Following the VCT Pacific League Stage 1, Singaporean organization Bleed Esports announced that their star player Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker has decided to take a temporary break from competition for undisclosed health reasons.

Yay, a North American Valorant pro who signed with Bleed during the offseason after the VCT 2023 season, has stepped away from the Valorant esports scene for now to focus on his well-being.

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“We fully support his decision to prioritize his wellness and we’re all excited for more yay once he’s back in the zone,” said Bleed in an X (formerly Twitter) post on May 13, 2024.

Bleed Esports’ yay takes a temporary break from Valorant esports due to health reasons

Bleed Esports' Jaccob "Yay" Whiteaker walking away from the VCT Pacific Stage 1 stage
Credit: Bleed, Riot Games

Yay joined Bleed on September 29, 2023, an announcement that surprised the Valorant esports community.

He was arguably the most decorated Valorant pro in North America, and considered one of the most mechanically gifted players we’ve seen in the game.

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In 2022, he led OpTic Gaming to a triumphant victory at Masters Reykjavik, producing exceptional stats and earning recognition as one of the best players in the world.

As a key member of OpTic’s core, “El Diablo” achieved consecutive top-three finishes in Masters Copenhagen and Valorant Champions 2022, solidifying his reputation as a top-tier competitor.

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Yay edged out League of Legends esports GOAT, Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok, and Counter-Strike legend Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev to win the The Game Awards’ Esports PC Player of the Year in 2022.

However, yay hasn’t been able to produce the same results since his time with OpTic Gaming in the VCT 2022 season.

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After a short stint with Cloud9 at the beginning of the VCT 2023 season, followed by a winless run with DSG in the Valorant Challengers competition in North America, yay decided to relocate to Singapore to compete in the Pacific League.

However, Bleed faced early elimination in the first two VCT League competitions, finishing 10th-11th in VCT Pacific Kickoff, followed by a 9th-10th place finish in VCT Pacific Stage 1.

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Bleed has yet to announce who will replace yay or when the North American star will return to the team.

It is unlikely that yay will compete in the VCT Pacific Stage 2 tournament, scheduled to take place from June 15 to July 21, 2024.

Bleed Esports’ active Valorant roster

  • Derrick “Deryeon” Yee
  • Natchaphon “sScary” Matarat
  • Jorell “Retla” Teo
  • Kim “Zest” Gi-seok

READ MORE: Jinggg helps Paper Rex steal back VCT Pacific crown in dramatic five-map showdown