TSM FTX zecK: “My goal for the team is for them to develop into the best players and people they can possibly be”
Runitback got the chance to have a chat with TSM FTX Female team’s very own coach, Addison “zecK” Gorzeck. The former Mamba Mode Gaming (MMG) player has been taken on board as a Trial Coach in March of 2021. Three months later and TSM FTX have decided to keep zecK on board and given him the Head Coach position within the team.
The ex- Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant player talked us through about taking up the coaching position on TSM FTX, their training routine, and agent composition. He also gave us his thoughts on KAY/O, MMG’s great run in Valorant, as well as what his top memory from Valorant to date currently is.
Runitback: You used to be a player and coach in Counter-Strike. How do you compare coaching in CS to coaching in Valorant?
zecK: Coaching in CS:GO wasn’t very different than Valorant in terms of basic fundamentals. However, there are a few things that set the two apart such as a variety of agents, constant meta shifts, utility being restored and ultimate abilities. For this reason, Valorant seems more complex with more scenarios being played out. It doesn’t feel like there are limited solutions to one issue, but instead multiple solutions can resolve an issue. Therefore, Valorant seems to be a more open-minded game, especially with the diversity of players coming from other games with new playstyles.
Runitback: What are some of the differences between coaching an all-male versus an all-female team (if any)?
zecK: To be honest, I haven’t noticed any differences between coaching male and female teams. At the end of the day, they’re all trying to become the best players they can possibly be. I believe that while growing as a team, the players’ responsiveness and environment overall is the same. My team puts in the time and hard work to become the players they are today and I’m super proud of them.
Runitback: Currently, how does TSM Female’s training routine look like?
zecK: We run 5-6 days per week with 6-8 hour days consisting of VOD reviews, server work, and scrimmages. It really depends on what the goals and focus is on that current week and we adjust as it’s different every week. For example, if we played in an event during the weekend and lost a high % of post plants, the following week we would choose to put more work into VOD reviewing our mistakes from the event and going into a server to clean these up.
Runitback: Is TSM Female settled on a certain agent composition and is there any sort of meta that the team is taking advantage of?
zecK: I believe we run a different composition for every map based off a mixture of things such as a meta, how comfortable we are, and our playstyle. This game has shifted its meta quite a bit, so we are constantly trying to figure out what works best for us.
Runitback: As the coach of the team, what are your goals for TSM FTX this year?
zecK: My goal for the team is for them to develop into the best players and people they can possibly be.
Runitback: How do you think the latest agent, KAY/O, will slot into a competitive team? Do you think they’re going to be meta?
zecK: KAY/O will bring more coordination in a competitive team considering that his utility would be completely useless if there’s nobody to capitalize off of it. I believe KAY/O will be plugged into this new meta with the only difference being to rely heavily on gun play and getting trades.
Runitback: You found good form as a player on the MMG roster, what do you think it was that enabled you to do so well?
zecK: Everyone just synced so well together and the hunger plus drive factor of the newer players. We checked our egos at the door (including me with the most experience), and trusted our own process. Our loose playstyle seemed to work because everyone trusted each other and played so well off one another. We took basic fundamentals as our foundation and added our own flare to each and every game. Along with all of these factors, I didn’t have to focus too much on the IGL role. This enabled me to just become my own player in the system with a strong voice.
Runitback: Do you think that kind of team could still be setup in the current iteration of the scene?
zecK: I believe even some of the top teams such as 100 Thieves and Sentinels have this type of strong foundation. I think it’s what makes them so great, and I’d like to see even more teams build off of that. I personally believe this game takes 5 voices (of course you have your dedicated IGL and game plan you thoroughly follow). However, it helps when people around you initiate things or give information that is key to winning out the round.
Runitback: What is your fondest memory in Valorant to date?
zecK: My most memorable moment was by far the Pulse Series with MMG. I will never forget the moment Wedid randomly goes, “I’m playing viper”, in our finals against Luminosity. We ended up winning with him playing Viper in 3 out of 4 maps including Ascent. That was an unheard of meta back in the day.
*Questions and answers may have been altered slightly for the sake of clarity and brevity.*
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Naim "EnKay" Rosinski
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