100T Ethan: I don’t think we comeback against Gambit if we played online
As still the newest member of 100 Thieves VALORANT, Ethan Arnold joined the team with the most recent LAN experience of anyone alongside new teammate Nicholas “nitr0” Cannella. Both players had been playing high-level CS:GO for two of the top NA teams offline in the beginning of 2020, and stuck around for a portion of the online era caused by COVID-19.
Ethan joined 100T VALORANT in late February 2021, at hit the ground running by debuting in the final Challengers event of NA VCT Stage One. After a few months and another stage, 100 Thieves finally put all their pieces in place, reaching Masters Three Berlin after a second place finish in the Challengers Playoffs.
Following 100 Thieves’ exceptional comeback against Gambit Esports, Ethan sat down with Hotspawn to discuss what he missed most about LAN, the 9-3 scoreline, his first impressions of international VALORANT, and the similarities he sees in a region’s CS:GO and VALORANT teams.
Scott Robertson, Hotspawn Esports: What did you miss the most about being back on LAN?
Ethan Arnold, 100 Thieves: The atmosphere. Even with no crowd, playing in the same space as your opponents, I think it just gives a completely different atmosphere in the game. Especially given the difference between being online in your room and being able to hear your teammates, now you can see them and actually congratulate them when things go the right way. You also have that little bonus motivation when you’re beating people you can see right across from you.
Hotspawn: Is this your first big LAN event without a crowd? What’s that experience been like?
Ethan: I mean a crowd is always a completely different experience like it’s on a whole other level when there’s a big crowd. But like I said before, if you’re in the same space as the opponent you’re playing against, then it’s still a good feeling. Especially when you have the right players on your team that are super hype and loud.
Hotspawn: Does having everyone together fuel a comeback like that against Gambit? Does that happen online?
Ethan: No, I think if we were online, we definitely lose that game for sure. I think the energy everyone brought on our team definitely propelled us through that map. I don’t think it would happen online if we weren’t with each other.
Hotspawn: You guys were on both sides of the infamous 9-3 scoreline, with you guys coming back on Icebox and having to hold off a comeback on Split. Were you concerned about the cursed scoreline?
Ethan: Yeah, 9-3’s are scary. It was kind of up and down, we won the pistol and then we lost the round after. I mean that’s nothing new to us, losing the second round after winning pistol, but I think we did enough prep work. We were confident enough in our game plan even though we lost a couple rounds.
Hotspawn: What’s something you used against Havan that just wasn’t working the same way against Gambit, particularly on Ascent?
Ethan: Their playstyle was definitely different. I think Havan Liberty was a little more aggressive at certain points. They have the comp that allows that and I don’t think Gambit does. But Gambit did seem like the typical European team though; the slow play, the prodding here and there, going back and forth. We kind of expected that and that’s what we saw. But Havan was a lot faster.
Hotspawn: What are your first impressions of international VALORANT play?
Ethan: Gambit have us some trouble, especially being the best European team. I didn’t expect anything less. Playing Havan Liberty seemed a bit underwhelming. We scrimmed KRU a couple times now, and they actually impressed a lot, and watching their match today they played pretty well. So we expected a little more from Havan Liberty.
Hotspawn: Did you notice a lot of similarities in playstyles between VALORANT and CS:GO teams from the same region?
Ethan: Honestly they’re pretty similar now that you ask. Like I said I think Brazilians play a little faster and that was kind of what it was like in the beginning of CS, and even now a bit with FURIA. Europe’s always been known for their methodical play and trying to make sense of everything, at least compared to NA and Asia and Brazil.