"Boaster feels confident in his role": Derke on Fnatic's victory against G2 Esports at Valorant Champions Tour 2022 EMEA Challengers

Derke comments on Fnatic's victory against G2 at Valorant Champions Tour EMEA Challengers Stage 1 (Image via Sportskeeda)
Derke comments on Fnatic's victory against G2 at Valorant Champions Tour EMEA Challengers Stage 1 (Image via Sportskeeda)

Valorant Champions Tour EMEA opened their Stage 1 Challengers tournament in exciting fashion, pitting top European teams against each other. Fnatic returned to top-tier action by defeating G2 Esports in their Day 1 fixture.

Fnatic and G2 engaged in a three-round thriller in which the sides battled it out on Icebox (13-8), Ascent (11-13) and Split (13-8) to inch closer to the coveted first place in Group B.

Both teams await their Week 2 matchups, as Fnatic and G2 are scheduled to face BBL Esports and SuperMassive Blaze, respectively.

In a conversation with Sportskeeda Esports' Adarsh J Kumar, Fnatic's Derke discussed the team's preparations for the Valorant Champions Tour 2022, their expanding Agent pool, and roster changes.

Derke comments on Fnatic's new lineup, Agent compositions and the team's preparation ahead of Valorant Champions Tour 2022

Q: Fnatic won a crucial match against one of the strongest teams in Group B. Do you think this can help you finish the Group Stage in first place?

Derke: Yes, I'm very confident that we can top Group B.

Q: What do you think about the remaining teams from Group B, namely Acend, Guild, BBL and SuperMassive Blaze?

Derke: I think we just defeated one of the best teams in our group. We have to go past Acend and Guild, which is doable for us. The rest of the matches will be much easier if we maintain the same form.

Q: The last time we saw Fnatic in action was at Valorant Champions 2021. How has the team been since the tournament? How did you prepare for Stage 1 EMEA Challengers?

Derke: Soon after the Valorant Champions ended, we got BraveAF, a new player. He arrived some time in mid-January, after which we started working on our teamwork.

Right now, we know what we want. We've all been on Valorant's big stage before, be it quarters, semis or finals. Our plan currently is to gather as much form as we can right here at the Challengers Group Stage, reach the playoffs in top form, and earn a ticket to the Stage 1 Masters.

Q: How did Fnatic end up selecting BraveAF to replace Doma? Were there any other players the team was interested in?

Derke: It was easy because there wasn't much choice of players. I knew BraveAF, so I vouched for him and got him a trial. He's been a confident pick for us ever since. It felt like he'd already been on our team for a while. He performed much better than the other trialists, so we decided to take him in. So far, it has worked out really well.

Q: Today was the first time we had seen Boaster pick KAY/O. Going forward, can we expect more surprises from Fnatic in terms of your Agent composition?

Derke: I think we're exploring our options right now. Nevertheless, Boaster feels confident in his role. Not only as KAY/O but also the Agents that people have not seen him play.

Brave was acquired to fill in for Sova and Sage. Boaster is currently focusing on playing the Initiators. They're all playing their roles well, so there's no need to change the lineup on any map.

Q: Fnatic haven’t had a chance to perform with the two new Valorant Agents, Chamber and Neon. Can we expect someone from your team to pick up either of these Agents in the future?

Derke: Since we are still exploring options, I'm not sure about us using the two new Agents in our lineup. The game keeps changing with the release of every Agent or map, so we need to decide if new Agents are worth picking up.

We're open to it. But we're also not saying that we will be picking up Chamber or Neon.

Q: Fnatic were close to wrapping up the series on Ascent, after a 9-3 first-half lead. What happened later on that led to the team conceding the map?

Derke: On Ascent, they were strong in holding down the main entry points, and I think it's an issue that we really haven't faced before. We started cracking towards the end and lost a few crucial rounds, mainly 1v1s, clutches and the like. Our team economy didn't favor us either.

Q: Fnatic wound up 2021 on a good note, emerging as one of the top eight teams at Valorant Champions. What can the Valorant community expect from Fnatic this year for VCT 2022?

Derke: We're getting stronger as a team, and all of us are hungry for victory now. We've performed at several LANs and top-tier tournaments, where we have seen a lot of defeat. Each one of us wants to win more now.

We acquired BraveAF, who is new to our team and hasn't really tasted the ups and downs that we've had, but carries the experience and maturity we need to win. I think the team chemistry is good now, and we will be much stronger this year.

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Edited by Sandeep Banerjee