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Envy FNS: “It’s going to be hard for teams to be ready us”

Jalen Lopez

Envy VALORANT entered the VALORANT Champions Tour Masters One tournament as one of the best teams in the region. But Faze Clan sent the team to the lower bracket with a 2-0 loss, which forced Envy to have to fight its way back to the top. Envy had little trouble beating Luminosity 2-0 and will face Gen.G in round three of the lower bracket.

Envy FNS

FNS and crashies are confident the Envy lineup is ready for any opponent. Image via Dreamhack.

Envy’s in-game leader Pujan “FNS” Mehta and Austin “crashies” Roberts spoke with Hotspawn after their victory against Luminosity. The two discussed the team’s preparation for the match, how they bounced back from the loss against FaZe, and how their consistent roster is working.

Hotspawn: What did your team do to prepare against Luminosity?

FNS: It was a similar preparation. I usually just watch the games of the other team, figure out how they play. Not necessarily anti-strat, but just let the players know what to expect. Timings and stuff like that. Maybe we’ll adjust our defaults a little bit to how the other team plays just to mess with their heads a little bit in case they watched our games, which usually teams do.

Other than that, not much went into it. We don’t try to overthink things too much. I’ve done that in the past, especially in CS, where I’ve kind of overthought or over anti-stratted, and it just doesn’t work out. But the LG match is up is pretty good for us. The style that they play is slow, and obviously, as you saw last week, we have a hard time versus aggressive teams like FaZe. So, this was a way better match-up for us going in.

Crashies: We worked on our maps that we knew were kind of weak. We kind of gave up on Icebox because we knew Luminosity likes that map, and we were having a rough time in the past two matches on it, you can say, so we just thought whatever, just ban it. We worked on the other four maps in our pool, got really strong at those, and that was it.

Hotspawn: Did the loss against FaZe affect your preparation at all?

FNS: no, not our preparation. It may have hit our confidence a little bit just because the brand that they play is extremely, in my eyes, it can’t go on forever. It’s extremely inconsistent, but it’s really good at the moment. I’m not trying to offend them by that; it’s just how I see it. I just think it’s overly aggressive, and I think if my players are firing on all cylinders just like theirs, our playstyle still beats theirs. But they have a really good playstyle if they gain momentum, and it’s really hard to stop them. So for the players that they have and the Agents they pick, I think they have the perfect style. But it didn’t really affect us going into this game.

crashies: Yea, I mean FaZe plays a very unique style right now that teams aren’t familiar with. I mean, we weren’t familiar with it. We kind of knew what they were doing, but it didn’t really make us change our comps or how we thought about the game. It was just kind of like a one-off match, you can say. It didn’t really change anything in the LG game, we maybe switch some of our defaults around, but we kind of kept it the same, to be honest.

Hotspawn: What is the best counter against that strategy?

FNS: Counter-aggression is really good against them, but also just overstacking bombsites and letting them run into you is very strong. The issue is when you’re not hitting your shots. If you’re on point as well, and you get those first couple of rounds on them, they don’t fake or anything. They don’t use Sentinels, which means they’re always flank prone so long as you get a couple of kills in the site.

So, in that sense, I think the way to beat them and the way teams should play against them, or the way I would play against them, is ideally just since they dont throw any fees, just overstack sites or aggress them back and play to kill them before they get to run any strategies. When you counter-agress, it shuts down their momentum. They’re at their best when they’re pressing W, but their utility isn’t on point all the time. If you let them hit a site that you’re overstacked at, that’s also a solution because they just jump, and you’re able to pick them off one by one. But again, it comes down to hitting your shots.

Hotspawn: Do you think FaZe’s style is sustainable?

crashies: Their style relies entirely on corey and babybay popping off, especially babybay. If you shut them down, they don’t really have a backup plan, in my opinion. I do agree with the sense that they don’t really have a sustainable style, but I think it works now because the game is so new, and people have to adapt to new playstyles. I could be entirely wrong, and they could have a consistent playstyle; it’s just how teams adapt. Every team will play FaZe differently.

Hotspawn: Has your consistent roster helped your team perform?

FNS: Consistency is really good for chemistry. In that sense, I think we’re a little bit ahead of every team in terms of chemistry, other than maybe Gen.G, but they also made a change pretty recently. We’re definitely high on our chemistry, but the problem is when you have the same roster, you can also become stale.

When teams watch your games, they can see how you play and your tendencies because there is just so much footage of the same players playing together. Teams are able to gather the rhythm of how I call, how specific players play, and can anti us a little easier. That’s the con to never making a roster change and always being the same, but if we reinvent ourselves, which we’re going to do and what we try to do. If we reinvent ourselves, it’s going to be hard for teams to be ready us, and going forward, that’s our goal.

crashies: We’ve went through a rough patch definitely as a team. We never really thought about roster changes; we kind of just stuck our heads down and went back to the drawing board and back to grinding. But then you look at 100 Thieves who just picked up Ethan because he was overall just a bigger name, a better CS player. I think in the long run, it was actually a better decision because Ethan’s record and history; he has so many tournament placings, which dicey didn’t have.

I think that for our team, we know that we’re a good team, and we know what it’s like to kind of screw up and beat ourselves. For us, just keeping the same five kind of taught us not to lose to ourselves. I do think roster changes may be necessary sometimes, but I think us as a team is doing really good right now.

Envy will face Gen.G in round three of the lower bracket on Saturday, March 20th, at 2:00 pm CT.