jammyz speaks with Run It Back about the huge win for NA and how he is fitting in with Version1
Nothing was going to stop the first NA versus EU Valorant series from being incredible. The match went to the third map as Team Liquid and Version1 battled in one of the most highly anticipated contests the competitive side of the game has and possibly will ever see. NA showcased their supremacy throughout the second day of Masters Reykjavik. Both Version1 and Sentinels defeated the teams representing the EMEA region. After the huge victory for NA, Version1’s stand-in player, Jamal “jammyz” Bangash, spoke with Run It Back about how big of a win it truly was, how he has meshed with Version1, and his thoughts on Viper.
Run It Back: It seems like you slotted into the V1 line up with no problems. What was the preparation like, coming to Iceland, as a substitute for wippie?
jammyz: Prep was pretty hectic. I had like, maximum, a week of practice before I was thrown into the ringer. When people watch us play, a lot of the stuff I’m doing isn’t prepped. I just came in and am doing my thing. I’m just playing Viper utility. That’s my job. Viper util. Just trying to perfect that and do my job. The prep was hectic. A week of prep, a team I’ve never played with before. I don’t have team chem with them yet, but I’m friends with them. That’s what I have, but it’s rough. It is crazy that we won. I’m super proud of the team and glad I could play to the best of my ability.
Run It Back: As the stand-in, it must feel great to perform so well after you were chosen to take part in Masters Reykjavik. Did you have any expectations before the tournament started?
jammyz: I knew we were going to do well before even playing. I really vibe with this entire team and they vibe with me. My expectations were good. Playing well in one of the first NA versus EU matches and winning, that’s a huge step for NA. I’m really happy to have been a part of that. It’s honestly insane.
Run It Back: This was the first time we got to see the styles of NA and EU clash. Was there anything in their comps that maybe surprised you compared to what you expected?
jammyz: Especially here, you don’t really know what to expect from any team. Any team can come out and give it their all. Against Team Liquid, I was surprised to see ScreaM not on a Duelist for certain maps. I think the fact that Viper isn’t being utilized on almost every map is kind of crazy. She is super strong. Her post-plant is insane. Even if you’re not playing for molly line-ups, you can still molly CT and entrances to get control.
Her utility and kit can be insane if used correctly. I don’t think there are a lot of NA players that play her. There are some that play her, but I think there is still a lot that can be done with her. I don’t think it has been tapped yet. Obviously, I’m biased because I play Viper, but I think Viper is insane and more people should play her.
Run It Back: Well, that brings me to my next question. We’ve seen you perform on Jett in the past and even Killjoy in the first series against Crazy Raccoon. You’ve played nothing but Viper otherwise here with Version1. What do you like or dislike about Viper? And what about her skill set works for you inside the current meta?
jammyz: I think Viper can be played a multitude of ways. That is why she is so strong. You can play her aggressive. You can play her defensively. You can play her to lurk. Her kit is insane for all of these things. It is really a deciding factor of what the player wants to do with her. I think that is why so many people stay away from her. There are a lot of options and some people need that structure to do well with her. I think that is why not a lot of people play her.
Obviously, I played Jett for a previous roster. I’m super comfortable on Viper. I’m comfortable on Killjoy. A lot of people thought I was just a Duelist player, but at heart and in beta for Valorant, I was grinding Viper. I didn’t play Duelist at all. For people to think I’m a Duelist main, that isn’t true. People don’t really know me, but now they know I play Viper. I like Sentinels. I like other roles. I’m not just a one-trick.
Run It Back: This was arguably the most exciting series Valorant has seen to this point. What were you feeling during all of those crazy back and forth moments, on LAN nonetheless?
jammyz: This is my first international tourney, especially LAN. I haven’t had that many experiences with LAN tourneys and this is, obviously, one of the biggest tourneys yet for Valorant. It was definitely nerve-wracking. First map, I really thought we should have won. After we played so well on the first map and lost, I knew we were going to close out the series. We had to keep doing what we were doing. On Haven, I just played my Viper utility to a T. I think I played it really well.
Effys played his Sova utility insane. Zellsis popped off. Penny is a god. Vanity made insane calls. Everyone just played well. It came together. Like I said, this is a huge dub for NA. A lot of people doubted us. The fact that I’m a stand-in with one week of practice on this team and we were able to pull of a huge win, that is insane. We deserve credit for that. We really do.
Run It Back: NUTURN Gaming awaits Version1. What are you looking forward to in that game and beyond in the tournament?
jammyz: I don’t really know what to expect. We watched them play. Any team can win here. I really think so. I’m happy they are doing well. It is nice to see teams that people don’t expect to do so good, and then they do.
*Answers may have been edited or altered for clarity.*
Congratulations to jammyz and all of Version1 on their victory against Team Liquid. An exciting match up with NUTURN Gaming from Korea is up next, as is much more during Masters Reykjavik.
Stay tuned to Run It Back for coverage of this historic event, including day-by-day recaps and player interviews!
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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