Fnatic’s Valorant squad is off to a promising start in the VCT EMEA Stage 1 Challengers group stage, picking up a hard-fought victory over rival G2 Esports last weekend in a grueling three-map series. Having lost to G2 twice in a row now, the win was particularly sweet for Jake “Boaster” Howlett and his team.

The game also saw Fnatic Boaster switch to Sage and KAY/O instead of his usual Sova, an interesting change that coincides with the addition of Russian player Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov.

In a post-match interview, the in-game leader spoke about how it felt to secure the win, why he’s now playing new agents, and what BraveAF brings to the roster.

Revenge feels good, says Fnatic Boaster

Fnatic is known for being a team that shows up mostly on LAN, after their strong performance at Masters Berlin and Champions 2021. On the flip side, they also have a reputation for struggling during online play.

“After losing to G2 two times in a row, it feels nice to get that sweet revenge,” said Boaster. “I know they have a slightly different roster, but it also feels good because either hoody or Meddo—I don’t know who it was—said that we were the weakest team in their group.

“They also said we play better on LAN, and it’s funny they say that because I don’t think I’ve ever seen them on LAN,” the British IGL said.

He acknowledged that the team had made several “tournament mistakes,” however, and that he was working to minimize that.

“I’m trying to practice discipline with the boys. I don’t scream at them in officials, obviously, but in scrims I’m like ‘What are you doing!’ to ensure that it doesn’t happen again,” he explained.

Why is Boaster playing Sage and KAY/O?

Boaster was also asked about his new agent picks in KAY/O and Sage.

“I wanted to play more of a support flashing role. I basically wanted to play an agent that had even more utility than Sova. And I felt like with the way the meta was going and KAY/O coming into play, I would be a good KAY/O,” explained Boaster.

“But it’s not just about the right-click pop flash that KAY/O has. It’s also about being able to support my team with the right knife timings and knowing the best time to use my ultimate.”

“As for Icebox, because we brought in a Sova in BraveAF, it only makes sense for me to play Sage on that map,” the IGL said.

He also joked that he initially didn’t want to give up playing Sova on Icebox when BraveAF was trialing for the team, before eventually deciding to throw caution to the winds and give Sage a try.

BraveAF has great chemistry with Derke

New talent BraveAF also made an impressive debut, securing eight first bloods in three maps, behind only duelist player Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev.

“I think it’s really important on defense to have a good partnership and site captain. Derke and BraveAF—they’re both Russian, although Derke is also Finnish—have great synergy with each other. It really helps when defending sites,” said the 26-year-old player.

“I don’t normally play with Derke too much. I’m usually on the opposite site or rotating in, so it’s really nice to see the two of them talk to each other and get into the flow of things.”

Fnatic will play their next match this weekend against BBL Esports.

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