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SKADE Lateks: “Overall, I think North America is the stronger region right now, they have way more support and structure behind them.”

Volamel 2020-08-31 06:23:30

After their shocking win over Team Liquid at LVL Clash 2, SKADE sits in pole position to become the next European VALORANT contender. Formed out of the core of the FABRIKEN roster, who were considered among the better teams in Europe but just needed some form of support from a proper esports organisation to propel them to the next level. Such a strong showing with little practice with their new roster highlights this perfectly. Team captain, Oliwer "LATEKS" Fahlander spoke to Esports Heaven about SKADE’s incredible performance at the LVL Clash 2, the team’s preparation coming into the event and he weighs in on the questions surrounding North American VALORANT.   What people don’t hear enough of is the emotional highs and lows of esports, so if you could, I’d like you to walk us through the story of your team going into the LVL Clash 2. Your team, FABRIKEN, finally gets acquired by SKADE and are joined by former Overwatch player, Andreas "Epzz" Vallvingskog. Could you talk a bit about what that meant to you and the team? What was the atmosphere like going into the event? We are very excited to start our work with SKADE. We’re finally able to get the support we need in order to become a top contender in the European scene. Going into LVL Clash 2 our goal was getting out of groups at the very least. We got put in one of the harder groups with Team Liquid, Bonk and Prodigy in it, but we were confident we could accomplish our goal even though we had a roster change a few days prior. The atmosphere in the team was great, everyone was eager to prove themself against some of the top teams in the region. In that same vein, could you talk a little bit about Epzz? I know you guys haven’t had too much time to practice together, but from the outside, things seem to mesh incredibly well, do you feel like that is a fair read on the situation? Where does Epzz fit within the team dynamic? We brought in Epzz just a few days prior to the event in order to strengthen the team long term. We’re meshing incredibly [well], I’ve known Epzz for a long time now and knew he would fit perfectly in the team. He’s a very vocal and supportive player, not afraid to take space or setting up plays for the team. Also, he’s just a funny guy to be around, which helps in stressful situations. Now obviously you guys had quite the back and forth with Team Liquid in Group B, ultimately winning the rematch and knocking them out of the tournament. Take us behind the curtain for this incredible moment; can you describe the energy that had to be emanating from you guys, knowing you played as well as you did?  We knew we had it in us to beat them on Bind after playing them closely the first time we met, even though we managed to win both pistols that time. We had a rough start, lost the pistol and four out of the five first rounds. We got it together and started to talk about how they were playing and won the next 6 out of 7 rounds. Then we just grinded it out on [our] attack. The atmosphere and energy were great, we knew we could beat them and we did it, even with just 2 days of practice with this lineup.  In the quarterfinals, SKADE runs into Fun Plus Phoenix, a team that many consider one of the best teams in Europe. Could talk a little about the expectations and the overall feeling from the team going into such a difficult game? I was stoked going up against Fun Plus Phoenix, playing against my old teammates and coach was a lot of fun even if they completely smashed us on the server. The feeling in the team was pretty much the same as before, it was another chance to prove ourselves against a top team. Sadly, they played amazingly, and we just didn’t show up at all. I’m still happy with our performance overall. Our goal going into the tournament was to get out of groups and prove ourselves and show the world we have the potential to be a top competitor, and we did just that. Looking at your Haven set up against Fun Plus Phoenix, you guys did feature Killjoy. What do you feel like she brings to the table over other agents? Many players feel underwhelmed with her presence in the professional space, would you agree or disagree with that?  To be honest with you, we didn’t practice Haven once going into this. We knew we had 1 ban in group stages and agreed to skip Haven and focus on the other maps. With us being lower seed in playoffs we didn’t get to ban and ended up playing it, which let us to just improvise and try to catch them off guard. On the topic of Killjoy, I initially thought she was pretty weak and wouldn’t see much play in pro play but I definitely think there’s potential for her. She’s kinda like a mix between Sage in Cypher as in she can stop pushes but also gather info with her turret. With the rise of teams like Sentinels and Dignitas, the battle between North American and European VALORANT seems like it is entering the public discourse again. Do you have any thoughts on the North American scene? Which region do you think has the edge if the top teams were to play right now?  I watched a bit of Pop Flash and the FaZe Clan Invitational and I think there are parts where North America is ahead and parts where Europe is ahead. Overall, I think North America is the stronger region right now, they have way more support and structure behind them. I think the only teams that can rival top North America teams in Europe is G2 and Fun Plus Phoenix, I feel like those 2 teams are a step above the rest here. We are seeing a swell in Overwatch players enter the VALORANT space, some of which are finding some massive success. As you and Epzz both have experience playing the game at a high level, what do you think sets Overwatch talent apart from other players who may come from other FPS titles? I think it’s the ability to adapt. In Overwatch we had many different metas, we had double sniper, deathball, dive and bunker comps, and they all played vastly different to each other. All top tier players in Overwatch had to adapt every new patch, learn new heroes and strategies in order to keep up. I think it’s that kind of adaptability that makes us good in the early stages of VALORANT, where everyone is learning and having to come up with new stuff. But I don’t think just because you were good in Overwatch that you will be good in VALORANT, most of us still have a lot of hours spent on some iteration on Counter-Strike.
Images courtesy of Riot Games

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