Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov was streaming on Twitch, sitting in his Saint-Petersburg house carrying a white T-shirt and a clean face. Hundreds of viewers have been watching him fiddle in VALORANT and Genshin Influence.
The 19-year-old Russian, contemporary off a VALORANT Champions Tour victory in Berlin, was doing what most esports professionals do on their day off after an enormous victory: enjoying extra of the sport he’s dedicated his life to, whereas answering all kinds of deep questions from viewers.
“How is your intention so good?” Chronicle learn as his Twitch chat rolled on with questions from viewers everywhere in the world.
“I don’t know,” he mentioned, typically leaping between Russian and English. “I play the sport lots.”
Like his fellow teammates on the VALORANT tremendous squad Gambit Esports, Chronicle had simply returned dwelling after beating Staff Envy 3-0 on the VCT Masters Berlin event. The Russian group had change into the second group to win a significant occasion in VALORANT after the reigning champions Sentinels fell early.
Life after Berlin
Chronicle stood on the stage in Berlin, Germany, holding the heavy USB-like trophy alongside his teammates as a whole bunch of 1000’s watched on Twitch and YouTube. For somebody who had been on his highschool swim group earlier than the beta launched, this victory was a stunning 180. He mentioned that he felt wonderful for these quick moments on stage, however that all the pieces returned to regular as he flew by Istanbul to get again to his house.
“Nothing modified,” he mentioned. “For me I actually don’t really feel like I’m a significant champion or one thing like that. I simply need to grind extra and win one other title.”
Different Gambit gamers, just like the group’s IGL Igor “Redgar” Vlasov and Russian Terminator Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin have reached an entire new degree of fame after the foremost occasion. It was one of many few possibilities that followers needed to see gamers collectively on stage, quirks and all.
Redgar, just like the uncommon Whooper Swan that was noticed in Russia for the primary time in a century, was leaning up to now ahead that he might scent the gamers on the opposite facet of the stage. Casters, followers and even different gamers didn’t draw back from sharing their fear for his backbone.
“Hello Redgar,” Doctor Matthew Hwu mentioned. “Should you ever have any points I gotchu.” Redgar plans to get his alignment checked out quickly, however hasn’t had time whereas visiting mates after coming back from Berlin.
“I performed like that for seven to eight years and I don’t really feel any ache,” Redgar mentioned. “Possibly as a result of I’m figuring out on the gymnasium.”
An intense observe schedule
Gambit Esports, who’ve commanded the Commonwealth of Impartial States (CIS) area, solely had one worldwide berth of their lifespan. The group didn’t waste a second of preparation time main into these matches in Berlin. Scrimmages have been handled like the actual factor.
Coach Andrey “Engh” Sholokhov sees to that by main a comparatively structured schedule throughout practices. It will probably differ based mostly on what they’re working in direction of, however it at all times resembles one thing like these three phases:
Coaching Block 1
- The group discussing what they’d wish to deal with throughout observe
- VOD Evaluation of errors from previous matches.
- Durations 30-70 minutes
Coaching Block 2
- The group hops into VALORANT for any variety of matches, which differ based mostly on what’s occurring within the VCT:
- Gentle – 4 classes
- Medium – 5 classes
- Heavy – six classes
Coaching Block 3
- VOD Evaluation of present observe/different matches
- Typically not wanted relying on what forms of errors have been made
Gambit went full throttle earlier than Berlin and slowed down for a 10-day trip after the event. They picked all the pieces again up once more on Oct. 11, pushing for a heavy quantity of scrimmages and play time.
The Berlin event is a reminiscence; it has no affect on their journey going ahead. Everybody begins on the identical footing throughout Champions.
Unlocking Gambit’s full potential
“The one factor I felt [is different] after Berlin is how different groups are working towards with us,” Engh mentioned. “In response to my emotions, many groups for the time being in observe are attempting to win towards us and play to the fullest. This makes every of our practices helpful for us, even when the opponent shouldn’t be a Tier 1 group.”
It could be the Final Probability Qualifier for all areas, however Engh continues to be pushing his group to place all the pieces into their practices forward of the ultimate event of the yr in Dec. Now that everybody is making an attempt to face them, they understand that some larger modifications might have to return to their playstyle.
“In the intervening time, almost certainly, we’ll make small modifications in our sport,” Engh mentioned. “Nearer to Dec., we might change one thing in [our] preparation.”
Gambit gamers and employees don’t really feel elevated stress for the time being, however Engh mentioned that it might mount nearer to Champions. It’s all a part of the method although, even in a comparatively new esport like VALORANT.
“That is regular,” Engh mentioned. “Many groups will need to win and have a look at us because the group they need to beat, and we’ll attempt to not allow them to do it.”
In response to Chronicle and Engh, life for each participant on their group — from a 23-year-old gymnasium rat to a Genshin Influence-loving swimmer — hasn’t felt completely different, regardless of the massive flux of consideration from followers and the media. Every participant gained 1000’s of followers on social media, together with viewers on Twitch. They’ve all put a whole bunch of hours into competing in VALORANT. That type of dedication doesn’t change mid-season, even after a victory.
Redgar mentioned he believes his squad is barely enjoying at 60% of their potential proper now. In response to him, the grind in direction of realizing Gambit’s full potential continues to be in full swing, though it might take years to see it realized. In any case, VALORANT continues to be a younger esport.
“I suppose it’ll take one to 2 years to get there as a result of we’ve to alter the angle of the gamers to get extra critical,” Redgar mentioned. “It’s like beginning at college when lecturers offer you 15% or 20% of the knowledge. The opposite data you must end up.”
Each participant on Gambit has dedicated a formidable chunk of their on a regular basis life to Riot Video games’ shooter, however a number of of them are barely 20 years outdated. They could want a while to return into their very own; to let their maturity and situational consciousness catch as much as their head-clicking expertise. Redgar mentioned he hopes the group could make it to a degree the place they aren’t enjoying with a particular group fashion, however with a versatile method to the sport that may match any opposition.
“If we’re speaking about hours I devoted to this sport, it’s undoubtedly an enormous quantity,” Chronicle, who went straight to streaming VALORANT after coming back from Berlin, mentioned.
The FPS has eclipsed different esports in viewership and a spotlight, making it the sport that gamers from all kinds of different shooters are grinding.
“It clearly modified my life,” he mentioned, “as a result of, two years in the past, I didn’t even think about that I’d be on a LAN stage, competing on a excessive degree.”
We’ll see Gambit Esports once more once they return to Berlin for Champions on Dec. 2. They’ll be joined by Fnatic and Acend as three of the 4 representatives from Europe.