V1 effys on becoming IGL for NA LCQ, playing with Oderus, beating FaZe

Ahead of the VCT North America Last Chance Qualifier, Version1’s Loic “effys” Sauvageau found himself in the middle of a tough situation. It had been a few months since his team surprised everyone by finishing Top 6 in Masters: Reykjavik with a substitute and their play hadn’t matched since.

After regressing during Stage 3 to a point where they failed to qualify for the NA Challengers Playoffs, the team decided to rebuild their roster to capture the sort of cohesion that propelled them to the top of the region in Iceland. As a result, the team let go Anthony “Vanity” Malaspina for Chad “Oderus” Miller and assigned effys as their newest IGL. Thus, effys was tasked with leading V1 towards gaining a spot at Valorant Champions.

Despite shouldering the pressure of being the newest leader of V1, effys helped the team rebound from their opening-round loss to C9, which featured Vanity, with a 2-0 victory over FaZe Clan, thus advancing to the second round of the lower bracket.

Following the series, V1 effys spoke with The Click for an exclusive interview about defeating FaZe, playing under the role as IGL, and meshing with Oderus ahead of the tournament.

V1 effys on beating FaZe Clan

Congratulations on beating FaZe Clan 2-0, effys.  First of all, I’d like to know your initial reaction after this series which advances you to the next round in the lower bracket.

V1 effys: “I think there was a lot of relief after the game, honestly, because it’s been a long drought [since last playing]. We don’t play a lot of matches and in the last few that we played we kind of lost them. We know we’re much better than what we showed [thus far] and there are very few occasions to show how good you are in this game so just being able to go out there and get a nice clean W against a team like FaZe is just [awesome]. For me, as the new IGL of the team, it was just a big sigh of relief, really. It comes on like, ‘Okay, we can do this.'”

You cited a huge relief after the series so I guess that meant that you felt an immeasurable amount of pressure leading up to the series against FaZe?

V1 effys: “The pressure was mostly [from] yesterday. That series against C9 was a weird matchup, you know? It’s your first match shot-calling. It’s your first match with this new lineup with Oderus. It’s against your teammate that left your team and joined another one. I don’t usually feel pressure in matches, but I’m going to be honest, I was pretty nervous yesterday and it showed in the way we played. But today we were pretty relaxed and calm.”

With this series, you guys won for the first time in an official competition in five months, with that coming during Masters: Reykjavik. It’s been a long time since you guys last won. How crucial was this series win for the team considering the high stakes that are revolving around this tournament?

V1 effys: “We kind of know as a team that it’s been a while since we’ve last won a match but it’s also been a while since we’ve had a stable roster. We had to play without Zellsis for a few matches then our IGL left the team so we had to rebuild. When we started the process of rebuilding when Vanity left, we kind of knew it was going to be a long one because we wanted to change the way we play and everything. We weren’t too nervous about this event, you know? If we win it, [that’s] good, but if we lose it, then it is what it is and we go on to next year, you know? So I feel like [the feeling] is not that much different in this match.”

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On becoming IGL and working with Oderus

V1 Effys
Credit: Riot Games

You mentioned the roster switches that happened leading up to this tournament. Obviously, Vanity went to C9 and Oderus signed with the team earlier this month. What did Oderus offer to the team unlike previous team members that made you feel compelled to sign him for the LCQ?

V1 effys: “Well, we were definitely looking for a sentinel player–like a Killjoy, Viper, Cypher player and Oderus is quite there. He was the IGL for his previous team. He had some of the best stats in NA for these agents and we knew from CS and the way he played that he’s a very aggressive player.

“He’s not afraid to go and get these entries on key rounds, which is what he was good at, in my opinion. He didn’t really care. He would push through your smoke just to get us this opening. This is where it prompted all of us to know he’s aggressive. We know he doesn’t get nervous. He’ll go for these picks and those key moments and that’s what we liked about him.”

Oderus himself mentioned how he wasn’t as aggressive in that previous series against C9, so how much of a factor has his aggressiveness been to the overall structure of the team?

V1 effys: “Oh, you know, it’s about finding a balance. Like I said after Vanity left, we were kind of going through a rebuilding phase where like I’m getting used to the IGL role. We’re trying to figure out our style as a team. We used to, like, run it down maybe too much so we’re trying to calm it down a little bit while not being afraid of playing with balls, you know? It’s just about finding the right balance between running it down and not being scared of anything.”

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And thus, the team will advance to the next round of the lower bracket where XSET awaits you. Talking about XSET, you guys only faced them one time this year with that one occasion happening in the Stage 2 Challengers 1 event. I’d like to know your overall thoughts on facing XSET tomorrow since, from that match onwards, they have been on an upswing within this region.

V1 effys: “I think they’re a very good team honestly. They’re a team that’s always been a little underrated in my opinion. Like they’re like they don’t have that many flashy players like some of the other top teams do but they have very good cohesion. They have very good strats and a very good setup.

“They’re annoying to play against but we don’t play these guys much, so I don’t think we know what to expect and I really doubt they know what to expect [from us]. We don’t really practice with them that much so I don’t think we’re going to do a lot of research going into this especially since they had two weeks to prepare for this. We’re just gonna go out and play our game honestly.”

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