Team Liquid’s Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom is one of Valorant’s biggest stars, who has been performing exceptionally well at VCT Stage 2 Masters in Reykjavík, Iceland.
ScreaM started his FPS career when he was just 15 years old in 2010, and he hasn’t stopped competing since then. ONE Esports was fortunate enough to catch up with ScreaM in an exclusive interview where he talked about the Valorant esports scene and how he’s transitioned to being one of the world’s top players.
What ScreaM likes the most about Valorant esports
It’s only been a year since Valorant was released, and according to Team Liquid’s star player, we’re only scratching the surface of the game’s pro scene.
“Riot has done a great job developing the game and listening to the community. Obviously, there are a few things that should be changed still. But the pro scene is getting really big, and the viewership as well,” ScreaM observed.
“People enjoy the game, they like watching it a lot, too. Personally, I really enjoy the competitive Valorant scene. It’s going to keep growing. It’s only the first year, so it’s really great. I don’t think we can expect better than this year in the first year,” he said.
When asked about how players from other teams have been using media interviews and their own social platforms to get an edge over one another — such as how Fnatic’s Jake “Boaster” Howlett said in the pre-tournament press conference that Astra was overrated — ScreaM revealed that he likes the idea of drumming up hype before matches.
“I think Valorant is very tactical. It’s way more tactical than Counter Strike, like it’s a chess game. If you’re ahead mentally, if you’re ahead tactically, that’s the most important in this game,” ScreaM responded.
“I expected [the mind games], and I think that people like to watch [the mind games happen] as well. Some clashes, some fights. It’s good to have some rivalry. It’s really good for the competitive scene.”
ScreaM has high hopes for the international scene
Going into the tournament, the main storyline was clearly the ‘Europe versus North America’ rivalry, in which both regions claimed to be the best.
What surprised ScreaM was how well other regions did during the tournament. “I think every region has a lot of potential in this game, and it’s great to see. It’s the first time we’ve seen this in FPS games.”
When asked about Thai squad X10 Esports, in particular, ScreaM commended them for their performance. “I think they did great. I didn’t expect them to be so good. They had good tactics, good teamplay, and good individual skill. If they keep grinding, they’re going to be very dangerous in the future. To my brothers from overseas, you guys did a really good job.”
How ScreaM stays at the top of his game
ScreaM discussed what keeps him going and aiming to improve, “I was really motivated to be the best. It’s all about practice, it’s about having motivation and high goals.”
As for the top players who have made the switch from Counter-Strike to Valorant, ScreaM explained that not everyone who has a CS background will find success. “Valorant is a very different game. It’s not because you played CS that you’re going to come and play [well] in Valorant. You still need to practice, and learn the game. It’s very unique and different from Counter Strike.”
He also shared how he found his own success during his transition period. “I’m a very hard worker as well. I play a lot. I always try to understand my mistakes and try to be the best of myself. That’s the most important thing for me.”
Team Liquid’s roster can only get better
Near the start of the Valorant Champions Tour, Team Liquid shocked the FPS scene by signing an up-and-coming Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen.
The 19-year-old Finnish player quickly made the switch from competing in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to Valorant. In a short amount of time, Team Liquid were able to conquer the European region.
“I think we still have [room to progress] with Jamppi. He’s quite new to the game,” said ScreaM.
“Right now, it’s way better than in the beginning, but he still has a couple of things to learn. [The rate of his progression] goes up every time. He gets better every time. He has a lot of potential. We enjoy it, and we’re going to try to progress in every game we play. It’s a constant [state of progression].”