Zeal Esports have announced the benching of Dominique “N1CO” Tul-id and Vince “Flash” Medado, with Craig “craigys” Salgado moving to the starting lineup after serving as the team’s sixth member since May.
N1CO and Flash are both heading to the bench, as announced by Zeal Esports on Wednesday. The decision comes less than a week after the conclusion of the Mineski VxV Invitational Playoffs, which saw Zeal Esports finish 3rd-4th.
The move represents the first changes to the Zeal Esports lineup since the organization picked up the Cebu-based team in late May. N1CO and Flash were picked up together with the rest of the 6045pirates squad less than a month after winning the VCT Philippines Stage 2 Challengers 3. They also finished 5th-6th in the SEA Challengers Playoffs, capping up their VCT Stage 2 campaign on a high note.
Flash, who was a part of the former 6045pirates team from its roots in early of this year, will remain a part of the organization and sit on the bench, together with N1CO, who will be taking a break from the competition for the time being. Taking over the in-game leader duty from N1CO will be craigys. The transition of the shot-caller is likely to be seamless since craigys had been a part of the squad for six months prior to the shift — despite only playing three maps throughout that period.
“I am so thankful to have a team that is so cooperative when it comes to practice and treating each other like brothers. I have learned a lot being a captain and also an in-game leader for the team. My plans on my break are to focus on family business, relax myself from the exhaustion of playing competitively, and enhance my leadership skills.”– Dominique “N1CO” Tul-id said to VALO2ASIA
“I am happy we reach our goals together for the past two years. We learned alot together as a team and as a family. We have been dubbed ‘underdogs’ in the past, but people have finally beginning to appreciate us. Nonetheless, I hope to see each other at competitions soon. I am proud of everyone [in Zeal].”– Vince “Flash” Medado said to VALO2ASIA
The squad had some remarkable success in the middle of this year, winning the KJC eSports VALORANT Tournament: One in the middle of the year. However, after that particular victory, their performances had taken a hit in VCT Stage 3, with them placing 3rd in the first week, 5th-8th in the second, and failing to qualify in the final week, therefore ending their VALORANT Champions Tour 2021 campaign.
Zeal Esports are on the rise once again, with them recently finishing second in the Predator Esports Circuit, and coming close to upsetting Team Secret in the semi-finals of the Mineski VxV Invitational Playoffs, where N1CO and Flash made their final appearances with the team, finishing 3rd-4th.
With Flash’s departure from Zeal’s active roster, he is looking to begin a new chapter in his career, and is open to offers. Interested parties can reach him out on Twitter.
The organization expects to announce more news regarding their final piece of the puzzle in the coming days.
Zeal Esports’ active roster is down to the following four players and coach, with N1CO and Flash now sitting on the bench:
- 🇵🇭 Carl “senyocarL” Carandang
- 🇵🇭 James “2ge” Goopio
- 🇵🇭 Keith “FireSaiyajiN” Madarang
- 🇵🇭 Craig “craigys” Salgado
- 🇵🇭 Yuki “Zyki” Uruma (Coach)
- 🇵🇭 Dominique “N1CO” Tul-id (Benched)
- 🇵🇭 Vince “Flash” Medado (Benched)
Cover photo courtesy of Zeal Esports