With our "Player of the Month" series, we introduce you to some of the best players, streamers, and content creators in Valorant. Today we'll take a closer look at Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker, a new Team Envy player.
yay (also known as El Diablo) started his esports career in CS:GO, where he played at a pretty high level for Complexity Gaming in 2017-2019. He had several successes, such as winning the 2018 FACEIT American Minor Championship and a 3rd place finish at Dreamhack Atlanta 2018. In 2020, he retired from Counter-Strike for Valorant, as he saw no opportunity to grow in the NA CS:GO scene. He explained his decision in a very long Tweet:
Why so many CS Pros are switching to Valorant— yay (@yayFPS) May 10, 2020
yay's Valorant Career
As it turns out today, it was a pretty good decision. After a few months of playing Valorant, he joined Andbox, which you may recognize from the NA online cups. And they did pretty well in the beginning! In the NSG x Renegades Invitational, they managed to take the first place, and our player of the month, yay, had the second-highest KDA (1.77) out of all tournament participants. At that point, it was clear that his career won't stop at small online cups. After Andbox's online tournament performances, nobody was surprised when they got a slot at VCT Stage 1 Challengers. However, they never made it to a Masters tournament, even though they presented top-notch gameplay.
As you might have read before, yay doesn't like to stand still, and if he sees an opportunity for growth — he goes for it. He left Andbox to join Team Envy, and after just the first tournament played (NA Challengers Playoffs Stage 3), he secured a Masters: Berlins lot for his new team. For now, yay's Valorant earnings oscillate around $9,200, but we will not be surprised if they increase tenfold in the coming months.
Why is yay our Player of the Month?
Our choice is based on his performance at the recent NA Challengers Playoffs; it was unbelievable! 284 frags using 3 different Agents. At the most critical tournament for NA before Masters: Berlin and World Championships. With a team that he joined 6 days before the gameday. Wow! Moreover, it wasn't just mindless headshots — yay showed that tactics are his forte. Just check out our analysis of his play in the match against 100 Thieves: