Tundra, the London-based esports organization housing Dota 2, Fortnite and FIFA talent, have announced their entrance into Valorant with the acquisition of Yonk.
The up-and-coming Valorant team was created in December 2021 by Swedish players Yacine 'Yacine' Lahgmari and Malkom 'bonkar' Rench (formerly of fellow UK esports organization Guild Esports).
They attracted other well-known players including Vilius 'Krea6on' Malinauskas from Alliance and Ouali 'm4china' Manset from Team Vitality, as well as Danish former CSGO player Nichlas 'Nille' Busk.
Yonk's players come from a mix of FPS titles including CSGO and Paladins.
The team will be backed by two UK coaches: Salah 'Salah' Barakat (coach), who previously worked with Fire Flux Esports, and Joe 'Strong' Edwards (analyst), a two-time League of Legends LCS winner with TSM and Team Liquid.
The acquisition comes after Yonk's performance at the recent 2022 VCT EU Challengers qualifiers (which saw teams like LDN UTD qualify), and will see Tundra enter into their fourth gaming title with Valorant.
“Valorant's competitive ecosystem is continuing to thrive, has strong publisher support and a growing community which makes it the ideal next title for us. Yonk also presented a fantastic opportunity. The caliber and experience of their players is exactly what we're looking for to help us maintain Tundra's strong performance levels,” said Maxim Demin, co-owner of Tundra.
Yacine “Yacine” Laghmari added: “We are honored and grateful for this fantastic opportunity that Tundra is giving us. We have plenty to prove, and the only goal is to win Champions together. We believe that Tundra can provide all the resources needed in terms of performance and coaching, and we are looking forward to an incredible 2022 season.”
Anthony Graham, Tundra co-founder and esports and operations director, commented “Yonk's players are veterans of the industry. The fact that they have experience competing in major championships is very exciting as they come with the knowledge and understanding of what it takes to compete at the highest level. They are still a new team and we're looking forward to helping them on their Valorant journey.”
There's more info on the Tundra Valorant players below:
- Yacine 'Yacine' Laghmari – Swedish CS:GO player from the age of 12 turned Valorant pro, having played under Guild Esports and Ninjas in Pajamas
- Malkolm 'bonkar' Rench – Two-time world champion in the Paladins World Championship, ex-Guild Esports player and Valorant per that mains Sova, Astra and Breach
- Nichlas 'Nille' Busk – Danish CSGO pro with more than 10 years of FPS experience and 1.33 Valorant K/D ratio
- Ouali 'M4CHINA' Manset – 27-year-old French pro player achieving first place in the 2020 Rix.GG cup and ex-player for Team Vitality
- Vilius 'krea6on' Malinauskas – Lithuanian FPS veteran with multiple top placements in 2021 Valorant tournaments and qualifiers including DreamHack Beyond Europe and Razer Invitational Europe
The announcement comes after Tundra's recent signing of UK Fortnite player Harry 'Veno' Pearson.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late '80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.