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[INTERVIEW] JoshRT after G2 Esports edge out Leviatán "It was some of the best and the worst Valorant I've ever seen from my team"

[INTERVIEW] JoshRT after G2 Esports edge out Leviatán "It was some of the best and the worst Valorant I've ever seen from my team"

12 May
Ganesh Jadhav

At the VCT Americas Split 1 Playoffs Lower Finals, G2 Esports faced Leviatán in a best-of-five series. The series went the distance concluding on Ascent, where G2 Esports defeated Leviatán 13-11, winning the match 3-2.

With the win, the North American squad secures a rematch against 100 Thieves in the Grand Finals. Following the G2-LEV game, Strafe interviewed G2 Head Coach Josh "JoshRT" Lee to talk about the game, their destined rematch against 100 Thieves and more.

[Interviewer] How are you?

I'm good, how are you?

[Interviewer] I'm good. First of all, congratulations on the win, congratulations on making it to Shanghai. It was a long game, what are your thoughts on the game?

I just had like 30 heart attacks, man. It was some of the best and the worst Valorant I've ever seen from my team.

And it was a battle of grit and grind and resilience, and I'm glad my boys pulled it through.

[Interviewer] Throughout the Split, G2 Esports has had trouble closing out maps, despite getting into multiple advantageous positions. We saw it today too. What is the reason behind it?

It really comes down to just pressure, and learning to deal with pressure. You know, this squad, the core has been from the last year, and we were really good under pressure last year. And we were able to close out those advantageous rounds constantly.

And that was a testament to the players, and the totality of that team, with Tex and neT, along with JonahP, valyn, and Trent. Now with the new additions, some of the understandings of how we want to play those situations kind of fall off in those moments. And when you're pressured and you're nervous like that, you don't really have a good sense of time.

And sometimes it's hard to just get that situational awareness. So a lot of what I've been focusing on is having the dead players communicate more. Just trying to inform the players alive, like, ‘yo, this is the situation, this is 2v1, you got time on your side, or what have you.’

And so, yeah, I mean, that's been the bane for us, trying to close out those leads. And we felt that again today. But I think with this win, this is a turnaround for us.

At least a lesson learned, where we can grind this out, guys. We can take the mistakes, be okay with it, and still perform the next round, and the next round. And we just try to mental reset as much as we can.

Because the guys, when they let a lead slip, they would just feel worse and worse. And I tried my best to get them out of that mental. So, honestly, props to Valen for his leadership.

I asked a lot for him these past couple days, to try to step up and enable the players more. Because everyone's nervous, man. So it's just all about leadership at that moment.

[Interviewer] Talking about Valyn, since you mentioned him. He had an absolutely banger of a game. 101 kills as an IGL.Can you reflect on his role as an IGL for your squad? Especially his role in bringing Icy up to speed?

Yeah, so. Something that I took away from the 100 Thieves game in the upper finals, was that in those moments where we were letting the lead slip, and we were under heavy pressure. The players will look to Valyn to make the right calls and lead them.

And sometimes, as a young leader, you shy away from that responsibility. So, it's all about telling him, ‘hey, we have to step up there. We have to step up.’

I know it's really hard. But call out names, tell them what to do, and get them in the flow. Put them in the right position to succeed.

So, Jacob(Icy) wasn't, by his own admission, not having the best game. And not everyone's going to have the best game, right? So, it's just up to the IGL and all of us to try to help that one person that's not having a good game.

And just get him into good positions. And then once he's got that flow state, then you can let go, right? So, it's a little micromanagement until he feels comfortable about the round, and then you just let go.

[Interviewer] The Icebox loss had to be tough on the team, you lost by a very slim margin and it must be hard mentally coming back from that? What was the discussion like after the map

I mean, we lost a 3v1. That was like... How did we lose that 3v1?

We lost so many of these rounds. And they shouldn't have won those clutches. What I talked about was...

I told them straight, we are better than this team. We're just missing these details near the end, right? And it's all about trying to reset your focus onto the next game and just believing in how we play again and not let those past mistakes cloud your mind.

For me, it's just me telling them, hey, just think about the next game. So I start talking about how we should adjust the game plan, and just have them think about the next thing. Because if they start thinking about Icebox and how we lost that, I feel like their mental will be crushed.

Again, the players did a great job in trying to reset. They were all hyping each other up. We had that.

We just messed up a few rounds. Let's get this next one.

G2 Esports will face 100 Thieves in the Grand Finals. The winner not only secures the title for VCT Americas Split 1 but also for a direct Playoffs seeding in VALORANT Masters Shanghai. Additionally, the first seed from each region gets to choose their round 1 opponents in the playoffs. 

[Interviewer] Are there any major adjustments you would have to make before facing 100 Thieves tomorrow?

I think... they were good at identifying some of our plays and setups. They did a lot of good prep work, I think.

Sometimes we give away too much space. Leviatán kind of abused a little bit of that, where they did a lot of contact plays and what-not. It's all about trying to identify the style that 100 Thieves likes to run and then adjusting for it.

They're going to adjust again. Just making live adaptations is so important in this game. How they want to approach a certain space in the game.

That's going to be the main reminders from me to the players. Honestly, the prep work was already done in the first 100 Thieves matchup. Now, they have the veto advantage, I believe, in the Grand Final. We're going to have to cook something up, I think.

100 Thieves have an advantage in the match-up as they are the higher seed. They will ban two maps and it means G2 Esports will play Sunset for the first time in regular season. 

[Interviewer] You would have to play Sunset for the first time, probably. They like to play Sunset.

I don't think their Sunset is good, though. We'll see.

[Interviewer] With the win today, you will play another game tomorrow, it means you and the players have to work and play all five days of the playoffs. What are the adjustments being made to ensure the players aren’t fatigued?

I'm going to call it for the players. They're not going to do additional meetings or anything. I just want them to recover.

As for coaches, me and my assistant coach, we've got a long day or a long night ahead of us. That's how it is. I've been only sleeping five hours a night.

Just trying to watch as many VODs and preparing as much as I can. It's really tough. Fortunately, we did a lot of work going into the 100 Thieves game, so it should apply.

But still, I think we just got to recover. Make sure we can reset.

[Interviewer] The Viper nerf will come into effect in Shanghai. What are your thoughts on the nerfs, do you think the nerfs affect the meta?

I think this nerf is very similar to how I view Riot nerfing like Jett or Fade. Some of these agents are generally very, very strong. They defined a lot of metas.

If you saw how the Jett nerf went or the Fade nerf went, it limited some of its power but the best players are still able to use it because it's still a very strong agent. You still see Jett being played. In a similar fashion, I think Viper will still be played because it's the only agent that can do what it does.

It's a Sentinel-like controller with an ability that has a wall that goes up and down at least 3 times. Until that gets nerfed, I still think it'll see some play.

Check the extended video version of the interview on Strafe YouTube. 

The VCT Americas Split 1 Grand Finals featuring G2 Esports and 100 Thieves will kickoff today, 14:00 PT. The Grand finals will be followed by the VALORANT Masters Shanghai Group draw.

Catch the finals broadcast live on Twitch and YouTube. You can also follow the game on Strafe.

Featured Image Credits: Tina Jo/Riot Games

Read More:

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[EXCLUSIVE] G2 Valyn after beating Cloud9 2-0 “We'll be able to beat anyone we want to”

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