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[EXCLUSIVE] T1 xccurate talks about his IGL experience "I felt we hit a rock bottom that we needed to fix"

[EXCLUSIVE] T1 xccurate talks about his IGL experience "I felt we hit a rock bottom that we needed to fix"

11 May
Kaustavmani Choudhury

VCT Pacific Stage 1 Finals Week started off today, with T1 taking on Gen.G in a thrilling Bo5 showdown.

With both teams fighting it out in the Lower Bracket Finals, it was evident that one team would be eliminated in 3rd place. While the other would go on to face Paper Rex for the crown of VCT Pacific Champions of Split 1.

Although T1 came out on the losing end of this matchup, they have shown that they are now more than capable of hanging with the big boys. Following the match, Strafe Esports had the opportunity to conduct an exclusive interview with T1’s newly appointed IGL, Kevin "xccurate" Susanto.

In the interview, xccurate talks about T1’s struggles, his adaptation to being an IGL and his expectations for VCT Masters Shanghai.

Rematch against Gen.G

Although Gen.G won the series 3-0, xccurate seems to be pleased with his team’s performance. But he also mentioned that they needed to iron out some kinks along the way.

[Interviewer] First of all, I would like to say sorry for the loss. Your pick of Omen on the first map was quite unexpected. So, can you walk us through the thought process for that comp in the map?

"Yeah, I think because we showed our comp so many times, and then I think many teams try to figure out the way that we play. So, [coming up] to the Gen.G match, we just wanted to try something new for Shanghai. So, basically, we're just testing that, honestly.

And I'm also curious about the result because in scrims, honestly, in practice, we play quite well, but maybe in the match, we just kind of like have not a good connection between our initiator and duelist and everyone is not on the same path."

[Interviewer] On map two and three, you guys looked quite close to winning, especially on Icebox, but then Gen.G managed to close out the maps. What were the struggling points and how do you think you can improve in the future on those points?

"I think for Icebox, it's our first official match to play. So, I think even the result, we lost 13-11. I'm really happy with the way we performed on that map because, first of all, we need to learn a lot of advantage angles in that match and then how we're scaling, how we bomb plant, afterplant, and some stuff.

Yeah, we learned a lot from our second map. So, I don't worry about the future because we have a lot of lessons to learn. But for Bind, honestly, we kind of lost the momentum, especially on the attacking side.

And then I realized that we need to change our anti-eco because we kept doing the same thing. So, [for the] enemy, it’s easy to hard-counter us. So, that's my lesson that I get.

And for the rest of the game, I think in defense, we just kind of play, I can say, too scared sometimes. And then we just didn't take risks, didn't take a proper duel together with the teammates."

[Interviewer] This is your second time playing Gen.G. So, how do you think their team comps and their confidence and their playstyle in general was different from the last time you played them?

"I think the playstyle they have is the same for me, the way they play. It's just maybe they have a good read of what we're going to do in all of the maps. And then, yeah, especially in the Pistol round, they have a hard counter.

So, we try to trap them, but they decide to play contact play and then they know our gap. So, yeah, I think that's a round of applause for them. Yeah, I think that's all."

Talking about Shanghai

Even though this is going to be T1’s first international tournament of the year, xccurate is still excited. Having played CS:GO prior to making the swap, he was most well-known then for his time on TYLOO. His travel to Shanghai will therefore be a form of homecoming for the veteran player.

[Interviewer] This will be your first international tournament of the year. How do you feel going in as a new IGL, taking your team to the international stage, and do you have any expectations for the tournament?

"Yeah, I think I feel very happy, of course, because finally after I've taken a long break for competitive, I'm back again to play my first international sets in Valorant Games. And then I'm playing in my, I can say my second hometown in Shanghai, because that's the beginning of my career. So, I'm really happy to meet all of the Chinese fans again.

And at the same time, yeah, I was expecting us to perform really well because there's other rookies in my team, like for example, Izu and Rossy, that's their first time also. So, it's going to be a really, really good experience for us."

[Interviewer] From the entirety of Stage 1, do you think there are any takeaways that you can take into Shanghai that will help you improve and help you close out the tournament?

"I think, yeah, we just need to get more in our map pool. We practice a lot of map pools these days and then we need to have certain changes of agent comps also in certain maps. So, yeah, I think we're going to make a lot of element surprises in Shanghai."

The Restructuring of T1

After the end of last season, T1 has undergone quite a few roster changes. Now that the team has played for some time, accommodating and adapting to these changes, it seems that T1 are going in the right direction.

[Interviewer] During the end of last year and towards the beginning of this year, there have been a few roster changes in the organization and also coaching change. You have now qualified for your first international tournament. It took some time, but do you think you are at the level that you expected when you first rebuilt the team? And also, can you tell us a bit about the philosophy of this new roster that has been built by T1?

"I think you guys can also see the way we performed in the off-season and the first stage we've performed, I can say we performed really well. And then that's why a lot of people have high expectations of us. But the thing is, it's an FPS game, sometimes you lose, sometimes you win.

And then I feel like we hit some, I can say, rock bottom that we needed to fix directly before when Carpe took the IGL role. And then when we switched up to my IGL role, we found we're going in the right direction. But right now, I think our problem, right, is just about how we can convert when we're playing scrim to the match, because I can see sometimes when we play just like maybe some under pressure or sometimes we don't have a good communication because communication is a key in this game.

Yeah, I think the philosophy that our roster right now [has] is we just want to be a champion with this roster."

Expecting Matchups

Before parting ways, we asked xccurate on which teams he would like to face in Shanghai. And also which teams he wanted to avoid playing on the first day of the tournament. He had this to say.

[Interviewer] So a final question from my side, which of the teams are you looking forward to facing in Shanghai? And also, which of the teams would you not like to face on the first day of the tournament?

"The team that I would not like to face is, of course, an APAC team, because I want to get experience with other teams like EMEA or America teams. And maybe if I could say, I hope I can meet either Fnatic, Leviatán, or 100 Thieves."

[Interviewer] Alright, thank you very much. That was all the questions from my side. Thank you for taking the time to agree to this interview and all the best for Masters Shanghai.

T1 will be playing next in VCT Masters Shanghai. The opening draws of the tournament have not been done yet. So stay tuned to Strafe Esports for further updates and more exclusive content.

For all the latest updates on VCT Pacific, follow the official VCT Pacific Twitter/X here. You can also follow along with the action on the Strafe Android and iOS apps, as well as the Strafe website. Check out our YouTube channel for the latest full content.

Featured Image Source: VCT Pacific | Riot Games

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