Turkish VALORANT pro Melih “pAura” Karaduran has parted ways with Team Heretics and signed with Blaze Esports, an organization based in Istanbul, Turkey, both teams announced today.
The 23-year-old has played for Heretics since the organization assembled its VALORANT team in October 2020 and helped them win multiple tournaments last year, most notably the First Strike Europe in December. Other teams caught up with them this year, though, and Heretics didn’t find the same success. Their best result in 2021 was a runner-up finish to Acend at VCT Masters Europe Stage One in March.
This is the second roster change that Heretics has made in the last couple of weeks. The Spanish organization replaced head coach Tanishq Sabharwal with former FunPlus Phoenix’s skipper Ivan “Johnta” Shevtsov on May 13 as its first step in trying to bring its VALORANT team back to the top after they didn’t qualify for VCT Masters Reykjavík, a $600,000 international LAN event.
With pAura’s departure, Heretics’ lineup has been depleted to just three players: Christian “loWel” Garcia, Žygimantas “nukkye” Chmieliauskas, and Auni “AvovA” Chahade. The organization also has two players sitting on the bench, Ruben “RUBINO” Villarroel and Dustyn “niesoW” Durnas, but it’s unknown whether they’ll play for Heretics again or join another team in the future.
Blaze Esports, on the other hand, has finished assembling its VALORANT team this month with the additions of pAura and Batuhan “russ” Malgaç, whose transfer from BBL Esports was announced earlier today. The all-Turkish lineup is expected to compete in the upcoming segments of competitive VALORANT.