OpTic yay: Can he put NA back at the top?

Champions Istanbul is progressing and OpTic Gaming has made it to the playoffs as the first place in their group. yay has had a great impact in international tournaments of VALORANT esports, and he continues to affect the fate of his team in Istanbul too. Let’s take a look at his story and performance in VALORANT Champions.

yay spent years in compLexity Gaming playing CS:GO for the team, having his best results in the game. Those were a top eight finish in FACEIT Major: London 2018 and good finishes in other A-Tier tournaments. Until VALORANT, yay couldn’t find the perfect place for him but now he is unstoppable.

yay’s VALORANT career starts

Image via Riot Games

After the introduction of VALORANT from Riot Games, an American player born in 1998 decided to pursue a career in this new label. yay started in small tournaments in the United States and quickly found a team for himself, spending 2020 and most of 2021 in Andbox. Andbox participated in North American qualifiers, and somehow challenged the biggest names in the arena.

While he couldn’t get solid results with Andbox, his individual performances were noted. yay was always on top of K-D and average combat score lists, fighting players from strong teams like Cloud9, 100 Thieves and Sentinels. His performance found him a new destination before Champions 2021.

Just before North America Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs, after missing his chance with Andbox, Team Envy acquired yay and took him to the NA playoffs. This strong North American roster finished Masters Berlin in second place, eclipsing Sentinels and 100 Thieves. Although Champions did not go well because of a quick elimination, yay made himself a name and we knew this team would come back next year.

OpTic Gaming

OpTic Gaming announced the acquisition of Envy’s roster consisting of FNS, Victor, crashies, Marved and yay. One of the most skilled rosters North America has ever seen would perform together for one more year. As his primary agent was Jett, one of the deadliest agents, I personally was excited to see yay with this team for another year. He could get even better after spending more time with the roster.

That is exactly what happened: yay got even more dangerous and OpTic got stronger in 2022. Although The Guard’s surprising climb stopped them from taking first place in NA, they made it to Masters Reykjavík and managed to win the tournament, handing yay his first international trophy.

OpTic’s rise didn’t end: they once again lost the NA Challengers in the finals, but they were the best North American team in Copenhagen. Finishing third after a loss against FunPlus Phoenix, OpTic showed that although they couldn’t win, they are going nowhere. At Champions 2022, OpTic is the main weapon of North America, even after the Sentinels disaster last year.

yay in Istanbul

yay used only Chamber to pull his team out of the group stage of Champions 2022, an agent that suits his abilities perfectly. He is the pushing force of OpTic Gaming and the primary advantage of his team. The fact that he is not crushed under this pressure is enough to see how deadly of a player he is.

yay is second place in average combat score with 270.2 right after BuZz, and first place with an unbelievable K-D score of 1.80 in 127 rounds. His closest rival is Jamppi, who has 1.36 in 156 rounds. yay had a K/D/A of 68/35/10 against BOOM Esports in three maps and 58/35/3 against LOUD, one of the best performances we have ever seen in VALORANT esports so far.

Obviously, as they face stronger rivals, his performance may drop a little bit. But it is for certain that yay will still have one of the best performances in the tournament, as he has earned our trust from previous tournaments. If he is on his day and his unstoppable Chamber, you know that yay will get you out of undesirable positions. Just try your best and leave it to yay.