FNS explains NRG’s losses and return to form: “Everyone was playing like an NPC”

FNS NRGRobert Paul/Riot Games

NRG Esports have not had the best start to VCT Americas, with the team sitting at 2-3 after defeating KRÜ Esports to cap off Week 4. In a post-match interview with Dexerto, in-game leader Pujan ‘FNS’ Mehta broke down the team’s losses and explained why they have returned to comfort Agent picks.

With only four matches left to play, NRG are in danger of missing the playoffs as they currently lie in sixth place with a 2-3 record. The team’s struggles have come as a surprise as many expected them to build on their top-eight finish at VCT LOCK//IN, given the international success that the core of the lineup enjoyed in 2022, while playing under OpTic Gaming.

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In a post-match interview with Dexerto after April 25’s 2-0 victory over KRÜ Esports, FNS said the team was experimenting and trying to play “perfect Valorant” in a way that ended up costing them games.

“The second we walked back after the loss to Cloud9, we walked back in our room and I was just like, ‘I have one last solution, just put everybody back on their comfort roles,'” he said. “‘We can’t afford to lose any more games or drop more points, so let’s just go back to what we know can work or has worked in the past and play everybody where they’re comfortable and then stop being afraid to lose games.’ Because I think for a while there we were playing not to lose more than to win. And so that was my final solution.”

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In the match against the Chilean team, NRG returned to their old compositions, with ardiis playing Jett after experimenting with Agents like Killjoy and Sage in previous matches. The former FunPlus Phoenix member posted a series-high 1.42 VLR rating.

FNS explains NRG’s loss streak and his plan to return to form

FNS added that, in trying to outplay opponents, the team focused too much on the strategy side of the game and put players on new Agents. This, he explained, shackled the players and kept them from performing to the best of their abilities.

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“I think towards the end there, especially versus C9 and MIBR, It just felt like we didn’t have instinct plays,” he said. “We just had no instincts in terms of killer instinct, everyone was just kind of playing almost like an NPC robot, doing what they were supposed to do and not trying to move away from that.”

The NRG IGL said that, by doing this, he was essentially putting players like ardiis on “a leash” in terms of what they could do in a match.

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NRG are currently tied for sixth place with Sentinels and MIBR, with three teams – Leviatán, 100 Thieves and FURIA – all having a 3-2 record. FNS said the team isn’t focused on improving their round differential, which will decide tiebreakers in the league, and will instead focus on getting as many victories as possible to prevent a tiebreaker scenario.

“We can 100% avoid it by just winning,” FNS said.

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