European VALORANT team M3 Champions is set to practice with former Natus Vincere player Yaroslav “Jady” Nikolaev in place of Nikita “d3ffo” Sudakov, multiple sources tell Dot Esports.
Jady has been on a temporary break since May for mental health issues, he said on Twitter. He played on NAVI for a few months before his release on May 10. Belarusian player Nikolai “zeddy” Lapko replaced Jady at the time.
Jady will likely replace d3ffo in the M3C starting roster. D3ffo had an underwhelming performance during the most recent VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA with a 185.9 average combat score, according to VLR.gg.
M3 Champions finished fourth in the VCT EMEA Stage 2 Challengers after being defeated by FunPlus Phoenix in the second round of the lower bracket. FPX later qualified for VCT Masters, which is set to begin on May 10.
M3 Champions played under the Gambit banner before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which began on Feb. 24. The war has seen Russian sports teams be banned from international tournaments while the nation’s organizations face heavy restrictions. M3C were allowed to play under a neutral banner to compete in the VCT.
Before their run in the most recent VCT, M3C finished second at Champions in December last year following a defeat to Acend in the grand final. Earlier that year, they were victorious at VCT Stage Three Masters in Berlin, which concluded in September 2021.