Heretics are the second team in EMEA to put a coach in over a player.
After a poor start to the 2023 VALORANT Champions Tour season, Team Heretics are making a key change and benching a big offseason pickup. Aleksander “zeek” Zygmunt, known for his run on Acend to win Champions in 2021, is now a substitute player for Heretics, the org announced today.
Not only did this change surprise lots of fans, but it leaves the team in a tough spot since the transfer window closed on March 26. Teams such as Cloud9 made moves before their regional matches, but other squads such as Karmine Corp in the EMEA region had players step down after poor performances, forcing coaches to play until the end of the season in September.
With this roster change, Heretics is moving its assistant coach Brandon Weber into the lineup to replace zeek. In a statement, the team said the reason for zeeks benching revolves around personality mismatches and that weber may not have the same level of experience but will be able to change the dynamics of the team and perform.
When it comes to experience and titles, zeek is known for his time on Acend. He was instrumental in Acends championship run, winning MVP at Champions 2021.
Related: VCT EMEA 2023: VALORANT scores, schedule, format, and standings
Zeek has yet to release a statement on his move to the bench, asides from a reply to Polish commentator Krystian “TERP” Terpiński on Twitter. He used the popular GIF of soccer coach José Mourinho, saying he will be in big trouble if he speaks more on his situation.
This isnt even the first time zeek has been benched from a team at the top level of EMEA VALORANT. He went through a similar situation with G2 Esports in early 2021. That benching led to his trade to Acend and only worked out well for him then. Fans will have to wait and see how it works this time around for zeek in 2023.