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  • "Playing that good against one of the greatest FPS players (shroud) boosted my confidence tremendously": The Guard's trent at VCT NA LCQ
The Guard's trent at VCT 2022 NA LCQ (Image via Sportskeeda)

"Playing that good against one of the greatest FPS players (shroud) boosted my confidence tremendously": The Guard's trent at VCT NA LCQ

The Guard kicked off their VCT NA Last Chance Qualifiers campaign in an exciting fashion by collecting a Day-1 victory over Sentinels. Upon proceeding to the tournament's Upper Semifinals, the team managed to dominate Cloud9 and progress further up the tournament's upper bracket.

After a 2-0 win against Shopify Rebellion in their opening-day matchup, Cloud9 were confident about overthrowing The Guard in a best-of-three encounter. The Guard, however, toppled Cloud9 in a rather dominant fashion, claiming consecutive wins on Fracture and Ascent to seal their outcome.


The Guard will play against FaZe Clan in the Upper Finals of VCT NA Last Chance Qualifiers on Friday, August 12 at 1:00 pm PDT/10:00 pm CEST/1:30 am IST (next day).

The Guard's trent shares his thoughts on team's performance in VCT NA LCQ

In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda Esports' Adarsh J Kumar, one of The Guard's star players, Trent "trent" Cairns, talked about his team's victory over Sentinels and Cloud9, his performance against shroud, and his expectations for the VCT 2022 NA LCQ.


Q: With a spot in the Upper Finals, The Guard are one step closer to earning the final slot at Valorant Champions 2022. How do you think your team performed against Cloud9?

trent: I think we played good. I think everyone, all five of the guys, put in their share and were having crazy rounds. We came over to win, so I'm very happy with our performance today.

Q: The last time you played against Cloud9 was in your VCT Stage 1 run, where you eventually became Champions. How do you think Cloud9 performed against your team this time around?


trent: We went into the match extremely confident. We 3-0'd them last time. We understand how they play really well, so we came in exactly how we went into the other match, knowing that they're going to pull out some weird comps on the maps that we came to a conclusion on. I feel like we executed really well against them.



#StandGuard | #VCT

Q: You rose to fame as one of NA's best Sova players. However, so far at the VCT NA LCQ, we've seen you pick up Fade quite a lot. Considering Fade was created to rival Sova, how impactful is she when used instead of Sova?

trent: I think Fade is a lot more info-based, so I have to stay alive and not take as many duels as I would on Sova. It kind of puts me on a leash, in a sense. Some of the fights I take are not advantageous for me.


I feel like I'm getting better at playing Fade and working around that, so I'm always in a good position where I can get info for the team. I'm always in a good position to anchor or rotate with my utility to help the team. I feel that overall, Fade is better on some maps. But there are also a few maps where Sova is better.

Q: Riot Games has already revealed their plans to establish a franchise structure to replace the existing VCT format. What do you think about The Guard's chances of getting a franchise slot?

trent: I would hope that it's good. All the top teams in North America want to get franchised; it's the future of the game. I would like to think that we can get in, and I hope that we do get in.

Q: Do you think the franchise league structure will be beneficial to Valorant's esports ecosystem, or would you prefer competing in a tournament circuit similar to the VCT?

trent: I think in the long run, franchising will be better. Once Riot gets their foot on it, and more teams will be in it, there will be more competition, instead of just having just 8 or 10 slots and the same teams competing in every tournament. It will be better in the long run, but if you look at the short-term, a lot of teams are dropping out. It's going to be pretty rough.


Q: As you know, a few teams have already dropped out from Valorant due to Riot's franchising plans. How much did that affect The Guard when it came to finding scrims during your preparation for the VCT NA LCQ?

trent: I think our team has a really good discipline. Hence, we play against those lower-tier teams who are the only scrims you can really find right now since a lot of teams are dropping out. So you play against these Free Agent teams, and you kind of have to go into it like this is practice. We have to make sure we iron down our stuff.

We have to be disciplined. We're not just going to run it down. We're going to make sure that we're doing everything correctly. I think that mindset is needed while playing against teams right now because there's just not many teams to scrim.

Q: shroud made his VCT debut against The Guard a few days back. You maintained a tally of 22-3 kills against him on all three maps combined and was even 21-0 at one point. What do you think about this achievement?

trent: That's absurd to hear. I never really thought I would hear that. Playing against shroud and even playing that good against one of the greatest FPS players in the game boosted my confidence tremendously. I've been extremely confident ever since, and it's just a great feeling.

Q: The Guard will face FaZe Clan in the Upper Finals of VCT NA LCQ. You are yet to play against their current roster, so what are your expectations for that matchup?


trent: We kind of know how they play. All the teams know how they play, but they're just all individually talented, so you have to outsmart them and not out-aim them. I feel like we can do that.

Q: The Guard missed the opportunity to compete in Masters: Copenhagen and play in front of the first-ever live audience in VCT history. How much are you looking forward to making it to Champions and playing in front of a live crowd?

trent: That's the end goal. It's the biggest tournament of the year. It's going to have a crowd; everyone wants to go there. I feel like we have been putting in all the time. We scrim five times a day, we VOD review, we strat-run, and we do all those every single day. We have that competitive drive to make it there.

All five of us want to make it to Champions, and it's not like we think we can. We know we can. We have that mindset going in, and we will just dominate those teams.

Edited by
Soumyadyuti Ghosh
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