However, before this final duel between the two powerful European squads, we had one of the most fierce and unexpected battles of the entire tournament, where the Latin American team KRÜ Esports stood up for their region by ending one step away from the finals, when falling heroically at the hands of Gambit.
With everything demonstrated during the tournament and prior to their departure from Germany, the entire KRÜ team took several minutes with the press to share their opinions after the game, what could have gone better, and what this experience leaves in them after their performance demonstrated on the international stage.
Despite the result against Gambit, you managed to play spectacularly, in what is already considered by many as one of the best series in Valorant’s competitive. How do you feel after how that last game went through and the final definition in Bind?
Nagzet: I felt too sad in part, as we were so close to sealing the win but in the end, we couldn’t.
Kenzie: On my side, I’m very proud of the team, as the step we took here was something impressive and I hope in the next Champions, if we get the opportunity, we’ll be able to close that loose end.
During the course of the series, we saw how hundreds of your fans followed this battle live from an in-person event in Argentina. How did it feel to see this level of support from them, after surpassing all expectations and ending up in this instance?
Mazino: We’re all immensely grateful for all the support they have given us, and it’s awesome what they managed to do there. Whether from Japan, Spain, Europe, North America, they showed us support from all sides and that is indescribable, I appreciate it very much and we thank you all for that.
Onur, you have had the opportunity to experience the entire evolution of the team by being part of it from its roots. Now that your time here is over, how was working with all of the players, seeing them grow, and how they transformed from being the best team of the Challengers in LATAM, to a semifinalist in Champions?
Onur: It was a long process, tortuous at times, and clearly progress is never linear or this would have been very easy. We went through all kinds of moments and many ups and downs, but there was a very rapid evolution that is totally due to them.
Everyone was always willing to listen to me and follow the proposals I had for them. I’m a coach who tries to pressure them to get the best out of them, and they always received this feedback in the best way.
That said, I’m very proud to see how they grew, and all they have accomplished. It seems like yesterday when they were rookie players who even doubted whether to dedicate themselves to Valorant, and today they have matured to become world figures, and it makes me feel very good to have shared this path with them.
In each of your series, we saw how you brought us dozens of dramatic moments, loaded with epic comebacks and almost movie-like plays. What do you think was that little thing that was missing this time, to seal the victory against Gambit and thus close another unexpected victory?
Onur: This game had a lot of hits and misses on the part of both teams, so much so that I can't even say there was a determining factor to the result, although some things could be done differently. This series could have been for anyone, and this time the balance ended on their side.
Something that will stick with me for quite some time will be the Round 11 on Bind, since if we won this it would put us in matchpoint and with an economic advantage, and that would have changed everything.
Despite this, I wouldn’t change anything about everything that happened here in Champions, and in the end, we’ll leave with our heads held high and very proud of all this.
What went through everyone's mind in those last rounds of the quintuple overtime?
Onur: As a coach, all I thought was that I needed another break during the entire overtime situation. It was a tremendously helpless feeling, so much that I wanted to stand up, take off my headset and shout ideas to the boys that could be of help, so I felt very useless.
Klaus: For us, those last four rounds were the most stressful moments of our lives, it was a very crucial sequence where we played a bit against anxiety and nerves.
What was the strategy or mindset when playing on that triad of maps for you as a team?
Onur: We felt ready to play in Breeze, as we had a good reading going into the game regarding GMB's defense, although our attack was truly the worst.
And as for Ascend, we were convinced that we were going to win, since although they changed their composition, historically it has been a good map for us, very similar to the case of Bind.
Do you think there is a constant in how many comebacks are present in your games, either in your favour or against you?
Onur: Valorant is a game that works like this, which usually has many variables where it can affect both mindset and focus. In our case, even though we were behind, we continued to play in the same way.
However, this is a game of two, so we not only play against ourselves, but also against a team that seeks the same thing as us. Things can happen in different ways during the game, and this time these were in favour of Gambit.
What would you say to all those players and coaches who want to get to where you are, but who think it is very difficult coming from a place like Latin America?
Onur: I would say it’s not impossible, but you have to get to work. When I contacted the boys, we had no organization, we were only in negotiations with KRÜ and some of us still didn’t decide whether to dedicate ourselves fully to this.
It’s a matter of finding the right people, and before aspiring for a contract or looking at the economic factor, the desire to work and the hunger for glory are what makes you a professional, everything requires a lot of sacrifices, but these moments and the retribution are worth it everything.
Given what you have achieved, how do you now see the level of the Latin American region compared to the others, and how do you think your results will affect the competitive scene in that part of the world?
Klaus: Having been practising against teams from other regions in recent months, we have been able to mature in a great way and this is something that many teams have yet to experience. What we did today is a great push for all of Latin America and Brazil, and I’m sure it will make our region improve for 2022.
Keznit, being one of the players with the best performance in the entire Champions Berlin, what would you advise to all those players who want to improve within Valorant?
Keznit: The secret is to tryhard the game the best you can, play at least 12 ranked daily, and even have Aimlab always at hand. All of us who are here do the same and look where we are now, so you all can do it, just try to make it.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games and Getty Images.