T1 Bench Seven

Posted on March 23, 2022

Johann “seven” Hernandez has been benched by T1 and is currently a “restricted free-agent”. He’s looking for a new team where he can fully utilize his talents as a Duelist main, but he’s also comfortable in most other roles too.

Despite being just a 16-years-old professional player in Valorant, he has already been a part of two top esports teams – first in 100 Thieves and now in T1. Seven moved to the inactive roster after both parties mutually agreed this was the best move for the team.

esports organizations
Image Credits | T1

What Led to Seven Being Benched?

To understand why Seven was benched, we first have to rewind a bit and take a look at T1’s current Valorant Champions Tour season. We’ll immediately notice they’re nowhere to be seen in the current VCT NA Challengers, and that’s in part due to poor performance but also due to some sketchy moves they pulled during the VCT NA Challengers – Open Qualifier 1.

During the Open Qualifiers, T1’s coach David Denis violated Riot’s Valorant ruleset for communicating outside of pauses and caused his team to forfeit the match against TSM in the lower bracket, effectively ending his team’s run prematurely.

Now that the first VCT NA Challengers were no longer an option for T1, they decided to participate in lower tier tournaments. The first tournament was the YFP Winter Classic where T1 were eliminated by TSM in the Quarterfinals. The next one was Knights Arena Monthly Gauntlet 2022: February, and yet again, T1 couldn’t make it further than the Quarterfinals.

All of these factors combined must have caused some friction and concern within the team and the organisation decided to look for the weakest link in the chain, which turned out to be Seven.

Seven is an incredibly talented Valorant player, but he’s still young and needs experience to fully awaken his potential.

Sadly, the majority of today’s Valorant teams don’t have the will or the patience to invest into developing strong teams, but instead they simply recycle their players in hopes of striking a winning combination. Maybe the next team Seven ends up with will finally realize his potential and give him a proper chance to prove himself.

Too Much Pressure

We already mentioned how Seven was first part of 100 Thieves and then T1, both of which are huge in the Valorant esports scene. Being a part of such teams as a young and developing Valorant player can be quite stressful, which might have been the case with Seven.

He was a sub in 100 Thieves and he didn’t really get to play any matches there. Still, he acquired some valuable experience by watching his team. He did get an opportunity to play in T1, but it wasn’t really enough for him to fully shine.

Both these top Valorant esports organisations expect instant results, which is not an ideal scenario for a young Valorant player such as Seven. It would be great if he got another shot in a different big name team, but it also wouldn’t hurt to join a tier 2 team and get some practice there. There would be much less stress in such an environment and Seven could potentially “warm up” properly before joining a bigger team.

The most important thing is that Seven took T1’s decision well and he’s staying positive.

As of now, I am LFT as a restricted free-agent. I’m very thankful for my time over at T1, I have nothing but gratitude towards them and wish them the best. Comfortable on most roles with being most experienced on all duelists & as a secondary initiator.

Hopefully other teams will realise his potential and pick him up before the start of VCT NA Challengers 2.

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Denis Alihodzic

Freelance writer with a passion for gaming and esports. Loves a good old-school RPG, and enjoys spending time with his dogs.

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