VALORANT pro steel becomes restricted free agent as T1 shifts focus to VCT Asia partner league

"As an IGL I have a very clear vision of how to be successful."

Canadian VALORANT pro Joshua “steel” Nissan announced today he is exploring his options in North America after T1 was accepted in the Asia partnership league.

Steel remains under contract with T1 for now, but he made clear that he is “looking for options” in one of the North American organizations that secured a spot in the Americas league.

“As an IGL I have a very clear vision of how to be successful and want to work with people that share the same vision craving to be the best,” steel said in his free agency announcement.

Related: Riot officially introduces all 30 partnered VCT teams for 2023

Considering that steel is specifically looking to play in the partnership league, the only options he has is Sentinels, 100 Thieves, Cloud9, NRG, and Evil Geniuses if he wants to play for a North American squad and not relocate to EMEA, for example.

Steel has been plying his trade in VALORANT since he retired from competitive CS:GO in August 2020. The veteran captain signed with 100 Thieves in September 2020 and played an integral role in the team’s success in the early days of the pro scene, having helped them to win First Strike North America in December 2020 and VCT North America Stage Two Challengers in April 2021.

100T benched steel in September 2021 before he signed with T1 to play in the 2022 season, a year in which his side never really took off and missed all of the domestic VCT tournaments.

Some fierce competition among in-game leaders is expected in the post-partnership North American rostermania. Steel joins other talented captains in free agency such as OpTic Gaming Pujan “FNS” Mehta, XSET Rory “dephh” Jackson, and The Guard Jacob “valyn” Batio in the fight for a spot in one of the North American partnered teams.

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