ANGE1 on VCT season: "...our situation is unique because we had to play all the events Riot gave us due to the LCQ. But I feel exhausted at this point in time. "

Written By Naim Rosinski Content Manager & Editor
Last UpdatedJuly 24, 2023 at 04:56PM
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VALORANT Last Chance Qualifiers have been finalized with all the teams now locked in at the upcoming VCT 2023 - Champions. One of those teams is Natus Vincere, who lost the final against Giants Gaming, but have qualified due to the EMEA region receiving one additional slot from the LCQ following Fnatic's win at Masters Tokyo.

We managed to chat with Natus Vincere's in-game leader, Kirill "ANGE1" Karasiow, following the grand finale of the VCT 2023 - EMEA League - Last Chance Qualifier . The experienced player shared his thoughts on the match, reflected on the team's rather troublesome season, and shared some thoughts on their plans for VALORANT Champions in Los Angeles kicking off in August.

Interview with ANGE1 following VCT EMEA LCQ

THESPIKE: How was the team spirit coming into the match against Giants given that you qualified for Champions?

ANGE1: Coming into the match, everything was good, we qualified for Champions, so we reached our goal for this LCQ. But now, obviously, losing sucks. So, my mood is not the best. Maybe you can ask me in a few hours, and something will change. And then I’d remind myself that “f$#! it, it was just like a seeding match that didn’t matter too much.” Maybe in a few hours I’ll be fine.

THESPIKE: So, coming into this grand finale, did you feel like you had something to play for or did you treat it as a fun match?

ANGE1: I wouldn’t call it a “fun match,” but obviously we didn’t play comps that we will be playing at Champions. I hate matches that don't really matter. It was like the match against Liquid in the EMEA league. Now a seeding match, this sort of thing shouldn’t exist in esports.

Giants take the EMEA LCQ 1st seed over NAVI with a 3-0 win. Photo credit: Hara Amorós / Riot Games / LVP / lag.
Giants take the EMEA LCQ 1st seed over NAVI with a 3-0 win. Photo credit: Hara Amorós / Riot Games / LVP / lag.

THESPIKE: People talk about you guys changing up your comps all the time. Lotus is a good example. What’s the reason behind the ever-changing comps that you guys employ?

ANGE1: It’s never one reason. There's a large number of reasons behind it. One of these can be agent counters that counter enemy agent picks. Considering that everyone plays the same all the time, it’s pretty easy to counter. If they have Killjoy, we can play Brim or Sova, so she can’t ult on the map. Second reason, it’s very hard to prepare for us. And the third reason, which actually is very important this year is that we are looking for the best possible agent combinations, so all the players would feel comfortable and we would hit the meta.

THESPIKE: With the season now over and Champions on the horizon, how did you enjoy the regular season and the new structure of VALORANT in 2023. Any things that you’d praise or complain about?

ANGE1: To be honest, I didn’t enjoy it that much. Maybe it’s because of my mixed feelings as we didn’t play well enough for me to be happy. But this kind of season where you travel to Berlin and stay there for a few months is exhausting. And for us this year, we did not have an opportunity to have any break. We played in Brazil (LOCK//IN), came to Berlin, 1-2 weeks of preparation, League started, League ended, we traveled to Japan, after Japan we were insantly playing LCQ, and now a few days to Champions. There is no time to prepare properly and no time to chill at least a bit. I would be grateful for a 10-12 days opportunity to either take a break or prepare properly. But obviously, our situation is unique because we had to play all the events Riot gave us due to the LCQ. But I feel exhausted at this point in time.

THESPIKE: Is that something that you’d hope to see next season? Bigger breaks between events perhaps?

ANGE1: (laughs) I don’t think so. As far as I know, there should be two seasons next year. Two leagues and Masters between them. I think we’ll have 6-7 months of non-stop gaming.

THESPIKE: You guys had an early exit at Masters and you also dropped into the Lower Bracket at this LCQ. Do you consider this slump in form and to what do you attribute this slump?

ANGE1: Yeah, obviously, I think it’s a slump. Our aim is to be consistently top 3 at any event and top 1 in Europe. But probably, the reason is that we can’t fit into the meta properly. We’re just walking around the meta and it’s hard for us to figure out the best way to play.

THESPIKE: What is NAVI's plan for Champions? Will you be trying to anti-strat, focusing on your own game, or perhaps trying to pinpoint that meta and solidify it in your team?

ANGE1: I hope to do both, some anti-stratting and playing our own game. We’ll just have to rewatch our games from the LCQ, fix the most obvious mistakes, because we don’t have that much time. So fixing fundamental mistakes and anti-strat a bit.

THESPIKE: Lastly, at Champions we’ll see three Chinese teams. If you have had the time to have a look at how they played recently. Any thoughts on those teams at Champions?

ANGE1: They shoot very hard. We played EDG, we lost to them in Japan. If you don’t shoot back, it’s very hard to play against them.

Make sure to check out our VALORANT Champions 2023 event page to see the teams, schedule, and more!

Featured image credit: Hara Amorós / Riot Games / LVP / lag.

Questions and answers may have been altered slightly for the sake of readability.

A former ESL teacher with a Master’s degree in English Studies that found his drive in esports. Merging a passion for the craft of writing with a never-ending need to out-aim others in the game of VALORANT and Counter-Strike.

Naim began his esports-writing and reporting journey at DailyEsports (now Upcomer), where he was a contributor for CS:GO. More and more enamored with esports, he quickly received a chance to attend IEM Katowice 2019 as press and managed to interview Cath, Lekr0, FalleN, and jkaem, his first dive into covering an event on-site.

With the release of VALORANT, Naim saw potential in Riot Games’ take on a 5v5 competitive shooter and joined Run It Back as a writer. After 3 months, he got promoted to a Managing Editor, managing a team of contributors and held regular brainstorming meetings to get content pumping for 3 years straight. In that time he attended Masters Berlin 2021, as well as VALORANT Champions 2022 as press on-site press.

Now, Naim is a Content Manager & Editor at THESPIKE. He keeps tabs on news, features, and evergreen content production, as well as contributing himself from time to time.

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