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GE Russ, "Teams Are Struggling Against Us, We Just Need Composure To Seal Games"

Global Esports' IGL, Russ sheds light on the team's current plans and expectations.
GE Russ, "Teams Are Struggling Against Us, We Just Need Composure To Seal Games"
Picture: Riot Games

Global Esports is yet to register a win in VCT Pacific League 2024 and I got a chance to sit with Russ, the IGL of the team after their series gainst ZETA Division. Even though they easily won the second map, i.e., Icebox, they were not able to convert it to a series win. Russ discussed what exactly went wrong for them, the team's expectations for the season, things they need to improve, and more. You can read the full interview below.

Global Esports Russ Interview

An exclusive interview with Global Esports Russ
An exclusive interview with Global Esports Russ. (Picture: Riot Games)

Hi Russ, sorry for the loss against ZETA, but you guys played well. You guys look much more composed if we compare it to the Kickoff. How are you feeling after today's first game in the league stage?

Russ: Not bad. Like, obviously, losing sucks. But I think there are a lot of great things to take away from that game. I think it just showed that even when we went down map one, like 13-1, it's like we know we still got the mentality to push back and fight back.

I want to talk about today's first map, i.e., Sunset. One thing that I particularly noticed was that there was no sentinel in the composition. What is the reason behind it and do you think this particular thing cost you the map?

Russ: Not really. I think both sides had no sentinel (Editor's Note: For readers' clarification, ZETA picked Chamber as sentinel). I think it was just they played very confidently. And I think recently playing Sunset for us hasn't been the best anyway. We just went in there kind of lightly, not caring as much and yeah, we tried to do what we could.

Talking about the second map, i.e., Icebox, what surprised me was that when I saw the stats, you guys had a 0% win rate on that map. Obviously, stats don't matter, but I want to know what gave you guys the confidence to pick that map against Zeta today?

Russ: I think it's just how confident we are overall with our practice. We have a couple of maps that we feel extremely confident on, and Icebox is one of them. So I want people to play Icebox against us and test us out. 

Since you mentioned practice, what kind of things did you guys work on the most during the break between Kickoff and Split 1 and how did they turn out for you?

Russ: Yeah, we worked on a lot of different things. But obviously, one of the main things is it's kind of a lot harder to read us now with the way we're playing. We play very adaptively. People are struggling against us, even ZETA at the end. I think they were struggling against us, both maps, and they didn't know what the hell we were doing. So I think it's working really great. We just need the composure to close all the games now.

The final map, i.e., Ascent, was going great for you guys as you got 6 rounds on the attack, given that it is a defensive-sided map. However, it didn't go as planned for you, as ZETA took a massive lead. Can you tell me what exactly went wrong there for the team? 

Russ: I think it was like we lost both pistols and some crucial rounds towards the end, you know, it could have been anyone's game and that's pretty much it to me. Like obviously, we had a really good start at the start, but you know, anything can happen in the game of Valorant, like someone can have a 4k, someone can have an ace and the game just flips and that's literally what happened in the game.

Whenever I go online and read tweets, obviously, there are a lot of fans, but again, the team also receives a lot of criticism, which might sometimes take a toll on mental health. I want to ask you, how do you guys handle the pressure and how does your mental coach help in that scenario to still come on the stage, keeping up with all the expectations and, you know, trying to improve series after series? 

Russ: Yeah, mental coach helps a lot, but none of us really care about the outside. It's like we love the sport, but when it comes to hate and stuff, none of that bothers us because all we care about is pleasing ourselves and our teammates, and anyone can say whatever they want. It means nothing to us.

Which team do you want to play against the most, and what are your expectations for that game?

Russ: I want to play PRX the most. I still want to get my revenge on them from two years ago. But yeah, I've only played PRX once and I always like playing against them.