Retired VALORANT champion plans comeback as coach

Retired VALORANT champion plans comeback as coach
Image via TSM

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch


19th Apr 2024 17:00

Former TSM VALORANT in-game leader James "hazed" Cobb has announced his return to the scene, aiming to pursue a career in coaching. The VALORANT community is welcoming him back with open arms.

Hazed is back

Team SoloMid was one of the strongest teams in the early eras of professional VALORANT, dominating large parts of 2020 in the North American region. With a team around Counter-Strike veterans, their skill at tactical shooters transitioned well, allowing them to go on a streak during the online tournament period.

While the team slowed down once the scene further professionalised with the VALORANT Champions Tour prior to its partnership league structure, hazed stuck around until late 2021 before moving to NRG with whom he once more showed middling performances in the Challenger scene.

For the 2023 season, hazed returned to TSM for a shot at qualifying to the VCT Americas via the Ascension system but left the team after a short three-month stint.

After months of radio silence, he announced his retirement from professional play on Twitter in November 2023, looking back at an almost two-decade-long professional career spanning various titles. 

A warm return

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On April 18, hazed announced that he's back to esports but is looking to transition into a coaching role. "I stepped away as a competitor over a year ago now for many reasons, but mainly because I was perpetually in a state of negativity.

"I could feel my time as a competitor coming to an end and I took it out on the people around me. I just wasn't a good leader," the 34-year-old wrote, reflecting on his departure. Various members of the VALORANT community welcomed hazed back to the scene.

VCT Madrid winner Jordan "Zellsis" Montemurro replied, "Just come back anyway NA needs you," while NRG’s Ethan "Ethan" Arnold found similarly warm words, writing, "My earliest memories from CS and most enjoyable memories from Valorant were with you. Miss ya bud."

More support poured in for the former in-game leader, who announced that he would be open to offers from organisations looking for a coach. The VCT season has just kicked off around the globe with its first stage underway.

The break period after Masters Shanghai in June is most likely to be a period during which VALORANT teams will reconsider their options in preparation for Stage 2, possibly opening up opportunities for hazed to add to a team.

Sascha Heinisch
About the author
Sascha Heinisch
Sascha "Yiska" Heinisch is a Senior Esports Journalist at GGRecon. He's been creating content in esports for over 10 years, starting with Warcraft 3.
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