Ohai interview: Building Complexity's Valorant juggernaut - Dexerto
Valorant

Ohai interview: Building Complexity’s Valorant juggernaut

Published: 27/Jul/2020 18:06

by Andy Williams

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After making the transition from CS:GO to Valorant, we spoke with Riley ‘Ohai’ Nguyen and discussed everything from life as a professional gamer to building Complexity’s next juggernaut.

With Riot Games pledging to really hone in on competitive integrity, Ohai — like many others — jumped ship over to Valorant, after seeing the potential it has to flourish as a competitive first-person shooter.

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After competing at the highest level in both Counter-Strike and Apex Legends, Ohai has acquired a plethora of experience at just 22 years old. Now, with all eyes watching to see if Valorant can cut the mustard as an esport, the youngster has joined Complexity in hopes of becoming one of North America’s best teams.

Ohai typically mains Jett, which fits perfectly into his gung-ho playstyle that taps into his multi-game background. Dexerto spoke with Riley following his big reveal with Complexity, and discussed everything from the Valorant meta to advice he’d give to aspiring pros.

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Ohai competing in CS:GO.
David Patlut
Ohai is by no means new to the realm of first-person shooters.

Valorant as a tier-one esport

What would you say is the biggest advantage CS:GO players have in Valorant?

“I wouldn’t say veteran CS:GO players are leagues ahead of everyone else right now, but I do believe that they have a solid head-start, which is why you see them dominating a majority of the professional Valorant scene. Counter-Strike is the ideal playground to learn basic 5v5 tactical shooter fundamentals — such as when to value your life, how to play around your team and the importance of utility.

“This foundation provides a fun way to play Valorant, since every Agent’s abilities can enable complex and interesting tactics on top of those already established fundamentals. As time passes, we’ll start to see more players who originated outside of Counter-Strike start to shine bright.”

Valorant has the potential to become a tier one esport… What do you think it needs to get there?

“Mainly time. Valorant has great potential as a tier one esport with its overall aesthetic, design quality, and accessible, fast-paced gameplay. If Riot continues to cater to both casual and competitive communities as they have been, then the scene will naturally grow into the juggernaut that it’s expected to be.”

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What are your biggest concerns with Valorant as of right now?

“I’m interested to see how the competitive meta shapes up and how team compositions will evolve over time. As new Agents are released and old Agents are tuned, I look forward to teams having a lot of choice in deciding which Agents they’d like to run.

“In fact, it already appears that Riot intends on implementing balance changes frequently to provide players with more options for what their team could look like. Hopefully the release of new Agents will introduce new, unexpected ways to play the game that weren’t feasible before.”

Player holding knife in Valorant.
Riot Games
Valorant is gunning for the big dogs of the FPS space.

Being a pro in Valorant

What’s the Agent meta so far in professional Valorant? If you had an ideal tier list for each map, what would it look like?

“I think the most useful Agents, in no particular order, are Omen, Brimstone, and Cypher. Outside of these guys, there’s a bit of wiggle room depending on your team’s playstyle and how you approach the game.

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“Right now there seems to be a meta shift where teams are slowly implementing Jett for their OPer, getting rid of Sova and Sage on some maps, and putting Phoenix on others. Every team seems to be approaching the game in a unique way, but here’s my ideal team composition for every map:

  • Bind — Sova / Brimstone / Jett / Sage / Cypher.
  • Split — Cypher / Omen / Jett / Sage / Raze.
  • Haven — Cypher / Omen / Phoenix / Jett / Sage.
  • Ascent — Cypher / Omen / Brimstone / Sova / Phoenix.

“These compositions have more than enough room to sub in Agents like Breach and Raze on some maps, and the flexibility to put Sova on every map depending on your team’s playstyle.”

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What does a typical ‘day in the life’ of practice look like for a pro Valorant player?

“Now that we’re competing under the Complexity banner, my days typically start out with a stream until we begin our scheduled scrims. We usually spend a bit of time before and after practice reviewing and discussing what worked well for us and what we need to work on the following day. We try to be as productive as possible in the time that we have together as a team.”

Three pieces of advice for upcoming players looking to break through?

  1. “The best piece of advice ever given to me was to find the one thing you enjoy the most in the game, and never stop doing it. Learn and master that one skill until you think it’s time to move on — and always have an open mind!
  2. “Stay humble and don’t let the opinions of others affect you. You’re capable of greater heights than you know.
  3. “Make as many friends as possible. You never know where your breakthrough opportunity is hiding, and everyone should look at Valorant as a clean slate to start fresh.”
Valorant Agent Phoenix.
Riot Games
Wise words: Ohai’s advice for upcoming Valorant pros can be echoed in all walks of life.

