Oderus speaks about Dignitas' performance at First Strike Qualifiers, the team's new five-man roster, and the current state of pro VALORANT
Thu 10th Dec 2020 - 9:49pm
After making his debut with Dignitas at the First Strike qualifiers last month, Chad 'Oderus' Miller of our VALORANT roster sat down with Michael Kelly to talk about the team’s performance, the org’s recently-curated five-man roster, and the current state of competitive VALORANT.
Results from the First Strike qualifiers aside, what was it like last week being able to compete on such a big stage?
Oderus: It felt really good. It was a big deal, personally, because I always wanted to compete against the top tier teams, and I think that it went well for me.
You were officially added to the Dignitas roster with little time to spare before First Strike qualifiers. Was it difficult being thrown into the fire like that?
Oderus: I think it was a bit rough, but we definitely did a good job with what we had to work with and the limited amount of time we had. It wasn’t too bad, but there was definitely some adjusting that had to be done. Overall, though, I think I did pretty well.
One of the biggest issues for Dignitas the past month or so was filling out the 5-man roster. How did it feel to not only get the nod to play for DIG, but just be able to perform in a competitive setting with a full squad like this?
Oderus: When I was told that I’d be playing with Dignitas for First Strike and future tournaments, it was really exciting and motivating knowing that I’d play with such a big org. When I knew that I’d be able to play with Dephh, Supamen, and Psalm, I was very excited because those guys had played really well in past tournaments, so that made me feel really excited and motivated to compete with them.
And with plenty of tournaments left on the horizon, what sort of growth do you expect out of this roster? How long do you think it will take to turn into a fully-equipped unit?
Oderus: I think when we played at First Strike we only showed the tip of the iceberg. When we were fully focused and everything was going our way, we did a really good job. We played against a lot of tier 1 teams and we really brought it to the last stretch. I think we just needed one last jump before we can show that we’re a staple right up there with them.
You have a pretty extensive career in the tactical shooter genre. How do you believe VALORANT stacks up when compared to a game like CS:GO for example?
Oderus: I think it stacks up really well. CS:GO and VALORANT are definitely similar, but VALORANT is more teamwork based, for sure. I think it compares extremely well.
Do you personally feel more comfortable in an environment like VALORANT?
Oderus: I think VALORANT is more favorable for me. CS is a lot more chaotic and a lot more random things can happen. VALORANT, though, is much more team-based. Every agent, and every player, has special abilities in terms of what they bring to the team. So if one person dies in VALORANT, it’s a much bigger deal than it is in CS.
What was it exactly that prompted the switch?
Oderus: The tier-2 scene in CS was dying, and VALORANT was just coming out. It definitely looked interesting to me and because it was more team-based it was definitely appealing. I hadn’t fully switched yet, but when I was playing the closed beta for a couple weeks earlier this year, I just realized I was better suited for VALORANT.
VALORANT esports is in an extremely unique position considering the game (and its professional scene launched in the middle of a global health crisis. Do you think recent worldwide events have stunted the game’s growth from a professional standpoint?
Oderus: I think the game’s growth has definitely been stunted. LANs for video games are so important, and while there have been some LANs, there haven’t been any North American LANs. But I think that once that happens, things are going to be fine.
Do you think VALORANT will be able to stand on its own two legs once it has to compete under normal circumstances?
Oderus: Definitely. I think it’s going to be even bigger than CS:GO. There’s a lot of good things happening and VALORANT is growing so fast. Plus, it’s really fun. I think that once everything in the world goes back to normal, VALORANT is going to be a top-tier game. It’s so fun to watch and I think a lot of people are going to enjoy it.
Circling back to the competitive scene, we’ve seen some of the strongest teams in the world competent to their fullest abilities over the course of the past few weeks. Who in your opinion are the best teams in the world? Which rosters stand out above the pack right now and why?
Oderus: I think right now, in my opinion, Envy is the best team in at least North America. Envy, from what I’ve seen playing against them in practice, they take it a lot more seriously than any other team in the region. I don’t really have much of an opinion on EU, but once we get to play them, we’ll get a good idea on who really is the best in the world.
Would you agree that the eight teams that qualified for First Strike accurately represent the eight best teams in the world?
Oderus: I think it’s very close to it being totally accurate. But I don’t think those eight teams are 100% accurate of the “best in the world”.
How much confidence do you have that Dignitas will be able to stack up to those other top rosters in the near future?
Oderus: I think we actually have a really good chance. We got to prove ourselves, even when a lot of teams took us lightly. But every single game we played, we took it to the tip and we got a lot of top teams sweating for sure. If we’re able to just get over the hump, and with just a bit more time, we’ll be a staple alongside the top-tier teams. I think soon enough we’ll be really well respected.
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