UPDATE: BONECOLD has announced his retirement from competitive play. This article has been updated to reflect that.

World champion Santeri "BONECOLD" Sassi has mutually terminated his contract with Team Vitality Team Vitality Europe Rank #17 trexx Nikita Cherednichenko Kicks Kimmie Laasner runneR Emil Trajkovski ceNder Jokūbas Labutis Sayf Saif Jibraeel and is retiring from competitive play. This announcement comes nearly six months after his benching last July.

Among the first five players to ever win Champions back in 2021, BONECOLD pivoted from purple to gold in 2022 as he departed Acend Acend Europe Rank #2 ALIVE Gilad Hakim musashi Alessio Xhaferi Br0die Jack Emmott baddyG Kamil Graniczka chiwa Egor Stepanyuk Vuubit Roope Eilola for Vitality. That year, he and the rest of the hornets took home a second-place finish at the Valorant Regional League: Finals following a reverse-sweep by FUT Esports FUT Esports Europe Rank #5 MrFaliN Furkan Yeğen yetujey Eray Budak AtaKaptan Ata Tan cNed Mehmet Yağız İpek qRaxs Doğukan Balaban .

As Vitality restructured their roster prior to the 2023 season, BONECOLD and fellow teammate Jokūbas "ceNder" Labutis were all that remained as three new players were onboarded in hopes of reaching new heights. Unfortunately, the team only managed to win one match against Global Esports Global Esports Asia-Pacific Rank #68 blaZek1ng Gary Dastin Lightningfast Abhirup Choudhury Polvi Niko Polvinen Benkai Benedict Tan Russ Russel Mendes throughout their international debut at LOCK//IN before being sent home by Leviatán Leviatán Latin America South Rank #1 tex Ian Botsch kiNgg Francisco Aravena Mazino Roberto Rivas aspas Erick Santos C0M Corbin Lee .

Returning home to compete in the EMEA League, BONECOLD and Vitality narrowly avoided early elimination and advanced to the playoffs with a 4-5 record. Eager to snatch tickets to Masters: Tokyo, Vitality attempted to battle their way to the top, but were eliminated by Team Liquid Team Liquid Europe Rank #9 Jamppi Elias Olkkonen nAts Ayaz Akhmetshin Enzo Enzo Mestari Mistic James Orfila Keiko Georgio Sanassy and FUT in two close series.

bonecold acend image Farewell, BONECOLD. (Photo: Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)

Although the team was set to compete in the EMEA LCQ, they were given special permission by Riot to withdraw from the event following the passing of Karel "Twisten" Ašenbrener.

Shortly after the end of their season, Vitality announced the benching of BONECOLD as the organization looked to restructure their roster ahead of 2024. As players shuffled in and out, BONECOLD remained on the bench until he and Vitality mutually agreed to terminate his contract.

Shortly after his release from Vitality, BONECOLD announced on Twitter/X that he would no longer be pursuing a career in professional Valorant, citing that after a successful three years of competing, the arduous practice times and hours had begun to take a toll on him. BONECOLD is the first world champion to ever retire from competing.

Vitality remains without a full roster ahead of the 2024 VCT. The organization still needs to sign one more player to compete before Kickoff commences.

Still incomplete, Team Vitality Team Vitality Europe Rank #17 trexx Nikita Cherednichenko Kicks Kimmie Laasner runneR Emil Trajkovski ceNder Jokūbas Labutis Sayf Saif Jibraeel is: