Entering VCT Champions 2022 Istanbul as one of the favorites to win the trophy is LOUD, one of Brazil's two representatives at the event. LOUD were one victory away from the VCT Masters: Reykjavik title in Stage 1. However, the team was among the first two to be eliminated in the VCT Stage 2 Masters: Copenhagen.
LOUD returns to the grand stage to compete in Valorant Champions 2022, the biggest Valorant tournament of the year and the conclusion of the year-long Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) circuit.
Upon entering the Group Stage, LOUD was slotted into Group B, alongside OpTic Gaming, ZETA DIVISION, and BOOM Esports. They toppled ZETA DIVISION with a flawless 2-0 victory in their opening matchup. In the Group B Winner's matchup, however, LOUD fell to OpTic Gaming by a 1-2 scoreline after an enthralling series.
LOUD will play their final match of the Group Stage against the Japanese contenders, ZETA DIVISION, in a fight for the final playoffs spot from Group B.
LOUD's IGL Saadhak talks about their performance against OpTic Gaming at VCT Champions 2022 Istanbul
In a conversation with Adarsh J Kumar of Sportskeeda Esports, LOUD's in-game leader (IGL), Matias "Saadhak" Delipetro, talked about the team's performance at VCT Champions 2022 Istanbul so far. He also shared his thoughts on the game's evolving meta and the future of Valorant franchising.
Q: We saw an incredible start from LOUD today on Breeze. What do you think went wrong later on in Fracture and Pearl?
Saadhak: On Fracture, we got read. They knew what we were going to do. We kind of adapted a bit late. As for Pearl, we did have a gameplan, but the way they played was kind of hard to counter.
They were just going to the bombsite and holding us out, so we didn't know how to execute properly. We didn't know how to work the map around, at least not on the attacker's side. By the time we discovered how to, it was too late.
Q: This is your fourth time playing against OpTic. How do you think they performed compared to the expectations you had for them?
Saadhak: We were not surprised by them at all, maybe a bit on Pearl. We basically know how they play. They are a really aggressive team,. They are also a team that tries to do something different every round. We knew that, but its kind of hard to play against that.
Q: We haven’t seen LOUD in action since VCT Masters: Copenhagen back in July. How have you been preparing for an event as big as Champions?
Saadhak: We did a bootcamp in Spain, which was pretty good. We managed to learn a lot. I know we lost today, but it was a really close loss, in the second map, at least. We improved a lot in Spain and we're trying to do our best here.
Q: We saw you play on Pearl for the first time today. We also saw a mirror Agent comp from both the competing sides. Pearl, however, is still a new map with fresh strategies. Considering that, what do you think the meta on this map will turn out to be?
Saadhak: I think the way we played and the Agents that we picked is the way that the game should be played on Pearl. But we're still trying to figure out some things. We're going to do a review and see what we can do better. But I think that's the meta for Pearl right now. Maybe Sage instead of KAY/O, like how 100 Thieves played. But other than that, what we did is the meta for sure.
Q: Riot recently revealed the layout for Valorant franchising. After looking at the structure for the next five years, what are your thoughts on the future of Valorant esports?
Saadhak: I think it's very promising. The fact that they're franchising everything and giving the opportunity for teams to be in the franchise league via competing is really good. They can compete and enter the franchise. I think it's pretty clever. Five years from now, I think it's going to be great and much bigger.
Q: LOUD has never played against most of the teams here at VCT Champions. Considering that, which team are you looking forward to playing against the most in the playoffs?
Saadhak: We don't have any team we want to play against. We just don't want to play OpTic anymore, please. (*laughs*) Other than that, every team we face is new for us, and we are excited to play against them. Hence, we don't have a preference.
Q: LOUD set the standard for Brazilian Valorant back in Iceland when you were one win away from the VCT Stage 1 Masters title. How confident are you in winning your remaining matches and having a tournament run even better than the one you had in Masters: Reykjavik?
Saadhak: I think all the teams here have adapted and learned more things since Iceland. It's going to be hard to make a run that successful again, mainly because we just lost right now. We had just lost in the Grand Finals the last time. Right now, I think we have a great opportunity to bounce back and make a successful recovery.