Building Complexity’s Juggernaut 2.0?

Why Complexity and what’s the vision with Valorant moving forward?

“Complexity Gaming is committed to its players and works to equip us with the tools and resources that we need to succeed. The organization wants to help all of its players and teams to grow and develop both in-game and out-of-game.

“Not only do I have access to a vast network of support staff from team managers to mental performance experts, but also can use the top-notch training facility at The GameStop Performance Center to help me improve and refine my cognitive and physical skills. With this dedication to player well-being and emphasis on performance, we’re aiming to train hard to become one of the top Valorant teams.”

Have you spoken to Jason Lake? Are you guys going to be his Valorant juggernaut?

“I haven’t had a chance to speak to Jason Lake personally, but that’s my hope. From the Cognitive Lab with cutting-edge cognitive training to advanced training rooms that mimic LAN competition, Complexity has a lot of resources available to us that we can leverage to boost our in-game performance and climb the ranks.”


After taking the time to talk with Riley, its clear to see that he and his Complexity teammates have one thing in mind: to become one of Valorant’s most well-rounded teams. Will Ohai and co. cement their legacy as one of North America’s top squads? Only time will tell.

Valorant

Valorant First Strike Europe qualifiers: Schedule, eligibility, format

Published: 7/Oct/2020 17:06

by Jacob Hale

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Valorant developers Riot Games have announced First Strike: Europe, the first-ever Valorant tournament wholly produced by Riot, set to kick off in November with some of the region’s best talent.

Since Valorant launched in June, it has become one of the most exciting games in esports, with players from all different titles migrating to Riot’s first-ever FPS. Some of the biggest competitors from the likes of Overwatch, CSGO and more are looking to make a name for themselves in the new shooter.

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As a result, we’ve already seen some incredible talent, tense moments and top performances in a competitive setting, but now it’s becoming a little more official with the announcement of this highly-anticipated tournament.

So, with First Strike: Europe around the corner, here’s everything you need to know to tune in to the tournament, and even get involved yourself.

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Valorant First Strike art
Riot Games
First Strike is the first Valorant tournament organized entirely by developer Riot Games.

Valorant First Strike: Europe schedule

Open qualifiers for First Strike take place from November 9-22, giving teams around two weeks to stave off the best competition in the region and qualify for the main event.

The schedule for Open Qualifiers will be as follows:

  • Week 1
    • November 9-10: Qualifier A
    • November 11-12: Qualifier B
    • November 13: Play-In #1
    • November 14-15: Playoffs
  • Week 2
    • November 16-17: Qualifier C
    • November 18-19: Qualifier D
    • November 20: Play-In #2
    • November 21-22: Playoffs
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe qualifiers schedule.

After qualifiers have concluded, the main stage will be held from December 3-6. Here are the dates for each part of the main event:

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  • December 3-4: Quarterfinals
  • December 5: Semifinals
  • December 6: Final
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule
Riot Games
Valorant First Strike: Europe main event schedule.

Eligibility for Valorant First Strike: Europe

As the name suggests, the Open Qualifiers for the tournament are open to (almost) anybody. You don’t have to be a pro player to sign up, but you have to be over the age of 16 and you will need to reach the rank of Immortal 1 by the time you register.

Riot haven’t specified how people can apply and register for the tournament yet, but advise in their announcement that full rules for the event and how to apply will be available in the coming weeks — and we’ll be sure to update this page as soon as we know.

Valorant First Strike: Europe tournament format

Valorant Icebox act 3 new map
Riot Games
Will we see much of new Act III map Icebox in the First Strike tournament?

The tournament format is fairly simple to follow throughout, from the qualifiers right up to the main event. Here’s how the single-elimination tournament works:

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  • Qualifiers and Play-Ins: Best of 1
  • Playoffs: Best of 3
  • Quarterfinals and semifinals: Best of 3
  • Finals: Best of 5

With best of 1s in qualifiers and play-ins we might see some upsets, but finishing the tournament on a best of 5 means we really will see the two best teams in Europe fight it out and showcase their talent across all maps, proving how much they’ve mastered the game so far.

With G2 Esports undoubtedly the strongest team in the region since competition started, the main question now is whether they can prove it in Valorant’s biggest tournament yet.

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