The Esports Club (TEC) Challenger Series 8 Main Event kicked off on August 12, featuring four of the most elite Valorant rosters in South Asia.
After some enticing Group Stage performances, Velocity Gaming, Revenant Esports, Orangutan, and Enigma Gaming qualified for the LAN event in Bangalore, India, where the teams will contest for their share of the 1,500,000 INR prize pool.
Revenant Esports, one of India's leading Valorant rosters, fought their way through the tournament's Qualifier #1 to earn a spot in the Group Stage. After enjoying a 2-1 run in the groups, Revenant sealed their spot in the main event, where they will attempt to secure the winner's cheque.
On Day 1 of the TEC Challenger Series LAN, Revenant took on Velocity Gaming in a best-of-three matchup, falling short of a victory by a narrow margin. However, fans can expect Revenant Esports to bounce back with a victory in their crucial elimination match against Enigma Gaming on Day 2.
Whimp talks about Revenant Esports' performance at the TEC Challenger Series Valorant LAN event
In an exclusive interview with Adarsh J Kumar of Sportskeeda Esports, Revenant Esports' in-game leader, Saaransh "Whimp" Dang, discussed the team's performance at Valorant's TEC Challenger Series so far. He also detailed their expectations for the rest of the tournament.
Q: Revenant had a great start to the TEC Challenger Series. How would you describe your Group Stage experience at the tournament?
Whimp: Honestly, it was a very good experience. When we first saw the groups, in the back of our minds, we all knew that we had to get through. If we didn't get through that Group Stage, it would've been our own fault. We would've lost only if we dropped the ball in any way. Other than that, I don't think we would've missed out on qualification.
Q: Who would you say were the toughest opponents you faced in the Group Stage?
Whimp: Our Group Stage was much easier than the other group. I would definitely say our toughest opponent was Orangutan since we lost to them.
Q: You’ve been playing the Initiator role since you joined Revenant's Valorant roster, mostly juggling between Skye and Breach. We’ve seen you play Fade a few times, but only on Ascent so far. How effective do you think Fade is, and what’s the reason you’ve played the Agent only on Ascent?
Whimp: In my previous teams, I used to play a Sentinel role. But when I joined Revenant, I had to IGL. I thought that the most effective Agents I can play while IGL-ing are Initiators, especially the primary Initiator. This is so that I can be a part of the plays and dictate the mid-round plays as well. It would be very easy to IGL with Initiators, which is why I picked the role.
In terms of Fade, she is an S-tier Initiator right now. I only play the Agent on Ascent because she is the primary Initiator on that map. On other maps, I want to play Fade, but I cannot because I have to play Breach.
I think Fade is kind of good on every map. She can be played on any map and be very effective. There are some things that people still don't know about Fade, which makes her an elite Agent. We will see a lot of Fade in the upcoming games.
Q: Recently, we saw Revenant play on Valorant's latest map, Pearl, for the first time ever. What are your thoughts on the map and what kind of Agent composition do you think will eventually make up the meta on Pearl?
Whimp: I think Valorant's Pearl reminds us a lot about a map from CS: GO - Ancient. When we saw Pearl for the first time, all of us thought of Ancient. I personally feel that the meta will be all about mid-control, both as a Defender and Attacker.
I think the meta Agents on Pearl right now are Neon, Breach, and Fade. I think everyone is playing these three Agents right now. As for our team, we just thought about the Agents that will benefit us in taking control of Mid and not letting our opponents take Mid. Even our comp is not the final one right now, but the meta is probably going to involve Fade, Neon, and Breach.
Q: Over the last few months, Revenant parted ways with Ember and Scargod and acquired blackhawk and Paradox in their place. How did these changes help shape Revenant Esports?
Whimp: With Scargod, I think it was less about in-game stuff and more about external factors. He had to attend his MBA as well; he just started his course. It was very hard for him to travel back and forth to bootcamp. The team and the org wanted players who could stay in the bootcamp, and Scargod's MBA had just started.
When Scargod said that he had to go for an MBA, the first person that came to everyone's mind was Paradox because he played extremely well in the SCS Group Stage. We all knew how good he was. Even after playing with him for a month, we figured that he was the best pick we have had since I joined Revenant.
Q: As you know, Riot Games has plans to set up a franchise league for Valorant next year, compromising the existing VCT structure. What do you think the future of Indian Valorant will look like after this season concludes?
Whimp: I think Riot Games is a very good company; they're not like Valve. We've already seen how the domestic structure works in Europe, with the VRLs (Valorant Regional League). I don't know much about what is going to happen after franchising, but what I've heard is, we are probably going to get VRL or something of that sort.
South Asia has its own structure in terms of organizers and tournaments. We have TEC and Skyesports, who all the players are very thankful towards for organizing events every 15 days or a month. I don't think there ever is a one-week vacancy where there is no event that we're not playing in.
I don't think it (franchising) will affect much in terms of domestic events, but compared to VCT, where we have three VCTs and can go to APAC, I don't know how it will work. I hope that Riot has a plan for South Asia.
Q: You had your first Valorant LAN experience at SCS Chennai. What are your expectations for the TEC Challenger Series Playoffs, considering you’ll be playing in front of an audience once again, in a LAN setup?
Whimp: The last LAN I played in CS: GO was in 2019, so this feels refreshing. Every player wants to play at a LAN with an audience to hype all their plays, engage in banter and taunt each other, so I'm all up for that. I just want to play as many LANs as I can.
When we talk about the last LAN, I think we just fell a couple of rounds short against Global Esports. The goal is to win a LAN, no matter what. This time, however, we're just taking it one round at a time, and we'll see how it goes from there.