Guild X certainly didn’t achieve the start to its 2022 Valorant Game Changers Championship campaign that it was hoping for. Coming in as the number one team from EMEA, the British-based side took an early L against NA second seed Shopify Rebellion, dropping into the lower bracket as a result.
However, Guild X had little time to lick its wounds before its second matchup against East Asian representative FENNEL Female. They say that an injured beast is the most dangerous – something the team proved to devastating effect as it tore through its prey 13-3 on Pearl, and 13-5 on Haven.
Chatting to The Loadout after the FENNEL series, IGL Klaudia ‘klaudia’ Beczkiewicz was certainly a lot happier with how the team approached this match than the one that had transpired the day before. During the post-match interview, klaudia reveals more about how the team approaches Pearl – especially with the unique Killjoy pick – her Champs experience so far, and where she feels the strengths of each region lie.
The Loadout: klaudia thank you so much for joining me. I just wanted to start by getting your thoughts on today’s series.
klaudia: There were a lot of issues that we had yesterday. Most of them revolved around communication for a lot of the players – it’s their first LAN, we’re playing a really good team from NA, and there was just a lot of pressure. The games [against Shopify Rebellion] were close – I mean, apart from Icebox, I don’t know what that was – but the first two maps were very close. I feel like, overall, we made a lot of mistakes. And our main focus after that loss was to fix those mistakes.
Today was 100% better. There was a lot more crossfiring, peeking together, and people taking initiative, so that’s why I feel like it looked a lot better. I don’t think that FENNEL is a bad team. On the pistol round on Pearl, when they had a flawless victory against us, I was like, ‘okay, this is a game where we need to step up’, [though] I felt like when we started gaining momentum FENNEL started shutting down a bit. But overall, I think that they’re a great team.
The team definitely looked a lot more dominant on Pearl today. What has the general approach to the map been coming into the tournament?
Going into this tournament we did make a lot of adjustments for Pearl, because we changed our comp, and added a bunch of new strats and defaults – we have a different way of approaching the map.
I know that the Shopify series was a little bit shaky, but Pearl is one of our best maps going into the tournament. It’s probably our most-practiced map, and our biggest focus after the (Series 3) Finals was fixing our Pearl, as well as our Bind. I feel like these maps are really good picks for us, and I don’t think the result against Shopify really does it [our Pearl] justice.
I remember when Pearl first came into the VCT for Champions, and teams who played it definitely had a map veto advantage over those who didn’t. Do you feel like Pearl is going to be banned away from you in the future, or do you feel that most teams at the tournament have a decent enough grip on it now?
I think teams are exploring Pearl more than they’re exploring Fracture. In the vetoes I see a lot of the teams are still banning Fracture, and even in EMEA at the last Game Changers with Pearl in the map pool, people were still banning Fracture and choosing to play Pearl.
I really like Pearl, and I really like Fracture, so I’m very confident calling on them as an IGL, and very confident playing them. But, yeah, I think that a lot of teams are picking up Pearl and it’s cool – it’s a good map.
While we’re on the topic of Pearl, I have to ask about the Killjoy pick. As something we don’t often see on the map, and something you’ve really been championing so far at Champs, what does she bring to your composition?
So there’s two reasons why we have Killjoy, the first one being Vivian ‘roxi’ Schilling’s a really great Killjoy. This is probably her best agent, and if I think about her playing Killjoy versus playing any other agent, I know 100% she will perform on her.
The other thing is that Valorant is such a creative game. I don’t think that there’s one magical strat, one magical comp, and when you have a Killjoy, a lot of teams don’t have a Killjoy. In practice, we constantly play against Chambers – we know how to deal with them. But what teams don’t know how to do is deal with a Killjoy ult.
[For example], on B-Site there’s that little cubby you can ult on, and then you can take space etc. But overall it really helps in post-plant and executing, and it’s the same with A-Site. So I feel like there’s a lot of creativity with it.
I watch a lot of VODs, and I understand the meta. However, we find what works for our team as well, and Killjoy’s a really good pick for roxi. If, one day, we decided to change the agent – maybe to a Sage which is more traditional – she would 100% be on board. But we practice it in scrims and regular practice, and it works really well. I think we use Killjoy more as a contact setup for Breach than an actual anchor anchor, so she [roxi] has a lot of creativity with the role.
Prior to today’s match I really loved the duo walkouts that you did with the FENNEL players, despite it perhaps being bittersweet. What’s it been like being here on the international stage for the first time in Valorant, being able to interact with these players, and are there teams that you’ve actually had the chance to really get close to while you’ve been here?
Honestly, no. I’ve seen Anastasia ‘Glance’ Anisimova from G2 a lot, and the only time I’ve seen them is when we’re walking down the hallway. I’ve seen Melanie ‘meL’ Capone and Alexis ‘alexis’ Guarrasi as they’re always together, and I’m always with roxi – we always cross paths, but overall I haven’t really gotten to know anybody because the schedule has been really hardcore in terms of preparing.
[With that said] I have to say Catalina ‘baesht’ Arancibia from KRÜ is probably the friendliest person I’ve met. She’s very open to chatting, always interacting on social media, and when she sees you in person she gives you a hug.
I definitely have a lot of respect for people who are friendly like that, because of course it’s a game and we’re competition, but she’s the definition of someone who’s there to make friends. But overall, it’s definitely not as much [interaction with other pros] as we’d like to see.
In terms of ‘how is the first international event?’ I think it’s so cool to see these other teams compete and see what their regional strengths and weaknesses are, as well as how they approach the game. It’s been such a cool experience.
Thinking about those regional differences, I was wondering if you could talk to what kind of qualities each region brings, and where you feel their strengths are?
I’ll start with Brazil and LATAM. KRÜ are very confident. I was watching their game live from the crowd and they’re very positive. Even if the score is like 1-6, they’re hyping each other up. I think that’s a strength because when you’re playing on LAN it’s a mental game – you need to be mentally strong – and KRÜ has that.
Team Liquid has a lot of firepower, and everyone on that team has their moments – I think that’s what makes them special. Today when we were watching their game versus Shopify, realistically that could’ve been a 2-0 for Shopify but they have that mental strength and started coming back one round at a time.
I think NA and EMEA are the closest in terms of skill. Not to disrespect any of the other regions, but I think in terms of quality of practice NA and EMEA have the biggest scenes, so I think this is potentially why they get the highest quality of practice, especially against some of the comps.
For example, I think that FENNEL is very creative with some of its comps, but some of them just don’t work. I don’t like having a Chamber on Haven because there are three sites and it’s really hard. But I think that’s possibly just a lack of them being able to practice against other comps, or maybe it’s common in the region.
I also think FENNEL is such a charismatic team, and it was so nice to see them here. I think a strength of theirs is that they’re always positive, always smiling, and they show their passion which I think is hard to do during a competition sometimes.
X10 I was very surprised by. Watching the game versus KRÜ live they were so hyped, and this is so important when it comes to playing. Like I said, it’s a mental game, they’re on LAN, and you could hear them from the crowd.
I also feel that a lot of them have really good aim – I was watching some of the rounds and they were getting like 4K’s that were all headshots. Before the game started I thought KRÜ was going to win, but X10 surprised me, and it’s a good thing because that means there’s a lot of potential in that region.
You’ll be able to see if klaudia and Guild X can continue their lower bracket run when they come up against Cloud9 White later on today.