Sengoku Gaming is based in Kyushu, the third largest island in Japan. Their teams are famous and very strong in League of Legends, PUBG, Rainbow Six: Siege.
In May 2020, they announced their VALORANT team, consisting of Shotaro "Zerost" Ikeda, Shoki "Pepper" Banjo, Ryoto "himajun" Takeuchi, Kenichiro "Flame" Sugimoto, and Akihiro "Aktm" Kushida.
Zerost was former Special Force 2 player and he won at the SUPERLEAGUE 2nd Season Grand Final. After this achievement, he moved to League of Legends and won the Japanese official league, LJL, 2016 Spring Split Final. Pepper was a former professional Overwatch player and famous as a strong DPS. He won at the GeForceCup-Japan and played at the Overwatch Pacific Championship 2017 S2. himajun was a former top CS:GO player and placed in 4th at the GALLERIA GAMEMASTER Cup 2018. Flame was a former Sudden Attack player and achieved three consecutive victories at the Japanese national tournament SACTL. Aktm was also a former Sudden Attack player and achieved four consecutive victories at the SACTL. He was also a professional Overwatch player and played at the Overwatch World Cup 2017 as a member of the Japanese national team.
On July 7th, 2020, Sengoku Gaming announced that three new players will join the team: Derizooted, Odenkunn, and hyoukappp are joining the roster. There is currently no information if the lineup is growing and will have a few substitute players, or if some of the current members of the team will be replaced on a later date.
What do you think about the Japanese VALORANT scene after the official release?
Iwamoto: Many famous players and teams have started to be involved in VALORANT as it is a brand-new FPS title made by Riot Games. Many teams are recruiting their players, therefore I think VALORANT will be one of the top games among all esports titles.
When did you start preparing your VALORANT team and what do you think about your team?
We started to prepare it after the 10th anniversary event of League of Legends on October 16th, 2019. At that time Riot Games announced VALORANT as a “Project A”.
Do you follow foreign teams and what is remarkable about those teams?
It is hard to pick teams because I follow many teams, haha. But I would say T1, G2 and Fnatic. Especially T1 showed their potential recently at the T1 x NSG Showdown.
As we mentioned, all players have extraordinary experiences in other titles. We asked Zerost and Pepper if the skills and experiences they’ve gained are useful in VALORANT.
Zerost: With SF2 I gained basic FPS skills and LoL is a totally different genre, but I think I could learn how to improve as an individual and also as a team. Communication skills are very useful for practicing and speaking with my team members.
Pepper: VALORANT is not a simple FPS in which you only detonate bomb sites. You need certain skills for VALORANT. As I played Overwatch before, I think skills which I gained from Overwatch and VALORANT are a little bit similar, for example, you need to manage cooldowns when you use Recon Arrow with Sova or Spycam with Cypher. I feel that I am using such skills very well because of my experiences in Overwatch.
“From Kyushu to the World” is their famous slogan. We will continue to follow their activities to witness the moment when their slogan will become a reality.
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