Yay responds to Bleed's early exit from Pacific Kickoff

Yay responds to Bleed's early exit from Pacific Kickoff
Image via Riot Games

Written by 

Sascha Heinisch

Published 

20th Feb 2024 15:10

After an unexpected early exit from the VALORANT Champions Tour Pacific Kickoff event, Bleed's Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker has responded to the performance and subsequent fan backlash.

Early exit from Kickoff

It’s been a rough week for Bleed, losing both of its group matches in the Pacific Kickoff competition. First the team around star player yay lost against the South Korean team T1, with the in-game leader Lee "Carpe" Jae-hyeok putting on a show for the audience on Sova and Fade. 

In the second series against Global Esports, Bleed played their opponent even closer and were only three total rounds worse, playing Sunset, Icebox, and Split, 9-13, 13-10, 9-13, respectively. In both matches, yay remained largely quiet and couldn't help his team push either of those tight games over the edge.

While both series were relatively close, a 0-2 start spelt an early exit in the GSL group system Kickoff uses. Worse yet, not even participation in the Play-Ins for the third-ranked team in each group is possible, killing any aspirations for Masters Madrid in mid-March, as only the top two slots from each region get to participate in the event.

It's an unfortunate start for Bleed into the Pacific region as the winner of the 2023 Ascension slot the team had won in June last year prior to yay's recruitment.

Into the meme grinder

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Spurred by the unexpected exit from the group stage, the community expectedly took to social media to give the star player a hard time. Ranging from performance criticism to wordplay on his nickname El Diablo to kayfabe allegations the VALORANT community let the memes flow, with not all of them in good spirits.

"Man you guys are brutal," yay wrote, seemingly in response to the community reaction in a Tweet after the matches. The player also pointed towards vision impairments he experienced during the match, which had previously not experienced during his career.

"Not sure what happened that last series. I’ve never had my vision start becoming blurry during a game. there were people on my screen sometimes and I didn't even react. And the worst part is I have no idea what caused it," yay wrote, pleading with fans to blame him for Bleeds’ performance instead of the coaches and his teammates.

It will be a while until Bleed will appear on the VCT stage again, with the Pacific Stage 1 starting on April 6. There, yay and Bleed will be trying again to earn one of the Masters spots, this time for the event in Shanghai in May.

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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