VALORANT player Rowan "magnetbrain" Crothers achieved something incredibly significant a few days ago, but not in esports. Although he competed professionally in the Oceania region, he took a break from Riot Games' competitive shooter to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympics.
He played VALORANT professionally for Pants Down, a team from the Oceania region. He is remembered for his participation in Let'sPlay.Live Challengers, a tournament held in 2020 and one of the first to be held in VALORANT.
As soon as the competition ended, Crothers announced he was taking a break from esports and committed himself to the pool for the Paralympics.
Crothers was diagnosed with cerebral palsy from a young age, and at seven he began swimming as a way to help with paralysis.
In fact, he told 7Sport that he was not a fan of the sport at first, but everything changed once he had contact with the Paralympic Games -- specifically Peter Leek, who won a gold medal at the 2008 Paralympics.
Eventually, he earned the opportunity to represent Australia at the Tokyo Paralympics, where he went on to get gold in both the men's 50m Freestyle and the 4x100-meter relay with his team - even claiming a new world record. He also won silver in the 100m Freestyle.
His gaming nickname goes back to his water polo-playing days in 2014. He used to stop the ball from entering the goal with his head, earning the moniker 'magnetbrain'. He adopted it as his gamer name. It's unclear whether Crothers will return to professional VALORANT.
Crothers' achievement was even celebrated by the official VALORANT Twitter and other esports figures. For him, the time invested was more than worth it, as he returns home a Paralympic champion.
Starting with Act 2 Episode 3, Valorant's rank system will be more accessible to players. Riot Games has promised a general improvement to adjust the distribution of ranks and avoid that most of the players are grouped in the worst positions.