Fnatic’s Jake “Boaster” Howlett is one of the top in-game leaders (IGLs) in professional Valorant.

His leadership skills were on full display during the VCT 2023 season, where he led Fnatic to consecutive international victories in VCT LOCK//IN and Masters Tokyo.

Beyond his tactical prowess in Valorant, Boaster is celebrated for his engaging and lively personality, which adds an extra spark to the esports stage whenever he competes.

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Credit: Riot Games, ONE Esports
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In an exclusive AMA with ONE Esports, presented in partnership with Samsung, Boaster delves into his journey as a veteran IGL, reveals which Valorant skins he believes provide players with an aim buff, and expresses his appreciation for his dedicated fan base.

Fnatic Boaster AMA with ONE Esports

Can you share a standout moment from your career that defines your journey as a player and leader? 

I’d say the VCT Brazil Lock-in event. We were gaining momentum and feeling confident after each win, and even at the finals, I felt like we could 3-0 LOUD. We got to 2-0, and then suddenly, it occurred to us that we were one map from winning the event.

Fnatic's Jake "Boaster" Howlett and his team lifting the VCT LOCK//IN trophy after defeating LOUD in a 3-11 comeback on Icebox
Credit: Riot Games

Then you see us proceed to suddenly drop and LOUD step up. 2-1,2-2, and I just remember everyone was shitting the bed, stressing out. We then were obviously 11-3 down on Icebox, and because of that comeback, I believed we could overcome anything in the future.

What unique challenges have you faced as a captain and in-game leader, and how have they shaped your approach to the game? 

I’ve been an IGL with teammates, but I’m not good enough to win trophies, yet we do pretty well. I’ve been an IGL with teammates who are good enough, and we’ve not done very well, and then I’ve been an IGL with teammates who are good enough, and we did win trophies. I don’t think anyone can prepare you for what happens after winning a trophy.

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People’s brains switch, and maybe their goals are different. How they see the game changes, and their hunger can also change. It’s very interesting, and I think it’s the most challenging thing to counter. Even now, we’re losing to teams I think we can beat, and I don’t know why we can’t. 

What makes EMEA Valorant different from the other regions?

Every region has their own style. NA has a lot of good players to choose from with great comms. EU has people from all sorts of countries where English is their second or third language mostly.

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APAC just be crazy but I do believe they will win a trophy eventually. PRX has been so close, and I believe in my son Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto.

Apart from Valorant, what games or activities do you enjoy in your free time? 

I like dancing, watching TV and football. Other than that, you’ll see me hopping on League of Legends or other games, but never during the season. When the season starts, I’m married to Valorant 24/7, all day, every day. 

What advice do you have for aspiring pro players who want to excel in the competitive gaming scene? 

Fnatic Jake "Boaster" Howlett on the main stage of VCT Masters Tokyo
Credit: Riot Games

If you want to get the job done, you have to do it yourself. Build good habits of watching back your footage and critiquing your deaths. Also, work on your emotions and be able to control them when you get annoyed. 

Tilt is rough. Watch pro vods and see the strats — that way, you’ll be able to identify what’s going on when you play. Also, just play the game a lot. 30 minutes of Aimlabs, maybe, if you’re not great. 

Who in the esports world inspires you, and why? 

I like Finn “karrigan” Andersen. He has been grinding for years in CS and still manages to stay at the top as an IGL. I think that’s pretty respectable. I like Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok because he’s the GOAT of LoL, and Rasmus “Caps” Borregaard Winther for his grind mindset. He sets the standard for his team to follow. 

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What’s the most hilarious or unusual callout you’ve ever heard during a match?

Martin “Magnum” Penkov has really sweaty hands when he plays, so he needs a towel. He brought a towel out on stage against a team.

We won a round, and he started waving it around, screaming, “Do you want the white flag!?” It still cracks me up to this day. 

If you were a Valorant agent, what unique abilities would you bring to the game and why?

The ability to say I can beat any team at Madrid and proceed to not get a win in my region. To be continued, I guess. 

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If you could live on any Valorant map, which one would it be, and what would you do there?

I’d say Split for the wifi. I can download games at crazy speeds, I reckon. 

Who do you think is the most skilled player globally, and what sets them apart?

It’s very difficult to say. Zachary “zekken” Patrone impressed me at Madrid. Dominykas “MiniBoo” Lukasevicius on Neon was decent, too. 

Do you have any pre-match rituals or habits that contribute to your performance? 

Breathing techniques and watching the LoL Rise video en route to the venue! 

Is there a player from another team you admire or consider a fierce rival? What makes them stand out? 

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Credit: Riot Games

I like how Tyson “Tenz” Ngo is doing on controller/flex. He used to be a Jett and had to step down to win, and it’s working. Also, he gets a lot of pressure from people because he’s Tenz. Amine “johnqt” Ouarid is a fun IGL to play against, too.

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If you could create a custom weapon skin for your favorite weapon, what would it look like? 

Corgi knife, but Riot already knows that. 

Do you think weapon skins impact gameplay? If so, which skins do you think are best for ranking up? 

For sure! I’m going to say the Glitchpop Vandal is built differently. Recon Phantom for the easy spray 4ks.

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What’s your favorite Valorant agent voice line? 

Raze. “Why, you gotta kill my vibes, man.” 

If Fnatic’s Valorant roster competed in a cooking contest, what dish would you prepare and why? Who do you think would win? 

I’d do a Japanese curry since it’s my main food prep dish, and I’ve mastered it!

How do you stay motivated and focused during long practice sessions and tournaments?

When your goal is to win trophies and become the best, nothing can stop you. You’ll get tired, but you just have to tell yourself you can’t do this your whole life, so enjoy it while you can. 

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Can you share a memorable fan interaction that has stuck with you? 

I just love it when people shit the bed when they see me xD. I’m literally a skinny noob who plays video games, and people think I’m some Valorant God. I can assure you I’m not. I do love receiving cards and little gifts. I’ve kept them all on my memory shelf. 

What’s your favorite thing about being part of Fnatic, and how has the organization supported your growth as a player and leader? 

They’ve allowed me to create one of the best teams in the world and support me.  

Fnatic's Jake "Boaster" Howlett holding the VCT LOCK//IN trophy after winning the first international event in the VCT 2023 season with Kpop stars Twice in the background
Credit: Lance Skundrich/Riot Games, JYP Entertainment, ONE Esports

If you could create a signature dance move, what would it look like, and to what song would it be set?

Twice’s “Can’t Stop Me” song, and it’s just five Fnatic players entering the stage on zip wires in our agents’ cosplay. However, Leo “Leo” Jannesson and Emir “Alfajer” Beder might have something to say about that.

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