With breakout performances on the dominant European team, fish123, Ardis "ardiis" Svarenieks positioned himself near the top of the early European VALORANT space as a strong Operator. However, those talents wouldn’t go unnoticed as G2 Esports would sign him alongside a smattering of other talented prospects including Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) veterans, Oscar "mixwell" Cañellas Colocho, Patryk "paTiTek" Fabrowski, Jacob "pyth" Mourujärvi. Esports Heaven spoke with Ardiis about his views on North American VALORANT, if the metagame is shifting away from Sage, and the upcoming Vitality European Open.Obviously, the team is still being built, but could you describe some of the early dynamics in the team? What are some of the more social roles each member fills? Obviously it's early so it may change in the future, but having strong characters on your team such as Oscar is very beneficial as the wealth of experience he brings is uncanny. [He] forces people to have the correct attitude when playing and practicing. Patryk is just a very positive guy who also has a crazy amount of raw skill, which he will be showing to the world soon. I know this guy will be among the top 10 in the world for a long time. Jacob is just our most passive player, I believe, and is incredible in the clutch rounds. The experience he brings will be vital to our success. As for me, I want to build a reputation and be known as a 'bad man'. I'd lift up my balaclava and say “'It's me, Ardis; what are you gonna do about it?”Let’s talk about the Vitality European Open. How do you feel going into the event? Does the team feel confident? Yeah of course. As a team, we’re super confident we can go on to win anything we enter, including the Vitality European Open. I believe we have the strongest roster on the planet now. Although there are some other good teams in the tournament, I’m confident we are the best. Carlos handed the team selection over to Mixwell and he has truly built a 730, a workhorse, of a team.
You tapped FABRIKEN and ROYALS as teams to watch in the European scene. What do you think that sets them apart? Are you looking forward to facing them now on G2?Yeah, I touted them to be up-and-comers. I can see them rattling the cage, proper rattling the cage of the bigger teams in Europe. I think the biggest advantage that both of these teams have is that they have CS:GO backgrounds which helps massively transitioning to VALORANT. The only player I've seen without a background make an impact is Zypan. In regards to facing them, I think its gonna be like a Jack Russell snapping at the heels of a rottweiler. I simply don't believe they have the fire, the will, to crush their enemy.It’s difficult to say when a global LAN event could happen for VALORANT due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in the back of your mind, Is there an itch to play against North American teams? I wouldn’t call it an itch, I’d say it’s more of a desire to play against these NA teams. The competitive scene over there has had a lot more activity, in terms of tournaments, in the early stages of VALORANT and there are some top players that I’d like to compete against, such as Wardell, Brax, and TenZ.With that in mind, how do you think Europe, as a region, stacks up against North America? I can see the European scene dominating VALORANT, similar to other esports scenes such as CS:GO. This G2 team that is being built would easily win any matchups against the best NA teams. I hope there is a LAN event soon after this COVID-19 pandemic ends so we can truly see who the best team in the world is. I’m excited to win our first LAN tournament and let out a primeval roar of victory in front of the G2 Army.Now that Ascent has been in the map rotation for a while, how do you feel about each map? Is there anything you’d change or an aspect you don’t particularly enjoy?The new map is nice and has changed up the rotation a little. My only concern with Ascent has got to be the mid area. I mean the enemy team doesn't come knocking with ludos and tiddlywinks, they have 2 operators and a few vandals at hand, you on it? So it’s proper heavy trying to take mid control but I don’t think it’s any cause for change.We’re starting to see a handful of teams stay away from Sage as a pick. What are your thoughts on this? Is that something you’re also seeing in Europe? I appreciate having one on your team. Personally I don't enjoy playing Sage because every fiber, every ounce of my warrior being is called out to attack and wreak havoc. I feel Sage is a solid pick for this current meta, but I'd love to see Riot introduce more supportive agents that can rival Sage. I feel teams in Europe are starting to experiment new lineups without Sage by using breach and other supportive agents which has given them some success but for how long this will last I'm not sure.If you enjoyed this interview, follow the author on Twitter at @Volamel.Check out our VALORANT section for more content.Images courtesy of Riot Games and G2 Esports.