Updated on January 23, 1:30 p.m. (GMT+8): Added photos, edited article.
Pujan “FNS” Mehta is one of the best IGLs (in-game leaders) in the competitive Valorant scene. He is best known for leading OpTic Gaming to win Masters Reykjavik in 2022.
As a seasoned esports veteran with more than 10 years of pro-player experience, FNS is aware how valuable a good leader is to a team. Throughout his journey in the CS:GO and Valorant scene, he’s picked up indispensable skills along the way.
In an interview with ONE Esports at Masters Berlin, FNS shared what aspiring in-game leaders should do to get the most out of their team.
What is an IGL (in-game leader)?
The IGL is the leader of the squad and the person who calls the shots and tells players what they should do each round.
They keep track of what’s happening all over the map and decide what each player should be doing. In-game leaders give their teams directions and keep them focused on the team’s strategies and execution.
They are also in charge of managing the team’s egos, making sure everyone stays focused on winning.
FNS’s IGL guide on how to become a good team captain
The veteran team captain explained that players need to decide if they really want to take a leadership role when they’re playing. This is the first indicator that they will be fit for the IGL role.
“For me, I assumed the leadership position early in my life, even before I started competing in Counter-Strike or Valorant,” he said. “So, it was very natural for me to take the course”.
1. Keep a positive mental attitude
For players looking to lead their team in their ranked games, the first thing they need to make sure of is to keep the team calm.
“Playing ranked can get tilting sometimes,” he said. “People are going to make mistakes here and there.”
According to FNS, the role of an IGL is to facilitate conversations and arguments for the team.
“You have to have a good feel for the IGL position,” he explained. “Make sure things don’t get out of hand during arguments. No one should be tilted.”
2. Learn to micromanage your team
Players will also need to be able to micromanage some players and their agent’s abilities. He believes players shouldn’t be afraid to call out strategies they want to run.
This is why most team captains choose controller or sentinel agents. They need to focus on making calls around the map, and leave the entry responsibilities to their duelist whose main focus is to clear spaces and get kills.
“If you micromanage well, keep your teammates from tilting, and do a good job keeping the atmosphere positive, then you’re doing your IGL role well,” said FNS.
FNS’ talent as an IGL has benefited the teams he’s played for in his Valorant pro career. He led Team Envy to a runner-up finish at Masters Berlin in 2021.