BABYBAY: We will “Become The Best Team in the Game”
After a respectable loss to North America’s number one team in Sentinels in the quarterfinals of First Strike, FaZe Clan’s VALORANT player Andrej “BABYBAY” Francisty sat down with Hotspawn to discuss the series, the future of the FaZe Clan team, and why his former Overwatch teammate Jay “sinatraa” Won has been able to get so good so quick.
Hotspawn: So tough opening map for you guys, I think you’ll admit that you had an uncharacteristically shaky performance.
BABYBAY: Aw man, I couldn’t get hot on that map. I don’t know what happened. I was hitting the hardest shots, like jump shotting behind truck but I couldn’t hit a normal shot to save my life.
Hotspawn: So what’s the takeaway after a bad map performance like that?
BABYBAY: I mean honestly, I didn’t know I had five kills until after the game. I felt like I was alright. I guess because Corey was carrying. But I didn’t let it dawn on me – I knew I had a bad game but whatever. I knew I’m better than that, and came into the next game like it didn’t even happen. You can’t dwell on a bad performance.
Hotspawn: Corey was terrific in map one despite the loss, and this team has lots of players who are capable of filling the duelist role: yourself, Corey, Marved; does this versatility set you apart from other teams?
BABYBAY: Oh definitely, I think the stuff we did on Split specifically. If we do that on more maps and start mixing it up, it might be good. I played Breach for the first time in pro play today and I was pretty good at it. We can play a lot of different agents. I still think we’re still trying to figure out what’s the best role for everyone. Maybe Marved can play more duelist, or I can play Omen. We still gotta figure out the perfect recipe, but I think we’re off to a good start.
Hotspawn: You woke up on the second map with a fresh agent pick for yourself: Breach. Can you speak to why this map against Sentinels was the time to bust him out? Was it influenced by the slow start on map one?
BABYBAY: This was planned. Me playing Breach on that map had nothing to do with how I played Jett on Bind. We already had our stuff planned, and we’re not gonna switch it just because someone isn’t feeling good. I was playing Breach as a troll a couple days before the tournament on Split, so I said to the guys I wanted to play it on this map. We were running triple duelist and I thought this switch would make our composition more stable. Even though we lost, I feel like it was a good pick and we just got played overall.
We still have a lot to learn
Hotspawn: Despite this loss, the whole First Strike event has been, in my mind, a big positive for this team going forward. You guys won a lot of matches throughout the qualifiers, and your only losses during First Strike came against TSM and Sentinels – arguably the #1 and #2 teams in NA. Does the big picture view soften the blow of this recent loss somehow?
BABYBAY: Yeah we kinda got unlucky with the draws. I wish there was a loser’s bracket.
Hotspawn: Do you hope to see more double-elimination tournaments in the future?
BABYBAY: Oh absolutely. I could see why some tournaments wouldn’t want to do that because it’s very time consuming, but it would have been nice to get more reps in. The way I see these tournaments right now, they’re all just practice leading up to the Tour next year. I’m not that butthurt that we lost, obviously I’d like to win, I’m very competitive, but we still have a lot to learn.
Hotspawn: This team is drastically different from the rest of NA in its composition of former Overwatch pros. Is there a “prove yourself” element to this team given the extensive Overwatch background?
BABYBAY: For sure. When people saw a team of Overwatch players get signed by FaZe, they were like “what the heck is FaZe doing?” That would be any CS player’s reaction. But all of us have played CS at some point, and I think the advantage we have is that we’re really good with abilities. Now the downside is that Overwatch is a very autopilot-y game, so switching over to this game you have to be attentive every second of every round. So it’s just about re-training our brains to be focused all the time, and that comes over time. We also have to learn a lot of the fundamentals we missed out on from CS. We’re gonna find a coach really soon, probably from a CS:GO background, and it’ll all come together and we’re going to be the best team in the game.
Hotspawn: Speaking of former Overwatch pros coming to VALORANT, sinatraa is a former teammate of yours from your San Francisco Shock days; what can you say about his ascension to the top? Can you say you saw it coming first?
BABYBAY: Oh yeah. So a lot of people would think that because he wasn’t a hit-scan player that he wouldn’t be good at VALORANT, but people don’t understand the amount of time and effort he puts into anything he does. The kid grinds non-stop and he will become good. Let’s be serious: he will never be the best aimer in the game, that’s not who he is. But he will still find a way to win. He’ll do whatever it takes. He’ll figure it out.