Bleed Esports will have to make do without Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker at the upcoming Riot Games ONE Pro Invitational, the Singaporean organization has revealed.
JAPAN – Bleed Esports have announced that Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker will miss out on the team’s much-awaited debut at the Riot Games ONE Pro Invitational due to “unforeseen health-related issues”. Stepping in to fill the gap left by the star player will be coach Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić, who is best known for his time in Counter-Strike playing for mousesports (now MOUZ), NRG Esports, BIG, and Team Envy.
“I’m sorry that I’m unable to attend this event,” yay said regarding his absence. “I know a lot of you were looking forward to me and the feeling is mutual. Japan has always held a place in my heart, and it’s my #1 place to go to in the future. I hope you still will give the same love that you’ve given me to my team at Riot Games ONE”
The announcement about yay absence from BLEED’s lineup in Tokyo came just a day after the team arrived in Japan, as also seen in a photo of the team’s arrival where the American player was missing. The team’s off-season roster moves have made quite a stir in the community, with many touting it as one of the biggest transfers to date by bringing former OpTic and Envy star yay to the lineup.
However, yay’s temporary absence is a massive setback to the team’s prospects at the Tokyo event, and it also means fans will have to wait longer to witness the debut of BLEED’s stacked and much-anticipated roster in full power.
yay’s replacement LEGIJA has never competed in an official capacity in VALORANT, with his last international stint on the Counter-Strike server came in three years ago, when he was representing Team Envy at the Flashpoint Circuit for two seasons.
The Ascension Pacific winners will get their campaign in Tokyo started on Saturday, with an opening matchup versus Natus Vincere at 4 PM SGT (UTC+8). LEGIJA himself is no stranger to facing off against Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov, a regular opponent from his Counter-Strike days when the Ukrainian in-game leader was playing for HellRaisers.
Bleed Esports will play the Riot Games ONE Pro Invitational with the following roster:
- 🇸🇬 Derrick “Deryeon” Yee
- 🇸🇬 Javier “Egoist” Chua
- 🇻🇳 Ngô “crazyguy” Anh
- 🇹🇭 Nutchaphon “sScary” Matarat
- 🇩🇪 Nikola “LEGIJA” Ninić
- 🇸🇬 Sushant “Ominous” Jha (Analyst)
Cover photo courtesy of Bleed Esports