You came to VALORANT from Blizzard’s Overwatch, which was very dependent on abilities. How much knowledge do you think transitions over to VALORANT from Overwatch? Do you feel CS:GO players had an advantage coming into the game over those from other titles?
I think it’s the ability to adapt that makes Overwatch players stand out a bit compared to players from other games. In Overwatch, we had many different metas. There were double sniper, deathball, dive and bunker compositions, and they all played vastly different from each other, with some having even more than three DPS characters and some having no damage dealers at all. All top tier players in Overwatch had to adapt every new patch, learn new heroes and strategies in order to keep up.
I think it’s that kind of adaptability that makes us good in the early stages of VALORANT, where everyone is learning and having to come up with new stuff. But I don’t think just because you were good in Overwatch that you will be good in VALORANT, most of us still have a lot of hours spent on some iteration of Counter-Strike.
Counter-Strike:Global Offensive players had a big advantage going into the game for sure. Tactical shooter fundamentals are as important in this game as they are in CS:GO. Players with no past experience in the genre obviously struggled a bit in the beginning, but now after the game has been out for a solid couple of months there isn’t as much of a gap between players with different backgrounds I’d say.
Do you feel VALORANT should ever have a similar locked composition style as to what Overwatch had at some point? 2-2-2?
I think that restricting creativity is never the way to go. As long as Riot Games are able to properly balance their game we won’t have to go there. With Blizzard and Overwatch, we had a famous example of overbuffing and power creep, where they continuously had to increase the healing to keep up with the damage until a point where the optimal composition was 3 tanks and 3 supports. I see a lot of people on Reddit ask for a Operator limit for example, so that you can only play 1 or 2 per team. This is something I hope Riot never implements, but that doesn’t mean that the Operator is in a good spot and doesn’t need tweaking.
Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted prior to the Operator nerfs introduced with patch 1.09.
How important do you believe it is to have a Jett-OPer within a team? Is it a must in the current competitive scene?
I don’t think it’s necessary or a must to have a dedicated Operator/Jett player. But it’s very strong to have one, especially against lower ranked teams. We’ve seen teams such as FPX in Europe only pick up the Operator on defense and they also never play Jett and I’d comfortably rank them as the 2nd best team in the region.
FABRIKEN was one of the earliest VALORANT rosters present in the EU scene, and a dominant one at that. What made you decide to go competitively as a group?
Everyone in the team had previous experience with esports and competing in other titles (me and Leodeddz from Overwatch, Meddo and ShadoW from CS:GO and Zyppan from Fortnite). We all had different reasons to make the switch, I personally had already retired from Overwatch because I didn’t like where the game was heading. We were all looking for a fresh start in a game that we felt had a bright future.
FunPlus Phoenix picked up Zyppan, ShadoW, and Meddo. Were the organization at the time in talks of picking up FABRIKEN as a whole team or approaching individual players?
At first they were only interested in picking up Meddo and Zyppan and then trialing a fifth together with ANGE1 and Shao, but they ended up just taking ShadoW with them. We were never in talks with FunPlus Phoenix as a team.
Why were you and Leodeddz determined to rebuild FABRIKEN following their recruitment?
I was already set on rebuilding FABRIKEN once I received the news. I’ve never really enjoyed my time with international rosters, and there weren’t any other interesting Swedish teams in the scene with the exception of Bonk. So this naturally led me to just give it another go and try to rebuild it.
Considering Leodeddz stood through the situation with you during FABRIKEN’s fall and helped reform it before the roster was picked up by SKADE, he commented that his departure from the roster was completely sudden and wasn’t even notified about it, and has been replaced by Epzz on the roster.
Can you explain further the situation as to what happened exactly? Were SKADE not interested in including him on the roster from the start and he was not informed about it?
I’d like to not comment too much on it for the sake of everyone involved. What happens within a team should stay within a team I believe, there’s always context and two sides of a story. SKADE didn’t have anything to do with the decision to remove Leodeddz from the team. The removal could’ve been handled better for sure, but it’s something we as a team felt necessary to do.
Was it more of a team chemistry issue or personal topics coming in the way?
More towards personal topics, things just didn’t work out and we truly tried to make it work over the course of a couple of weeks.
As a former Overwatch player, what do you think Tim “Manneten” Bylund can bring to the team? Will he directly fill in PHYRN’s role or will things have to switch around to resettle on suitable playstyles?
We pretty much put him in PHYRN’s exact position and role in the team. Both me and Epzz knew Manneten from our time in Overwatch. We gave him a shot and things clicked instantly. He’s a very calm player that brings a lot of experience and maturity to the team.
What do you think sets you apart from other European teams in the VALORANT scene?
I think it’s very important for a team to function longterm that you’re friends with everyone on the team. You need to get along and have a good chemistry both inside and outside of the game. We’re all very comfortable with each other and not afraid to speak our minds. I think that’s our biggest strength and what might set us apart from other teams in the future.
How strong of an impact do you think bonding in real life with your teammates affects your in-game performance as a team?
I think it’s super important. It can’t be compared to a real job at all where you don’t really need to be friends with your colleges to make it work. In esports you spend so much time with each other face to face, you get to see people at their lowest and their highest and share many intimate experiences with each other. If you can’t get along with a teammate and don’t trust them to the max, you will start doubting them ingame, and if you start doubting your teammates you will lose rounds and even games because of it.
Do you think you have an advantage over other teams going through your recent real-life bootcamp process?
Most definitely. The bootcamp was a success in that sense, and I think it will show in the long run. Esports is a marathon, and we’re in here for the long term. To be able to bond and practice together for a week in real-life is invaluable to a team.
Which players do you see currently performing the best in NA and EU respectively?
I think Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks and Pontus “Zyppan” Eek are the two that stand out the most to me in EU. Zyppan with his insane fragging power and utility usage on Raze, and Ardiis for being able to step up when his team needed him the most in crucial rounds (he still hasn’t lost a bo3 in VALORANT). I’m not that into NA because of the schedule conflict but Tyson “TenZ” Ngo has impressed me with being able to perform on all agents he plays.
Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted prior to Riot Games’ First Strike tournament announcement.
Currently, the EU and NA VALORANT scene are the ones getting the most attention. What region would you put right behind them?
Probably Japan. I’ve heard a lot of good stuff from that region, and I know that they were severely underrated in Overwatch for a time. I think we’ll see a lot from them in due time. With that said, I think Japan will surprise people the most when LAN events finally arrive, but I expect Europe to be a solid performer as well.
What do you think of European organizations like Fnatic and others expressing a cautious and patient approach to VALORANT, especially compared to North America? Will this eventually hurt the European scene or help it establish a strong foundation?
It’s a bit of a double edged sword. I understand the orgs perspective of waiting and cautiously entering the scene. But at the same time, you risk splitting up teams, having the region fall behind due to not getting the same support as other scenes, etc. A lot of top EU teams have split because orgs here are hesitating.
PartyParrots, FABRIKEN and now BONK have all had players poached or disbanded due to that. I think that’s a shame, there’s something special about having a team get signed as a package growing together from the very start instead of mixing players. In the long run however, I doubt it will make much of a difference. The scene is so young that what happens now and in the next couple of months will mean very little in a few years.
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Edited on October 23rd, 2020 at 1:30 AM CEST Gen.G Esports Gen.G EsportsAnthony "gMd" GuimondDanny "huynh" HuynhMichael "MkaeL" De LucaKeven "PLAYER1" ChampagneShawn "Shawn12590" O'Riley added… Read More