Zekken joins XSET
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Original Reporting

One of the hottest prospects in North American VALORANT has signed for XSET, the organization told Upcomer June 26. Zachary “zekken” Patrone will start for XSET during the North American VALORANT Championship Tour Stage 3, which begins on July 1.

The organization did not reveal which player he would replace at the time of publication. Rory “dephh” Jackson, the organization’s first signing during the off season, will remain as the in-game leader for XSET, however. 

“We have been watching Zekken develop as one of the top players in the world for some time,” XSET’s Chief Operator Officer Marco Mereu told Upcomer. “When there was an opportunity to bring him to XSET we had to make the move. The best VALORANT teams in the world play in NA and we want to be at the top of that list. Bringing Zekken to XSET brings us one step closer to Berlin,” he said.

The player can focus on his individual performance now that he has been relieved of his duties as the in-game leader. Although he is well known for his Duelists, zekken has played Sova in his most recent matches. 

Zekken has played at the semi-professional level since his first tournament appearance last year. Since then he’s slowly made a name for himself as one of the youngest players in VALORANT with one of the highest skill ceilings, even catching the eye of professional teams. 

Teams such as Envy offered him a trial, according to multiple sources, before the organization settled on the acquisition of former FaZe Clan player Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen. 

Zekken, alongside his former team Noble, finished inside the top eight of the North American VCT Stage 2 Challengers 2 Open Qualifier in April. Noble took down Evil Geniuses and OTW Esports before getting knocked out by Sentinels, the best team in the world. Since Noble made it to the round of eight, they failed to qualify for Challengers 2. 

Noble released zekken on June 25 following weeks of negotiations with XSET. There were no problems regarding his buyout. Noble allowed the player to field all options during his search for a new team, according to multiple sources.

With the acquisition of zekken, XSET will field the following roster at the time of publication: 

  • Zekken
  • Dephh
  • Zander “thwifo” Kim
  • Jordan “AYRIN” He
  • Bryce “PureR” Lovell
  • Brendan “BcJ” Jensen
George is the lead reporter for Upcomer from the United Kingdom.