The final weekend for Valorant’s First Strike tournament is coming to a close, and for Andrej “babybay” Francisty, the tournament is over after FaZe Clan’s tough loss to the Sentinels.
The matchup was promising in the beginning, with FaZe creeping up on the Sentinel’s lead halfway through the first map, but babybay’s performance was lacking, and his kill ratio was suffering. In the second map, babybay pulled an unexpected pick with Breach, and was able to find his groove. He started popping off early in the second map, but it wasn’t enough to carry the team to victory as FaZe Clan fell to the Sentinels 0-2. There is no loser’s bracket in the First Strike tournament, so FaZe Clan’s run is over until the next tournament, which will likely be the Valorant Champions Tour.
WIN.gg had the opportunity to talk to babybay after his match to speak about the tournament and where he’s going next.
WIN.gg: What are your initial thoughts when you look back on this tournament?
Babybay: I think the tournament was pretty good as a whole. Obviously, I would have liked a losers bracket, so we didn’t play the Sentinels first round and get knocked out, and, you know, was able to play more teams, more of the top teams. And then also, the only other problem I had was the UMG qualifiers that we had to go through. They were pretty chaotic. We had to play all day, every day. They could have spaced the matches out better, for the first qualifier. But other than that I think it’s awesome. The production looks sick. It looked really good.
What was it like to transition from Overwatch League to Valorant?
You know what the major difference is, is that when you have tournaments that are open play like Valorant does, you have to be able to beat everybody, you know? In OWL, all you have to do is beat the other OWL teams, but there are some unknown teams that will catch you off-guard and if you’re not ready for it, they’ll beat you. It happened to us. It happened to us a couple of times.
So, it really made us have to expand the number of teams we practice against because we were practicing against these top teams. All the big names, all the orgs, and then we would never scrim any of the teams that weren’t signed to an org, like the “tier 2 or tier 3” teams. So it really made us expand our practice and be able to play everybody so we can play against these teams and not get caught off-guard.
How did matching up against Sentinels in the first round of finals affect your preparation for the match?
We didn’t really think about it. We could have been matched up against anybody and we would have come in the same way. I had a slow start on Bind, which is just unfortunate. I don’t know what was happening, maybe they just had a good read on how I play that map and they were shutting me down, but then I started heating up on Split.
Shooting for the stars.
— #FaZeUp (@FaZeUpdate) December 4, 2020
I felt pretty good towards the end but it was too late. We still have a lot to learn as a team, and we’re just now starting to come together and find a good coach for us that’ll teach us a lot of these Counter-Strike fundamentals. We don’t have anybody signed yet, but we’re in the process of figuring that out. Once we solidify these things and get a little bit more time in, we’re going to be really good.
Does it help that you came into a team of mostly ex-Overwatch players? Do you think it helped you in the beginning?
I think it helps us because we have experience in the way that we know how to hustle and grind, and we know how to get to the end-goal that we want to be at. But I also do think that not getting into [Valorant] right away because we all got signed over from Overwatch, not already streaming as a team, and playing all of these amateur tournaments.
We also lost a bunch of experience, like I said, because you do get a big momentum from that, and you just kind of get a feel for how everybody plays from early on. We’re kind of behind in a way, and we’re slowly playing catch-up. Our individual talent is so insane that once we get all the fundamentals down, we’re going to be very good. It’s just a time thing.
GG’s @Sentinels I heated up too late 🙁 . We got more to learn baby, there’s always something you can take out of losing to good teams!
— FaZe babybay (@KING_BABYBAY) December 4, 2020
What was behind the decision to pick Breach on Split? A lot of people were surprised by your pick.
A couple of days ago, I was just playing ranked and I was playing Breach on that map as a troll. Then I ended up being really good at it. So I was like “guys I kinda want to play this hero on this map”. And they were like “alright sure”, and I felt like with the previous comp we ran, we played triple duelist on that map, we played Raze, Reyna and Phoenix.
I feel like, there was just something missing in that comp, and I felt like Breach would fill that hole to make it more consistent, because it really relied on us three duelists popping off and having very good games all at the same time. I felt like it would be a more stable pick to play Breach, a little bit more solid defensively.
Do you think your Breach pick contributed to your better gameplay in the second map?
It could have, yeah. I feel like I used my ulti very well against them. I probably caught [Sentinels] off-guard because they probably thought I’d be on Raze because that’s what we had been playing in the majority of the games we played on Split.
— VALORANT Champions Tour (@ValorantEsports) December 4, 2020
I’m sure it caught them off-guard, and Breach is just good on that map in general I think. It definitely felt good. But also, I was actually hitting Op shots, so, yay. For some reason I couldn’t hit them on Jett but I could hit them on Breach. I don’t know why, man, I think I just needed to warm up, that’s all.
Your First Strike tournament run is over, but are you looking forward to the upcoming Valorant Champions Tour?
Oh, absolutely. I cannot wait. That’s kinda like, I feel like it will be the first “major” of Valorant. I’m happy that it’s pretty far away so we have a lot of time to prep and get a lot of reps in, you know? Everything that I’m considering like all these small tournaments, well I guess they’re not that small…but all of these tournaments, to me are all just practice leading up to that big tour.