At 1:00 P.M. EST today, the LA Valiant released Assistant Coaches Justin “Reprize” Hand and Faraaz “Stoop” Waris according to their respective Twitter accounts. This comes as a surprise considering the Valiant’s earlier success this season. Their release was not due to their coaching skills, though. They, like many people involved in esports, are facing the impact of COVID-19. In Stoop’s LFT tweet, he made that as clear as possible.
LFT:@reprizeOW and I have been let go from @LAValiant due to the current economic struggles. I've been here for about 3 years and loved every second. Players/staff can vouch for our passion and performance throughout each season as a reference.
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— Faraaz 'Stoop' Waris (@Stoop_OW) March 26, 2020
This decision was not easy for the team. LA Valiant Michael “Packing10” Szklanny said on Twitter that
“I have never been so sad in my life. @reprizeOWand @Stoop_OW are amazing coaches and were NOT fired for performance reasons. This COVID-19 shit effected us more than I could have ever imagined. 2 of the best coaches I’ve ever met and best friends I’ve ever had. Hire them…NOW.”
The Valiant are only the latest esports victims during the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world. Within the last week, Team Reciprocity, a staple organization in NA esports, announced massive down-scaling plans that including dropping all players and staff except for its Crossfire and League of Legends teams. The longer this pandemic continues, the more likely it is teams will need to make tough decisions like this. Hopefully, it doesn’t come to that.
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Featured image courtesy of LA Valiant
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