Throughout NUTURN Gaming’s run in the Valorant Champions Tour Masters 2: Reykjavik tournament, they have authored a couple of exhilarating results–by beating Sharks Esports and Version1–that simultaneously befuddled spectators and enticed them over their brimming potential. Nevertheless, up next in their stellar run in Valorant’s inaugural international LAN event was Sentinels, the overwhelming favourite to win it all.
Though NUTURN tried their all against the North American side by dealing their best cards at the jump by playing their best map in Bind for the first game of the series, they inevitably folded to their opponent’s ingenious skill as they lost 2-0 to sink to the lower bracket finals, where they await the winner of the EU derby between Fnatic and Team Liquid.
Fresh off their defeat to Sentinels, all members of NUTURN Gaming, including their head coach, sat down for a press conference to speak about their confrontation against one of the world’s premier teams and NA’s best chance for capturing silverware.
For Kang “solo” Keun-chul: Are there any strategies or calls that you make that are specifically gains a mental advantage over your opponent or to tilt them?
Solo: While we were playing against Sentinels, I thought that many of the strategies that we used in Korea would work really well against them. We didn’t have any specific plan to target their mentality but we thought it would work well today.
For Kim “Lakia” Jong-min: You have been very consistent so far in this tournament and been a star player for your team. What do you think was the biggest issue that Sentinels caused for you today?
Lakia: I think that Sentinels isn’t a team that has a really compact composition and strategies based on that agent comp. As opposed to that, I think they are actually based on their mechanical skills and in today’s game, our one-on-one’s were a little bit behind compared to what Sentinels brought to the game.
For Seo “Suggest” Jae-young: Sentinels let Bind free for the first time in the tournament during the drafting phase. Were you surprised by their pick?
Suggest: We weren’t surprised by the pick of Bind, but it was something that we weren’t really expecting.
For Solo: Haven has been a consistent problem for you guys throughout this tournament. What can you change to have a better result in that map going forward?
Solo: Haven is actually a map that we’re quite strong in when we’re playing in Korea, but as you can see, it’s been a struggle for us when we’re playing against NA or EU teams in Masters 2. I think we may need to change the team comp or set up some new strategies going into the next few games.
For Solo: Throughout the tournament, you all have gotten off to a slow start to open your series. Do you need a map or two to warm up or get a read on your opponent before you guys can really start doing well?
Solo: We do indeed use the first map to try and get all the players all warmed up and get really into the game, but it’s not like we intentionally throw or try not to win. We do try to win but we do use a lot of the rounds to learn more about the opponent.
For Solo: Teams at this event have IGLs that either don’t speak their language or have no IGL at all. Do you feel that having a strong leader in Valorant is key to success?
Solo: I think it’s important to have a good in-game leader but also to have [him play with] good mechanics. Each team member has to have strong mechanics as well, but if I have to put it into percentages, I would say the in-game leader would play a 60% role when it comes to winning games.
For Park “allow” Sang-wook: We’ve seen a lot of different styles with Jett in this tournament. How do you think the other regions differ from the Jett you’re used to seeing in Korea given that you guys kind of pioneered the Jett-Breach combination around five to six months ago?
Allow: I think the Jett that have been played in other regions are more focused on their personal mechanics as opposed to teamwork. But other than that, I think we’re pretty similar.
For Jung “peri” Bum-gi: Considering you’re going to face an EU opponent in the lower bracket finals, what play style will you expect to face in comparison to Sentinels’ showing?
Peri: Having played scrims with some EU teams whist being here, I would say that EU teams have a more solid tactical and teamwork approach to the game, so I think we have to be well prepared for that.
For Solo: Is there one specific strategy or comp that you could point out that worked well in Korea but hasn’t been working in this tournament as well?
Solo: The comp that we have for Haven is actually a comp that we expected to work well, but as you saw, it didn’t work very well here. We used to two duelists with Breach and combined Jett and Breach and it was something that we expected Sentinels to have difficulty dealing with because they usually depend more on personal mechanics as opposed to teamwork, so we assumed that it would work well; but it was something that obviously hadn’t been working well throughout the tournament.
For head coach Jeong “Jaemin” Jae-min: There’s a little bit of time left until we see you return on stage. What are you going to do and how are you going to work on the issues that you faced today heading into the grand finals if you make it there?
Jaemin: Before we face Sentinels we have to face an EU team so we’re going to analyze those teams and prep for that before we think ahead.