What are the strengths of the team that has grown through the tournament that “can still be strong”? ―FENNEL, who won the VALORANT Challengers Japan championship[Joint interview]| Inside

“VALORANT”At the final of the domestic tournament “VALORANT Challengers Japan 2023 Split 1 Playoff Finals”,FENNELdefeated Crazy Raccoon with a map score of 3-0. I took the throne of the domestic champion.

FENNEL, where young players gathered, finished 4th in the Main Stage, and the Playoff started from the Lower Bracket Quarterfinals. They beat NORTHEPTION, Sengoku Gaming, SCARZ through BO5, and finally Crazy Raccoon in the finals.

In this article, we will deliver a joint interview conducted for the FENNEL players and the mltdwn coach right after they won the national championship.

――Please tell us how you feel now that you won the championship.

SyouTa player:At the moment I won the 13th round, I was only surprised to say, “Really?” instead of “I did it!”

CLZ players:I’ve been working hard at VALORANT for a long time and never thought I’d be able to win so quickly, and it’s been really fun. thank you.

hiroronn player:I was stunned and in disbelief when I won, but I am really happy.

JoXJo players:It was a special experience for me, as I had never won a second national title with a different team.

Xdll players:At first, I couldn’t really feel it, but I was overwhelmed with joy when I saw everyone enjoying themselves.

――After qualifying, you won in straight sets against CR. Where was the winning point?

mltdwn coach:I thought I could do well if I practiced, and I was confident that I could win on any map. The fact that we were able to win in the straights and that we were able to get used to playing offline in the semi-finals were factors that allowed us to play calmly as we practiced.

――In a previous interview, you said that the tension that is unique to the actual match was a problem, but how did you solve it?

CLZ players:For us, the problem was so big that we were so nervous at the tournament that we couldn’t do it as usual. I honestly don’t know why I was able to improve, but everyone was calm and called out, and there were times when I was in a hurry, but I think I was able to recover by calling out to each other, which led to the victory.

――How do you feel you have grown as a team through this playoff?

CLZ players:Everything was a valuable experience, including the first offline. I know you can win offline.

――Please tell us the best scene in this battle.

SyouTa player:The scene where I took ACE with Ascent was good.

CLZ players:I can’t think of a single good scene (laughs), but I think the cooperation within the team was going well.

hiroronn player:The last two kills of the split left a lasting impression. I think it was a big deal that we were able to get a multi-kill without rushing even after taking 12 rounds.

Xdll players:It was impressive that I endured all the way and got 4 kills in the eco round of Fracture.

JoXJo players:I’m very happy that I was able to read the opponent’s moves as a team, not just the scene where I killed myself, and I was able to win as planned.

――Xdll and hiroronn have played in many different teams at a young age.

hiroronn player:Last year, I gained experience at ZETA DIVISION ACADEMY and joined FENNEL, and I am happy that I was able to win the championship in Japan as a professional offline. I would like to do my best in Split 2 with the goal of going to the International League with FENNEL.

Xdll players:BLUE BEES, ZETA DIVISION, SCARZ, and FENNEL are all around me. I am happy that I have grown so much that I can feel it. I want to do my best so that we can win Split 2 and advance to the International League.

――You have won MVP twice out of 3 maps, how are you feeling now?

hiroronn player:I wasn’t in such good shape yesterday, so I’m glad that I was able to challenge myself more calmly than yesterday. It seems like I was able to win because I was strong after winning the MVP twice, but that’s not the case.

――Please tell us about your current strengths and weaknesses that you want to overcome.

mltdwn coach:As with Ascent, I think the tempo of attacks is still an area that can be further modified. Our goal is to win the Ascension Tournament and advance to the International League, so we want to get stronger for that. I think one of our strengths is that the team has a solid foundation. There is a coach Johnta in Ukraine, and he is learning the basics and expanding the variations from there. I think we can become even stronger.

――Please tell us about your future plans.

CLZ players:I think that winning Split 1 is a passing point, so I definitely want to go to the International League without losing heart just because I won here.

――Finally, please give a message to your fans.

CLZ players:I don’t think we could have come this far with our own strength. Even when everyone seemed discouraged, I was able to read the comments of the fans and keep going, and I think that led to this victory. thank you very much.

FENNEL, who fought through the Main Stage and achieved great growth in the Playoff, will participate in the Split 2 Main Stage starting on Thursday, April 13th. Expectations are rising to see what kind of growth will be shown with Crazy Raccoon.

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