ANGE1 interview: Why European Valorant is stronger than North America - Dexerto
Valorant

ANGE1 interview: Why European Valorant is stronger than North America

Published: 12/Sep/2020 13:54

by Andy Williams

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FunPlus Phoenix In-game Leader and CS:GO legend, Kirill ‘ANGE1’ Karasiow, has delved into why the likes of TSM and Sentinels aren’t “on the right path” compared with European Valorant.

Having competed in Counter-Strike for well over a decade, it’s safe to say ANGE1 knows a thing or two about competing at the highest level in a first-person shooter. Accustomed to the In-game Leader role for HellRaisers in CS:GO, Karasiow naturally fell into the same role when transitioning over to Valorant.

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Kickstarting his career in Future Earth with ‘PartyParrots’ saw ANGE1 and Andrey ‘Shao’ Kiprsky peak interest from the plethora of organizations looking for their slice of the Valorant pie. After going toe-to-toe with ‘FABRIKEN,’ the CIS pair teamed up with the Swedes to form an international squad under the FunPlus Phoenix banner.

In their debut Ignition Series tournament, FPX made a statement by taking down G2 Esports 2-0. Since then, ANGE1 and co. have lost all three of their encounters with the European super team. But nonetheless, the squad shows promise and are tipped to be hot on the heels of G2 in the upcoming BLAST Valorant Invitational. We spoke with ANGE1 ahead of the event, to see exactly how he plans on replicating his organization’s success in yet another Riot title.

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ANGE1 competing in CSGO StarLadder event.
StarLadder
ANGE1 has competed at the highest level in CS:GO, and he’s leading his FPX lineup to the top in Valorant.

ANGE1: North American Valorant is lagging behind

Coming over from competing in Counter-Strike on the international stage lends itself well to having an eye for the meta. While it’s one thing being able to anticipate what your regional opponents might do in a given situation, it’s a completely different ball game being able to pinpoint what teams from other regions will do and counter that accordingly — especially in a new game, where teams are yet to meet on the international stage.

Well, this doesn’t seem to phase ANGE1, who reckons North America are “not on the right path” — with the exception of Sentinels, who according to FPX’s IGL still lack “team play moments.” The FPS veteran reckons European teams are more structured and utilize Agents much more efficiently by comparison. To understand this, ANGE1 drew comparison to Phoenix usage. In the recent NA Pop Flash event, the fiery Duelist was the fifth most popular Agent (even ahead of Sage). Whereas on the other side of the pond, in the EU’s LVL Clash 2 event, Phoenix was almost the least-picked Agent, with only Reyna being picked on fewer occasions.

And this is the epitome of where NA Valorant is going wrong, according to ANGE1, since Pheonix’s utility is relatively poor across the board. “He doesn’t have the best flashes, and there are molotovs better than his — he’s too much of a Duelist… I feel like NA is counting more on individual performance, whereas Europe is building everything around team play.” Of course, ANGE1 did acknowledge that his observations will only be truly tested during the first international tournament.

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Valorant Agent Phoenix.
Riot Games
Despite being a consistent pick in NA, ANGE1 believes Phoenix isn’t the hottest Duelist right now.

G2 vs FPX: Building on the League of Legends rivalry

While the head-to-head record currently stands at 3-1 in favor of G2, FPX have shown drastic improvement from their first couple of Ignition Series events. With ANGE1 at the helm, he’s hell-bent on creating a consistent team. To do this, his international squad have been nailing down clear-cut comms and also building more structure into the team.

“Right now, as an In-game Leader, I’m just focusing on this part… Just building for everyone to understand what you should expect from your teammates.” And while the 30-year-old understands that this is a gradual process, he’s also confident that if his team clutches up during key moments, that they have what it takes to go all the way during the final European Ignition Series event.

On top of covering the current international landscape of Valorant esports, ANGE1 also delved into the effect of Patch 1.07 on the meta and what lured him away from Counter-Strike to pursue a career in Riot’s Future Earth.

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Catch the full 17-minute interview in the header of this article.

CS:GO

Flashpoint Season 2 details revealed: $1 million prize pool, teams, more

Published: 7/Oct/2020 2:50

by Andrew Amos

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Flashpoint is returning for Season 2 on November 9, featuring 12 top CS:GO teams playing online duking it out over a $1 million prize pool. Seven teams from Season 1 have been confirmed to return.

After an up-and-down first season, Flashpoint is looking at making things right in Season 2. They are bringing the big guns too, retaining their $1 million prize pool, while also looking to up the competition with new teams.

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The CS:GO league, which is a rival to ESL Pro League, will be returning to your screens on November 9. The competition this time will be hosted in Europe, taking place online with a studio broadcast.

Flashpoint Season 2 to boast $1 million prize pool

The big selling point of Flashpoint is its $1 million prize pool. With $500,000 going to the winner, winning Flashpoint can set teams up for the rest of the year.

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There will be no format changes for Flashpoint Season 2. The three-phase points system, including three double-elimination groups of four, will remain as the format of choice. The top eight teams in the regular season will then progress to the double-elimination playoffs.

The tournament will still be held online, however. They are aiming to get all teams over to Europe to play, while also having the broadcast hosted out of the B Site studio in London.

“We’re eager to give our fans a raw and unfiltered CS:GO tournament series while still taking necessary precautions to keep players safe,” commissioner Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles said in a statement.

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Flashpoint trophy on stage with MAD Lions logo
Flashpoint
Flashpoint Season 1 champions MAD Lions will be returning to defend their title.

Flashpoint Season 2 teams

12 teams will compete in Flashpoint Season 2. Of those, 10 will be directly invited, while the remaining squads will make it in through two Open Qualifiers. The top four teams from each qualifier will then duke it out in a double-elimination bracket to decide the final two teams.

Seven squads from Season 1 are returning to the online competition, including Season 1 champions MAD Lions, finalist MIBR, and the new-look Cloud9. One notable omission is partner team FunPlus Phoenix, who are instead working on building for 2021 after their Season 1 disaster.

“Our plan is to take our time and focus on 2021. We don’t want to make any rushed decisions, as our main goal is to build a promising, long-lasting roster. We are currently in talks with several orgs and individual players,” general manager Petar Markovic said on October 6.

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The list of confirmed teams are:

  • Cloud9
  • c0ntact
  • Dignitas
  • Envy
  • Gen.G
  • MAD Lions
  • MIBR

Flashpoint Season 2 will kick off on November 9.

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