved with us, and we wish him nothing but the best. pic.twitter.com/XFa8MQh4bS
— TSM (@TSM) May 3, 2021
TSM was one of the few teams in North America to experiment with six-man rosters. Brax only played one match for TSM but has been seen practicing with the main roster for the past few weeks. With Cutler — the oldest competitive VALORANT player signed to a roster — having been removed, Brax is currently the only known replacement for him on the main roster. While Brax is currently 24, he still has the hunger and drive to compete at a high level.
Danny Appleford is an esports journalist for Upcomer that started writing for Daily Esports in 2020. He now specializes in articles surrounding League of Legends, Call of Duty, VALORANT and Halo.