Ava ‘florescent’ Eugene is a rising talent in the Valorant scene. She broke onto the main VCT Game Changers circuit with Misfits Black after a year of grinding in the lower levels of the scene.
Sixteen-year-old Ava ‘florescent’ Eugene blew up in the Valorant scene after dropping 105 kills in a five-game series against Shopify Rebellion GC in the lower bracket final of Game Changers Series III in October 2022.
The teenage talent earned 31 of those kills on the first map, Icebox, where she would dash into the enemy bombsite on attack as Jett. In one round, using Jett’s ultimate, florescent sped her way onto the A site and took control of the space with a kill. She danced across the bomb site, weaving in kills while jumping from perch to perch, and ended the round with four eliminations before the team could even plant the spike.
The highlight-reel performance wasn’t enough to propel Misfits through to the next round of the tournament, but it got people talking about a young prospect that could be the future of Valorant. For florescent, the series was just another milestone in her young career as she hit the top tier of the Valorant ranking system, Radiant, at 14 years old after over a year of grinding the ladder.
“As soon as I hit Radiant I made a post about it and then went right back to queueing ranked,” florescent said in a written interview with Dexerto.
Before making it to Misfits Black, however, the young talent competed on amateur and unsigned squads like Moon Raccoons Black and AIMPUNCH. Valorant analyst and caster Max ‘Keg’ Tompkins told Dexerto he remembers fluorescent’s early days in the Sakura Cup tournament series as nothing too remarkable.
“To be honest with you, florescent was kind of like any other player,” Keg said. “I mean, at the time, when I was studying up on those teams, there wasn’t really anything that stood out about her performance. But honestly, ever since joining Misfits in June and in that small period of like six months, she has absolutely blown up mechanically as a player and just really shines above almost everybody else I’ve seen in that scene.”
florescent wants to play on the international stage
Valorant has seen its fair share of young talents fade to obscurity once they make the transition to the professional ranks. But florescent might succeed where those before her could not. The young player dropped out of school at 13 due to “non-gaming reasons” and practices for about 12 hours a day, either in-game or reviewing tape. Before big tournaments, the workload is increased to 16 hours a day.
When asked how she plans to keep up her pace in terms of improvement, and not fall by the wayside like some of her competitors, florescent said she hopes to remain consistent in practice and performance and hopes to “prove my worth over time.”
Consistency, Keg noted, is one of florescent’s biggest strengths.
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“I guess the two words that you would want to use to describe her are ‘mechanics’ and ‘consistency’ because it’s very rare that you get to see florescent have a bad series,” Keg said. “You can see a bad map, that’s natural for any player, but she will usually top the charts in most series.”
Across every series she played at Game Changers Series III, florescent either topped the scoreboard or was joint-best on her team, even in losses.
Vernina ‘Vernina’ Gozum, florescent’s teammate on Misfits during their recent GC run, told Dexerto that her teammate’s communication and headshots are her main strengths.
When asked about her career goals, florescent said she wants to play on the international stage in a non-Game Changers tournament — a sentiment that is shared by top Game Changers players in North America like Melanie ‘meL’ Capone.
The future for florescent in Valorant
The young Valorant phenom is moving on from Misfits and joining a retooled VersionX for the 2023 season, according to Dot Esports. She will reportedly join the squad alongside Nicole ‘Noia’ Tierce and Sarah Simpson, two fellow rising stars, and two former Cloud9 White players in Melanie ‘meL’ Campone and Alexis ‘alexis’ Guarrasi.
“She’s young so I think with the right help she can have a bright future in esports and she already does have a promising career,” Vernina said when asked about florescent’s future.
While the move is yet to be announced, Keg said florescent’s next team should have the resources for her to keep improving and to help her overcome any obstacles that might come her way.
“I think her biggest hurdle is going to be herself. And I think she’s more than capable of overcoming everything and being one of the best players we will see in this game,” Keg said.