Boaster discusses preparing for international teams and FNATIC vs. Sentinels
Masters Reykjavik has kicked off in the capital of Iceland. The first day saw some incredible victories by FNATIC, Version1, and NUTURN Gaming. The former put on a dominant showing against the representative of the LATAM region, KRÜ Esports. FNATIC, representing EMEA, won the series 2-0 with a 13:5 victory on Haven and a 13:4 victory on Icebox. Following the victory, Run It Back was given the opportunity to once again speak with FNATIC’s in-game leader, Jake “Boaster” Howlett. As always, it was a pleasure to interview Boaster after the solid performance by him and his peers.
Run It Back: How does it feel getting that first win out of the way?
Boaster: It feels amazing. Honestly, we’re coming into this tournament not knowing what to expect from our players and the enemy teams. To come out in full force like that with full dominance is great to see. Hopefully we keep up that fashion into our next games.
Run It Back: How has Iceland been treating you and the team? What has your experience been like there?
Boaster: Iceland is lovely. I’m loving it. I haven’t actually been out too much. All I’ve done was walk to the coast and back. Generally, I’m staying in the gaming room and doing a lot of work. That’s pretty much my experience of Iceland. None of it at all. It looked nice, though, in the coach ride.
Run It Back: As the IGL, how do you prepare for these international teams compared to the teams you might be familiar with in your region?
Boaster: There is a lot less familiarity with these teams. We don’t know how they play. We haven’t scrimmed any of them. Going into it, we just need to watch their past vods. We might find little kinks in their armor and things they like to do consistently, no matter what comp they do. That’s all we can do. Just have to keep running that.
Run It Back: Your team lost every pistol round, but still managed to come back and take both maps by a wide margin. With an open floor, could you just quickly discuss what happened with the pistol rounds and how FNATIC managed to prevent an implosion after those losses?
Boaster: I like to keep the atmosphere good. If we lose a pistol round, so be it, we’ll bounce back. We’re not going to get a 13:nil, sadly boys. We can still go for a 13:2, a 13:3, etcetera, etcetera. When it comes to that kind of atmosphere, we don’t get too affected. We move on, next round. We just try and convert the gun rounds. Those ones are important as well. As for why we lost, I have no idea. I’d have to watch it back. It looks like a bit of fumbling on our side. I’m not sure really. I’ll have to watch it back to find out. But yeah, pistol rounds. Not very clean today.
Run It Back: We saw the exact same compositions for both teams on Icebox. Was that expected or a bit of a surprise? And what part of your game plan do you think helped propel FNATIC over that mirror match up?
Boaster: I think their coach said before they announced the brackets that they love our stuff. It shows. They have our comps on quite a few maps, Icebox being one of them. However, when it comes to them using the same comp as us, we are going to know the weaknesses of that comp, too. When I look at your vods, I’m going to find, with coach mini, the things that are exploitable or abusable. That is how we went into the game on Icebox. We saw what they did. They did some of the same stuff. We were able to abuse it. I don’t know if they expected that sort of level of anti-stratting.
Run It Back: NA versus EU has been the story since Valorant released. We finally get to see it. What are your thoughts on the series against Sentinels on the horizon?
Boaster: Personally, against Sentinels, I’m going for that cheeky 2-0. I won’t be disappointed if we go 2-1, 1-2, or even 0-2. I know Sentinels are a formidable team coming from NA. They’re a nice bunch of guys and have some individual talents in there. We’re going to have bring our A game. We’re going to keep positive, enjoy the stage, and enjoy the whole process and moment. That’s all we can do. Win or lose, we’re still a team. Win or lose, we’re just here to have fun.
Run It Back: When it comes to Sentinels, is there one player on the team that may worry you the most? That you may target and try to make them a non-factor?
Boaster: I don’t think there is one. They’re all pretty good, but I’m not too bothered. We’ve got Derke, Magnum, Mistic, Doma, and me, with coach mini to back us up on the sidelines. I’m not scared of any of them. We’re just going to play our game and hope that none of them pop off.
Stay tuned to Run It Back as the Valorant Champions Tour continues with more coverage of Masters Reykjavik and exclusive player interviews!
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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