Valorant

Ardiis: From accused cheater to Valorant's biggest star

by Andy Williams

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G2 Esports’ Ardis ‘ardiis’ Svarenieks is widely acknowledged as one of the best Valorant players in the world, but what is the secret to his dominant start to Riot’s FPS? We spoke with the former CSGO pro after his recent Ignition Series success.

It’s fair to say that ardiis has really found his groove with Valorant. Before competing in Future Earth, the Latvian played CS:GO for some notable UK-based organizations. But despite his best efforts, he never had that ‘break through moment’ where he landed a spot on a tier-one roster.

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But the story is most certainly different when it comes to Riot’s tactical shooter. In the short time since its release, Svarenieks has won just about all there is to win — 14 events, 14 first place trophies. His early success had plenty casting doubt of his legitimacy on the battlefield.

With Riot’s continued efforts to ensure that Valorant esports is built on a foundation of competitive integrity, the developers conducted a full investigation, which of course, cleared ardiis of any wrongdoing. Since, he’s won every Ignition Series tournament he’s played in under the G2 Esports banner — rendering him the highest earning pro to-date.

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Jett dashing in Valorant.
Riot Games
Race to the top: Ardiis was the first pro to break the $20k mark in prize money alone.

Ardiis on the secret to G2’s success

Fresh off the back of their dominant Ignition Series run, which ended in an enthralling five-map series versus FunPlus Phoenix, ardiis delved into what makes him and his squad such a tour de force.

“Team chemistry” — that’s the secret ingredient which has allowed G2 to cement their place as the early frontrunners for who will be considered the best team in the world. According to ardiis, each player brings a good vibe to the team, both inside and outside of the server.

And after sweeping the best that Europe has to offer aside, you’d expect ardiis and co. to rest on their laurels… But the roster have their sights set on bigger things, with ardiis revealing that they’re looking to bootcamp in the coming weeks — with the ambition to potentially compete against the very best across the pond.

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What can the rest of Europe do to catch-up?

While G2 have been way ahead of the curve for the majority of the Ignition Series season, they’ve found that teams are starting to adapt. During the recent BLAST Invitational, FunPlus Phoenix became the first team to take G2 the distance in a best-of-five — with the final map being one of the most enthralling European matches to-date.

Led by Counter-Strike veteran, Kirill 'ANGE1' Karasiow, FPX have now proved that they’re hot on the heels of G2. So what are ANGE1 and co. doing that others aren’t? Well they’re exploiting G2’s weakness, which ardiis says is the fact that they’re a “heavily momentum based team.”

If we get the first six rounds, first four rounds, there’s a high chance we’re going to get another four or another six after it... But if we start on a 0-4 or a 0-6, we just get in our own heads and we just lose the focus.”

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But that’s not holding the European superteam back. Being cognizant of their weaknesses gives them an edge over teams who are potentially still figuring out their optimal Agent composition for each map, or who should run specific weapons in certain situations. And it’s for this reason that ardiis believes G2 are ready to take on the rest of the world.

"Europe's fun and all, but we're going to dominate the world..." were the words uttered by Svarenieks before their BLAST Invitational Grand Final versus FunPlus Phoenix. And the story is much the same post-victory. "I feel like there’s too many problems; too many weak links in the teams in America that we’d just abuse honestly — it’s literally that simple."

Catch the full 25-minute interview in the header of this article.