Andbox, the parent company of the Overwatch League's New York Excelsior and Call of Duty League's New York Subliners, have entered VALORANT with the signing of two ex-Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players and two coaches, the organization announced on Thursday.
The group has signed retired Counter-Strike players Bradley "ANDROID" Fodor and Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker and coaches Matt "Warden" Dickens and Gordan "g0g1" Prošić. Warden will serve as the head coach of the team, while g0g1 will be the assistant coach.
"This marks a huge milestone as we are creating the first VALORANT team that will represent New York on the world stage," Andbox co-founder and chief product officer Rohit Gupta said in a statement. "It will also be the first time that one of our professional esports teams will compete using the Andbox name. We're proud to be the organization that gave New Yorkers professional esports teams that they could call their own in the New York Excelsior and New York Subliners, and we're excited for what's to come as we expand into this new game."
Like the NYXL and Subliners, Andbox will focus the marketing of its VALORANT squad on the New York metro area. Prior to COVID-19 hitting the U.S., Andbox hosted local New York events in non-Activision Blizzard titles, such as Super Smash Bros. and Fortnite. During the pandemic, they have hosted online VALORANT events.
Sterling.VC, the venture capital investment arm of New York Mets owners the Wilpon family, established Andbox in June 2019 after buying into the Overwatch League nearly two years earlier. One of the founding teams of that league, the New York Excelsior have been highly competitive across all three seasons. In early 2019, Sterling.VC also purchased New York regional rights in the Call of Duty League and established the Subliners.
ANDROID and yay are both former players for Complexity Gaming, who Warden served as head coach for prior to taking the Andbox job. Warden and g0g1 are both former Counter-Strike players prior to moving into managerial and coaching roles.