"Analyst finds problems and coach finds solutions": Bleed eSports' Ominous discusses career as a Valorant analyst
Bleed eSports, one of APAC's leading Valorant rosters, recently acquired a young Nepalese analyst to aid the team in their VCT campaign. Sushant Jha, popularly known for his in-game moniker, Ominous, is the team's newest addition.
After working with several tier-2 European Valorant rosters, Ominous finally made his way into the tier-1 Valorant scene by joining Bleed eSports in May 2022. Since then, he has been focused on helping the team acquire a spot in the penultimate Valorant Champions 2022 tournament, which will be held in Istanbul in September.
Bleed eSports claimed a third-place finish at the Stage 1 APAC Challengers and a 5th-6th place finish at the Stage 2 APAC Challengers. Currently, after ranking third in Valorant's APAC circuit points standings, Bleed eSports will prepare for the Last Chance Qualifiers. The upcoming LCQs will be their last opportunity to claim a golden ticket to Valorant Champions 2022.
Ominous on his move to join the Valorant team in Singapore
In an exclusive interview with Adarsh J. Kumar for Sportskeeda Esports, Ominous delved into his career as a pro Valorant analyst, touching on interesting topics such as the essential skills required to become an analyst, the daily life of an analyst, and so on.
Q: How did you get into gaming as a child and what made you enter the world of esports, specifically Valorant?
Ominous: I used to play different games like CS: GO and various other first-person shooters for a very long time. Esports, in general, is something I used to watch, like how I watch sports. During my second and third years at the university, I used to play a lot of games.
I did some machine learning and data analysis projects and got a chance to publish an article on our once. I got an excellent response from George Geddes, a Valorant journalist, who asked me to get an internship at Run it Back.
Since then, I've been working on several small projects. I applied for various analyst positions in different organizations and finally got into Bleed eSports.
Q: Being a Valorant analyst, you must hone certain skills to assist your work. What are the key ingredients an aspiring Valorant analyst needs to find success?
Ominous: The desk analysts at VCT watch the game and tell you what's happening. What I feel is that these people are not actual analysts.
If you are an analyst, you should probably talk more about numbers and have certain skill sets relating to coding, keeping track of numbers, and being able to use CSE files or data sheets.
These are some key aspects that I don't feel a lot of people use but should be using as an analyst. If you know how to code, that's always a bonus.
Q: What does a normal day in the life of a Valorant analyst look like? Walk us through your daily tasks for the team.
Ominous: My job starts at 1:00 pm since we usually have scrims from 2 to 7:30 pm. Sometimes I start at noon because we have a one-hour theory session with the coach and the team. So I start my work an hour before we sit with the team.
My work includes preparing the maps we'll be playing, checking our recent history, our win statistics on defense and attack, and so on. I have data on every player, so I check who's underperforming or overperforming on various maps and where we fall short. I will discuss this with the coach an hour before our session starts.
During our training session, we either watch our VODs or that of other teams. For example, if we run a comp on a map similar to a particular team, we watch their VODs and try to find something we might be doing wrong or something they're doing good. That's what the theory session looks like.
We do six scrims every day in three sessions of two matches each. After each scrim, I pull data through the API into our backend database so that I can keep track of the entire database. After the scrims, we have a half-hour team discussion about how the day went.
Once the team leaves, I sit with the coach for another 30-45 minutes to talk about the game, thinking about what we did wrong, what we did right, and what we can do to improve our game plan for the next day, and so on.
That's what a normal day looks like. But when we have VCT matches going on, if we're playing the next day, I also anti-strat (anti-strategy) the other team, watching VODs and so on. That's a whole different thing.
An hour before official matches, I brief the team on our opponent's key tendencies, what we should do, how we should approach the game, etc.
Q: What would you say is the relationship between a Valorant team's coach and an analyst?
Ominous: The simplest way to put it - an analyst finds problems and the coach finds solutions.
Q: You have worked as an analyst for various teams now. Do you see yourself in a coaching role anytime in the future?
Ominous: I have been privileged to work with LEGIJA. He's a legend in CS:GO. He has so much knowledge and there's so much to learn. I learn a lot from him every day. Maybe not now, but 3 - 4 years down the line, I would love to work as a coach for some team.
I'm in the learning phase right now. However, I would love to coach a team once I have learned enough. But at the moment, I don't think so.
Q: You recently attended the Skyesports Champions Series LAN event in Chennai, India. After witnessing the performances of some of India's top Valorant teams, what do you think hinders the region from attaining global success?
Ominous: I feel there is a skill gap, but I don't think it's that big. It's probably because some of the players in the Indian scene take things for granted. I felt that a lot. This skill gap can easily be lessened if they grind a bit more.
Some of the older players on some tier-1 teams don't necessarily do that. I also feel that if you look at some of the newer players that are coming up, they have a lot of talent and potential that can be harnessed by these teams, which they should be looking to harness.
In terms of strategy, I don't think they're that far behind. They have a few really good coaches that deserve commendable respect. If you look at the Indian region, the right ingredients are there but lack leadership and commitment to the scene.
If you look at our situation in APAC, we don't have as many third-party tournaments as the Indian scene has. Many teams in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines can only dream of playing in tier-2 or tier-3 tournaments almost every week in India.
The Indian scene is privileged to have this, so they should be looking to harness all this and bring up better players. It will happen eventually. I do believe that. It will take some time, maybe a year or so.
Q: As you know, Riot Games has already announced its plans to establish a franchise system to replace the existing Valorant Champions Tour circuit. What are your thoughts on this project?
Ominous: I think it's a really good system. Lately, I've seen many people on social media who think that the franchise league will kill off the lower leagues. But that's not the case. I don't think that will happen.
The teams that will end up joining the franchise leagues will be the tier-1 teams or the top of the pack. These teams will be getting paid by Riot Games to play on these teams after they agree to certain commitments that I cannot specify since our team is also applying for a franchise slot.
These teams will be paid to play in these franchise leagues, and the money generated from these leagues will be pumped down into the lower tiers. I don't think it's the end of the world for whichever team doesn't make it because there will be a rise in salaries, tournaments and so on, and people will be making more money next year.
It will also work as a sort of motivation for these players to aspire and play in franchise leagues. Riot has also said that the teams that make it to the franchise this year may not necessarily get a franchised slot in 2024. They can be dropped and another team can be picked in their place depending on performance and other factors.
Q: Bleed esports is the biggest team you've worked for in your venture as a pro Valorant analyst. Given the opportunity, is there any particular team or region you would like to work for?
Ominous: I think my dream would be to work with DRX. I like everything about them. We scrim them, we play against them, and I've watched them play. The team is so innovative that other teams copy them, and the players they have are very drilled and listen to everything their coach says.
They are a team that will play by the books and are not afraid to adapt. The players and even their management have some of the greatest in the game. Glow and termi are CS 1.6 legends. I grew up watching these Korean players from 1.6, so it would be a dream for me to work with them.
Q: What advice would you give to all the budding Valorant analysts from all over the world?
Ominous: Get your name out there. Keep posting, keep grinding on Reddit and Twitter. I watch a lot of sports and I know how to code. So I would advise everyone to learn a bit of coding and analytical tools such as Power BI, Tableau, etc.
Learn a lot from traditional sports. I applied many things that I learned from watching football. I try to apply these statistics and metrics to Valorant, like how to evaluate players and make impressive statistics that will help evaluate players.