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NRG Daps: ‘Big role changes’ coming before next VCT

Scott Robertson

After a promising start to the VCT NA Challengers Finals, NRG VALORANT had an off day on Friday that snowballed into elimination. Back-to-back losses to Cloud9 Blue then Version1 saw NRG’s aspirations for the first LAN in Iceland end, and it’s back to the drawing board.

NRG Daps

Daps is a familiar face to NRG fans, but faces a new test in turning around the VALORANT roster. Image via Adela Sznajder for DreamHack.

Like many teams suffering an off day, NRG’s Damian “Daps” Steele attributes the losses to communication and teamwork mishaps. But according to him, some pretty significant changes to the team’s composition and style are on the way. NRG Daps spoke to Hotspawn after the team’s loss to V1.

Hotspawn: It’s no easy task playing an elimination series after taking a loss, especially after a close loss on Ascent against C9. What does the preparation process look like when the turnaround is that quick?

daps: You just have to go off past experiences playing the team you play [next]. But it’s not ideal, obviously, because they get to sit the match before, and they’re more rested than we are. But it’s not an excuse. We just played bad.

Hotspawn: For future events, would you like to see the schedule altered so that teams avoid back-to-backs like you guys played?

Daps: It’s something to be considered for sure.

Hotspawn: What’s going to be a primary focus for the team in preparing for stage three?

Daps: The big thing is role changes. As a team, we haven’t been in the best roles we should be in for the players we have, and when we’ve tried to change roles, there’s been another qualifier then another qualifier. You only have a week or two between to even change anything, and if it’s not clicking in like three to four days, you want to revert back so you can be your best self for that moment. I think we finally have time to make the changes we wanted to.

Hotspawn: A lot of firepower and playmaking comes from Tex and ANDROID as duelists. You’ve played with a lot of really talented players over the years. What’s going to be the key to translating their ability into more team wins?

Daps: Our team’s communication is really, really bad. We got eco’d a ton today and lost a lot of 1v2s and 1v3s. You especially see it on [defense] at times when we just kind of fall apart. It doesn’t really matter how good someone’s aim is if you’re not communicating and on the same page, so teams will exploit you.

Hotspawn: Several rounds on Ascent thrown away, which really ended up being the difference-maker in the deciding map. What stuck out as the biggest issue facing the team on map two?

Daps: Our communication and teamwork, and understanding of timing was just really bad today. And even on normal days, it’s still not the best.

Hotspawn: It sounds like there’s going to be a lot of overhaul over the next few weeks. Do you already have changes in mind?

Daps: I think we know the roles we want people to move to already, but they’re pretty big changes that we couldn’t have done in time for this tournament. We haven’t had that much time with Tex to add stuff like that. We picked him up, and then we played a qualifier like a week later. This whole year has just been constant qualifiers.

Hotspawn: You have a lot of time to prepare for the next stage. How much emphasis do you plan on putting on practicing Breeze?

Daps: We play every map at the moment, but I guess that depends on how our playstyle shifts after the role changes. We’ll see how scrims go.