Interview with FIRST Gaming, a one-man Japanese Valorant organization
2/25/2021, 10:57:40 PM
VCT Japan Challengers 1 had some great matches, didn’t it? What do you mean you don’t know what happened? Well lucky for you, we did a whole event recap with all the matches and their results. One of the standout teams from that tournament is FIRST Gaming. The impressive part is that they are a relatively unknown Japanese team that came out of nowhere and tied a match against BlackBird Ignis, who placed second at First Strike Japan. I knew I had to interview them, and lucky for us their owner, Taki, was more than happy to talk about the team and how they came together.
RunItBack: FIRST Gaming is a fairly new team in Valorant. Tell us a bit more about how the team was started and how you picked the players on your roster.
Taki: The team started from scratch and I am actually the only staff member. I didn’t have any connections or know-how but I really like esports and I wanted to have my own team. I guess you can say that FIRST Gaming started simply because esports is my hobby.
At first, I used SNS (social media services) to recruit players, but I couldn’t get anyone together. So I scouted about 30-40 people and I picked the best players from that group to be on the roster.
RunItBack: In First Strike, you were eliminated in Qualifier #1. In VCT, you did much better and made it to Challengers 2. What do you think helped the team do better?
Taki: We practice 5 days a week and only for 4 hours but we try to practice efficiently. First Strike was a tournament for the players to get a feel for playing together. That’s when we were able to see the differences between the professionals and ourselves. I think our placement at VCT is the result of us reflecting on First Strike and improving on our mistakes. All the players, coaches, and analysts did their best and of course, we had a little more luck than at First Strike.
RunItBack: You tied a match with BlackBird Ignis, the team that placed 2nd at First Strike. How did that victory feel?
Taki: We were very proud to have been able to tie with BlackBird Ignis. I was especially happy because I felt the players’ growth from First Strike to VCT. BlackBird Ignis didn’t have data on how we played though so I think our next game against them will be tougher.
RunItBack: In Challengers 2, you are in Group A with Absolute JUPITER who is one of the best teams in Japan. There is a chance that you will have to fight them in a match, how does the team feel about that?
Taki: We are very excited to have the opportunity. Honestly, any outcome of a match against Absolute JUPITER is just valuable experience for the team. I think the fans are looking forward to it as well.
RunItBack: If you could face any professional team in Valorant, who would it be and why?
Taki: Personally, I would like to see us play another match against REJECT. I think it would be interesting to see.
RunItBack: Lastly, I’m sure you have many more fans after your fantastic performance at VCT. Is there anything you would like them to know?
Taki: I want the fans to pay attention to each individual player. All five are unique and interesting in their own way. I hope that fans will feel their charm not only at VCT, but through their personal live streams and SNS.
*The answers were obtained through the use of Google Translate. As such, they have been modified for the sake of clarity and brevity.
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