Retired League of Legends pro turned streamer Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng has criticized Cloud9’s founder and CEO Jack Etienne’s recent tweet directed to Tyson “TenZ” Ngo.
TenZ, the 20-year-old VALORANT pro, has a contract with C9 that allegedly has a huge buyout and has been playing on loan for Sentinels, who won the VCT Masters Two Reykjavík last weekend. The tweet consists of a GIF featuring the actor and comedian Zach Galifianakis making a thumbs up while driving, with the phrase “money in the bank” written over it.
“The rumor is that his contract is yield and Jack won’t let him go unless for a ridiculous buyout,” Doublelift said. “I mean, it is in the best interests of the org to sell him as high as possible but it fucks up the player because they don’t get to go to the org they want to.”
TenZ has been on loan to Sentinels since March 11, after the organization suspended Jay “sinatraa” Won following accusations of sexual assault by an ex-girlfriend. The 20-year-old helped the team to win four VCT events, most notably the aforementioned VCT Masters Two Reykjavík, which he finished with the highest K/D (1.48) and average combat score (289.4)–and has voiced his desire to keep playing with Sentinels.
“Obviously it would be a no-brainer that I want to continue competing with [Sentinels],” Tenz said in a press conference. “This team is honestly so amazing, I have fun with them, I can trust all of them. They’re just the best teammates I’ve ever had. And really, I would stay if I could, and I really hope I could, so I’m praying.”
According to Doublelift, Jack’s attitude puts a “ton of stress on the player” who signed a contract when he was young. “Obviously it’s one of those ugly parts of esports where players are in contract prison,” Doublelift said. “It really sucks when an owner tweets something like that. As a player, it makes you feel like you’re just a cattle trying to get sold off to the highest bidder.”
Sentinels has not commented publicly on whether the org will try to sign TenZ on a permanent basis or not. But it’s impossible that the owners are not working on it, since he’s already one of the best VALORANT players in the world and has the potential to become even better. The Sentinels are stuck without sinatraa anyway, since Riot suspended him until September for not cooperating with the sexual assault’s investigation.