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X10 Crws: “I don’t mind being called the underdog, it doesn’t matter to me because I think they now know what we’re capable of”

X10 Esports has been a pleasant surprise in the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2021: Stage 2 Masters – Reykjavík thus far, with close games against Team Vikings from Brazil and knocking out Japanese representatives Crazy Raccoon. They now face EMEA runner-up Fnatic.

We caught up with X10’s player Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut on their run in the VCT Masters so far and why you should watch the VCT South East Asian (SEA) Challengers.

First and foremost, thank you for doing this interview. Congratulations on going 2-0 against Crazy Raccoon and advancing to the next stage. Let’s start it off nice and easy, your match against Crazy Raccoon, were there any players or strategies that you were very wary about going to this match?

Crws: First of all, we are just worried about Byeon “Munchkin” Sang-beom popping off. Other than that, we were not worried about the style they play and just like I said previously in the scrum session, we were pretty confident we would be able to deal with them.

Today was a convincing 2-0 but you did have a very close series against Team Vikings. I believe you spoke about what you’ve changed, but I’d like to ask you about the ‘no duelist composition’ that you played on Ascent against Team Viking. Could you talk to me a little bit about this strategy and where it comes from?

Crws: Back in SEA, there was a team that also played with no duelist and we know that it’s actually really difficult to penetrate a site that way. So when we play the game, we were always looking to have a Jett or any other duelist to open up the site for us. But looking at how we’re playing here, it made us feel that we actually need to go together, rather than having one guy go and do all the damage.

That’s why we all thought that having no duelist would actually be more convincing on both sides for our team style. That’s why we came up with this composition.

Speaking of the meta and this no duelist composition, do you think that the meta right now, despite Astra and Viper being very dominant, is still not figured out yet? And strategies like yours which seem unconventional, are actually quite strong?

Crws: Our composition is actually quite strong, but I think Astra and Viper itself are two agents that can cause so much trouble to the other team. It actually causes a lot of confusion, being able to have two controllers faking and denying information from the other team. I’d say it’s a really hard combination to face.

That’s fair. You mentioned your play style as well and how you guys needed to be together, even though it’s difficult to break into a site. Some people have also noted X10 plays very fast and very aggressive, which is reminiscent of the Brazilian and North American teams. What do you think about your current play style and do you think that this is the best way to play Valorant right now in VCT Masters?

Crws: I’d say… it’s not the best style, but it is good at times and it depends on how the other team plays. We usually call strats depending on the style the other team plays. So for example if we know they can’t hold us off, we’ll just stomp into the site. But if they have so much utility to hold us off, we would actually try to get more space and make them use their utility more. It’s actually different against every team we play against.

If you are willing to share, what do you think is the best way to play Valorant now on the current patch as a team?

Crws: To be able to adapt really quickly is the best way to play Valorant right now, because we’ve played the EU and NA teams and they have different styles. If we keep holding on to only one style, we might be able to win against some teams but not be able to fight others because they always find a counter to how we play. Always.

Fair enough. Speaking of EU, you’re going to be playing against Fnatic tomorrow and you’ve mentioned that you are very confident. Rather than asking how you think you’ll do, what do you think of Fnatic as a team and if there are any players, strategies or compositions that you’re maybe wary of when facing them?

Crws: They’re a really good team. For strats that worries us… I don’t really think so, I just think that they are a really good team and play together really well. I hope we do better than them. That’s all.

So is EU > NA or NA > EU?

Crws: From my perspective… it’s kind of equal. I would say it depends on how the round turns out and how many mistakes they make in that particular game. I think both of them are close, it could be anyone’s game.

That’s very diplomatic of you. Against Fnatic and many other teams, you guys are labeled the underdogs and I know that you’ve said you’re here to win and it doesn’t matter who you play. I’d like to ask, do you like personally being labeled as the underdogs? I know some people like it because they tend to be underestimated. What do you think?

Crws: At this point in time, I like it because it’s going to make everyone underestimate us. Previously, it kind of felt really bad to be seen that way. We practiced really hard. We gave our all to get here and then people are just thinking we wouldn’t even be able to get a round. So it actually feels bad, but then, right now it feels good. I don’t mind being called the underdog, it doesn’t matter to me because I think they now know what we’re capable of.

That’s nice. If you manage to beat Fnatic tomorrow, or if you manage to beat your next opponents after them, would you guys as a team participate with Patiphan’s dance?

Crws: I did a stunt with him yesterday, and I think you can look forward to more of that. Don’t worry!

I’ll hold you to that! I’d just like to ask you a little bit about the SEA region as a whole, because I know that SEA is a quite different ecosystem when it comes to esports. You’ve spoken about it being quite challenging, so what do you think of the region’s interest in Valorant as a whole, as opposed to titles like Counter-Strike, Rainbow Six Siege and even mobile games?

Crws: I think Valorant’s actually getting really big in SEA. When there’s a major event like this, it actually boosts up a lot of fame for the game itself in the region. I’ve seen a lot of talk about the game, so I think it is going to be big in the future for sure, because us being able to put up a fight in a major tournament would actually make everyone in the region want to compete here as well.

The teams in SEA know that if they can beat us, they too can put up a fight against the other teams here in Iceland. So I’d say it’s going to be really big in SEA.

You guys have almost taken the rounds off Team Vikings and you’ve just defeated Crazy Raccoon, so what do you think of the strength of the SEA region as a whole? Do you think people are overlooking not just X10, but the other teams in the region as well?

Crws: Yes, definitely. There are some teams which I think could actually do a lot of damage here as well. They are really good. If they had the experience we have, then I think they would be a better team as well. And there are some teams that are good, but I would say that some teams are not having the right support, in the right way.

If we actually could show them or prove to them that X10 can actually make it here, it will make every other team in SEA step up as well.

What do you think then is the biggest challenge or challenges, at least in your opinion, playing in the SEA region?

Crws: It’s the fact that SEA region has many different styles. It’s basically like playing in a world tournament, just smaller. The Thai teams have a different style, the Indonesians, the Malaysians, the Singaporeans and even the Taiwanese teams all play differently, and we need to adapt to everything really quickly to be able to beat all of them.

There are many different regions, and I think it is really hard there to be able to adapt to all the teams we play against as fast as possible. That’s the hardest part about being in SEA.

Usually at this point I will always ask, ‘anything else you’d like to say’, but based on this interview, I can tell you are very confident! So I would like you to tell me and the international audience: Why should the people of the world watch the Valorant Champions Tour in the SEA region?

Crws: It’s because there are a lot of styles in this region to discover, and ones you will never get to see anywhere else. That is basically it, and I’m sure you’ll be amazed at how many different styles are being played and being developed there!

Thank you Crws, best of luck!

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