"I think just in terms of recency and form, I think we do have a lot more confidence than we did at the beginning of the season." - FNS on facing LOUD next week
VALORANT esports is a gift that keeps on giving, and this week was no different with back-to-back matches featuring intense competition as teams set their eyes on locking down a playoff spot. A particularly interesting matchup took place on the third day between NRG Esports and FURIA, whose outcome favored the NA team finally elevating their record to 4-3 after a relatively poor start to VCT 2023 - Americas League. Following their win, THESPIKE.GG was granted the opportunity to speak to Pujan "FNS" Mehta, NRG’s IGL, in a post-game interview to get his thoughts on the game, their recent performances and how they could keep the momentum up going forward.
NRG FNS following victory over FURIA
THESPIKE.GG: As soon as the result became apparent, what were your immediate thoughts? How did you guys react on the win?
FNS: I mean, I think we were really relieved because it was just a massive win for us in general for making playoffs.
THESPIKE.GG: How does it feel like being finally able to find your standing in the leagues. It seems like you have finally found your footing in the league and are progressing on an upward trajectory. How does that feel like?
FNS: It feels like we're doing all the correct things now. Again, a lot of things to clean up but overall, we’re just on the right path now. We're kind of solidifying our roles. Everyone understands the way I want the players to want to play and everyone feels more comfortable overall.
THESPIKE.GG: Talk about Bind and how you guys went from being down 9-3 and then coming back up and winning them up. How did the 9-3 curse help you out?
FNS: Well, we had a really good place around which we were able to win and then ardiis winning the 1v2 on the bonus just kind of gave us a lot of momentum to get the 9-6. After 9-6, I just think we had more money and alt control, and we were able to manipulate rotations really well. They were giving us so much map control, I think it led to us being able to then freely call whatever we wanted and play our game.
THESPIKE.GG: But on Haven, you guys had the advantage earlier on and let FURIA turn it around. What do you think went wrong in those last five rounds on Haven that made you give up the map?
FNS: We didn't disrupt enough when they had Harbor Alts, which we knew they were going to hit A both times. I feel like if we disrupted their hit before they did the ult or made it more difficult for them and not let them have a clean bombsite, it would have been a difference. I think if even one of those gun rounds goes in our favor, it's a different story. But it's just that we were playing too timid and letting them play their game, letting them execute, get into comfortable positions.
THESPIKE.GG: How did you feel like going into Pearl after losing Haven with such a close finish?
FNS: We were locked in the whole time and could have easily had 9 or 10 rounds on the attack side if we didn’t make mistakes early on. We had a really good idea of what they were doing every single round, what their setup was and we just kept kind of hitting B as much as we can on them because it felt the weakest. Got the 8 attack rounds and then on defense, even though they won pistol, it was really easy for us to be able to read where they were going. And we were just able to take advantage.
THESPIKE.GG: Talk about your individual performance today. As an in-game leader and as a player itself, how do you think you performed today?
FNS: I think there were multiple kills that I should be getting. But overall, I feel like I didn't make too many mistakes as a player. I think I stabilized quickly throughout the attacks out of Bind all throughout Haven and then basically Pearl as well and then me as an in-game leader, I think I had a pretty good read on the team that we were playing against. I don't think I made too many bad calls, although I think there were a couple opportunities to throw fakes where I missed out going against my own better judgment and then lost us the rounds. I could have slowed down more rounds than I did and we would have an 11, 10-2 or 11-1 half on Pearl if I had called at my optimal level.
THESPIKE.GG: Talk about your next matchup that's against Loud, which are arguably the best performing team in the league right now. How do you think your roster stacks up against them in your current form?
FNS: I think we'll give them a good enough fight. Obviously it would be weird for me to say we're better than LOUD or we're just as good as them whatever is form-wise. Because obviously they're 7-0 and we're 4-3. But I think just in terms of recency and form, I think we do have a lot more confidence than we did at the beginning of the season. They know that as well, and so it's definitely going to be a really, really good game.
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Featured image courtesy of Riot Games.
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