Fnatic’s Valorant team – featuring two UK players and a UK coach – reached the grand final of the 2021 Valorant Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters this evening.
They beat South Korean team NUTURN Gaming 2-1 to reach the final, where they hope to take revenge against North American side Sentinels, who beat Fnatic 2-0 earlier in round one of the upper bracket.
Fnatic then fought their way through the lower bracket to make the final, beating Team Liquid – another side with UK talent – along the way.
It’s fair to say the UK has not achieved on the grand stage in CSGO, so how come we’ve got off to a great start in Valorant?
Fnatic’s British head coach for Valorant, Jacob ‘mini’ Harris, told Esports News UK in a press conference this evening: “I think, basically before CSGO, I was from Counter-Strike: Source, and we actually had a good scene in Source. Even at the start of CSGO, we had some big name players like RattlesnK, RE1EASE and Hughsy, these are some big name players that did perform quite well at the start.
“But unfortunately the infrastructure wasn’t there at the start of the game, so they kind of went off and did their own things, and we were left with a UK scene that wasn’t so strong. And I think, basically it turned into an attitude problem.
“The past 10 years or so in CSGO has been a big attitude problem [in the UK]. So when a new game came out, the people who actually wanted to win were the people who switched over [to Valorant] and they’re the ones grinding it. So I think that’s what we’re left with.”
Elsewhere in the press conference, Fnatic’s UK team captain Jake ‘Boaster’ Howlett said: “We love a lower bracket grind. I’m happy, the boys are happy, and we’re going into the grand finals baby!”
Fellow UK player James ‘Mistic’ Orfila also spoke of Boaster’s energy, enthusiasm and positive attitude: “He’s a good hype man. If it wasn’t for his energy I don’t think we’d be here. It’s a nice thing to have and it will continue to push us forward.”
Fnatic face-off against Sentinels in the Masters 2 final from 6pm BST on Sunday May 30th 2021 on the Valorant Twitch channel.
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.