At the beginning of this year’s VCT Americas League season, Evil Geniuses’ Kelden “Boostio” Pupello wasn’t initially recognized as a prominent in-game leader in the Americas region.
But as we approach the final stages of Valorant Champions 2023, EG’s captain has risen to the top of his class as one of the top IGLs in the entire VCT.
It turns out the North American star improved his shot-calling ability by studying LOUD Matias “Saadhak” Delipetro, an exceptional IGL who led Brazil to win the Valorant world championship last year.
In an exclusive interview with ONE Esports at Valorant Champions 2023, Boostio shared how he incorporated Saadhak’s best traits as an IGL to push EG to new heights this VCT 2023 season.
Evil Geniuses Boostio on how studying LOUD Saadhak improved his IGLing
EG didn’t have the best start to the year, with the NA team struggling at VCT LOCK//IN where they finished 9th-16th. When the VCT Americas League began, they fell in the standings with a 1-5 match record five weeks into the regular season.
As Ethan “Ethan” Arnold explained in another exclusive interview with ONE Esports, EG turned their season around when they stabilized their roster by making Max “Demon1” Mazanov the fifth starting member of their active roster.
Since signing the star duelist, EG has become the top Valorant team in North America, finishing second at Masters Tokyo and securing a top 3 finish at Valorant Champions 2023.
The other significant change that led to EG’s success is Boostio’s development as an IGL. When asked why he admires LOUD’s IGL, Boostio considered how Saadhak puts his players in positions to succeed.
“I just think the way he uses aspas, and Less does the craziest things,” he said. “I think he sets them up for that, and I think it’s impressive, and I just try to copy them.”
Erick “aspas” Santos and Felipe “Less” Basso are among the top duelist and sentinel/controller mains in the VCT, respectively. The tandem has put up impressive stats with the help of Saadhak’s direction.
Aside from LOUD’s IGL, Boostio also looks into IGLs known for having great mid-round calls. He specifically named Fnatic’s Jake “Boaster” Howlett and NRG Esports’ Pujan “FNS” Mehta as players he often studies to improve his own mid-rounding.
“You can learn a lot from them,” he said. “Where they look to insert players, or what type of agents get inserted where.”
Boostio explained that these lessons are one of the main reasons he’s been making good calls at Valorant Champions 2023 and why the team made it into the finals weekend.
What sets his IGL style apart from the other top-shot callers is his mindset, which has been instrumental in crafting EG’s bold and provocative playstyle we know today.
“As long as I’m in a good mood, and I’m not in my own head, we can win any match no matter the deficit,” he said. “If I’m the one calling, I am going to keep everyone’s spirits up and try to keep everyone locked into the game. If I keep my mood good, we’re going to be good.”