nitr0 discusses the series against Andbox, Viper’s usefulness, and his excitement for Iceland
The Valorant Champions Tour kicked off its Stage 2: Challengers Finals. The first day saw some incredible action that included six very close series between North America’s finest Valorant teams. Following a first round victory over Andbox, Run It Back was given the opportunity to speak with Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella. He was open to discussing the triumph over Andbox, playing Viper for the first time in an official tournament, and what he is looking forward to most if 100 Thieves were to make it to Iceland.
Run It Back: Ascent was pretty close throughout the first half, but 100 Thieves started to pull away after halftime. Was it the clean slate when the economy reset that let you guys take that lead? Or were there any adjustments made knowing you switched sides that set the team up for that late success?
nitr0: We had really good reads on them and how they would approach the map. Usually, we like to start on attack the first map of the day, to try and control the pace of the game. They were doing a good job, holding for aggression earlier in the half. We identified that they were holding for our set plays. We started turtling more and started getting more rounds. It was 7:5 on Ascent at the half, but we were never really worried at all. We felt like we were in control.
Run It Back: Icebox was 100 Thieves’ pick. Things stayed even once again, but this time, Andbox managed to take the lead after halftime. The team clearly fought hard to tie things back up and eventually take the map. So, I’d like to ask a similar question. What kind of adjustments were made on Icebox for you guys to finish off the series?
nitr0: We didn’t have too much on their Icebox. We were playing our own game with our new comp. It was our first official with it. We were just trying to do our stuff and focusing less on what they did. It was 6:6 and they won the pistol. Then we eco’d them, I think? I could be wrong, but we were trying to do a lot of fakes with the Viper wall. We tried a lot of misdirection plays. They caught us off guard a little bit with their aggression. Like, with the Skye, and a lot of their Sage and Raze nade and slow combos. They were pushing something early every single round, so we basically played to them. We let them make their play and then played to them. It was a little different than how practice normally goes, but it worked out in the end.
Run It Back: Like you had mentioned with the comp, it was the first time you have officially played Viper. Of course, that probably has to do with the recent patch and the map choice. Do you feel she is balanced now? Or perhaps overpowered? And what exactly do you feel she can bring to the table overall at this point?
nitr0: I was thinking about this last night. I don’t think she is overpowered, necessarily. Whenever an agent first comes out in this game, everyone calls it overpowered. Until they finally realize how to play against it and with it. I think Viper, personally, is fine how she is. If there was anything I’d change, it would be that the gas depleted from the smoke orb and the Viper wall, instead of it being on the same cooldown. That’s kind of weird. Other than that, though, I think she’s fine. It gives people a disincentive to not run through the wall or the orb. That’s something we don’t really have in this game. I think that’s cool. She’s good.
Run It Back: Onto Iceland, 100 Thieves is a heavy favorite to make it to Masters Reykjavík. If or when that does happen, what international teams are you most excited to jump into the server against?
nitr0: I am definitely most excited to play against the Koreans. Vision Strikers mainly. And the Europeans. Everyone has their own opinion on who they think is the best. Everyone is going to have something to prove. It is going to be a great tournament for that, to see who is on top. Who has false hope. I’m excited to really see how the Europeans and Koreans are going to play mostly.
*Questions and answers may have been edited or altered for clarity and fluidity.*
Stay tuned to Run It Back for more VCT coverage and player interviews as Challengers Finals continues!
Brandon "Mothman" Moore
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