aEvilcat: “I think a World Cup, kind of like what Overwatch did, would be so great to have in VALORANT” cover image

aEvilcat: “I think a World Cup, kind of like what Overwatch did, would be so great to have in VALORANT”

AEvilcat sat down with during the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final to talk about the event and international VALORANT competition.

Mimi "aEvilcat" Wermcrantz is one of the hugely talented casters that were invited to the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Final in Istanbul, Turkey. Perhaps the most high-profile collegiate esports event in the world, the Campus Clutch has brought together teams from 34 nations to crown the best collegiate VALORANT team. sat down with aEvilcat on the final day of the Campus Clutch, ahead of the conclusion of the semi-finals to talk about the unique Campus Clutch experience, what makes it special for the competitors, and why VALORANT needs its own World Cup. 

Aevilcat on the Campus Clutch

(Image via Red Bull)
(Image via Red Bull)

How have you enjoyed the experience of Campus Clutch so far? This isn’t your first time in Istanbul, is it? 

Mimi "aEvilcat" Wermcrantz: “I've been to Istanbul before for Champions last year and I loved the city then. It's actually kind of funny being back here because it's the same venue and everything that we had back then. But it's a totally different kind of event here. The Campus Clutch is always really cool to watch because for these collegiate players, it's such a massive opportunity. There really is no other event like this for that scene. It's always really cool to come out and get to see that. And also, Istanbul is just a beautiful city. So much history and it’s really nice to be here.”

How does the atmosphere vary between a Campus Clutch and a Champion's event? 

AEvilcat: “I think with the top-level events, a lot of the times it's players who have been doing it for years who are used to that. And that way it's very kind of professional. It's like a job for them. They get used to it and obviously kind of get jaded to things like, “oh, I have to do another interview. I have to do another media day," something like that. It's always very much about just like, we are here to play the game, we are here to win, and obviously that carries through to this event as well. 

But when you come to something like Campus Clutch, for so many of the players, it's their first ever LAN. For some of the players, it's like their first time out of their country, out of their town. It is all new experiences, and what Red Bull puts on here is really an event that is close to the level of those top events. It's a LAN where you're playing in-person, there's a whole production in front of you, you're in front front of an audience, it brings so many of those same pressures and those same ideas that you get as a tier one player down to players who would never get that opportunity otherwise, or at least not at this point in their careers. 

So in that you can see that every player is really experiencing something for the first time and it's really appreciative and invested in that one which adds beyond even just the kind of thrill of competition, that opportunity of kind of getting to live out at least part of your dream, like being able to be a pro level event is such a great experience for all these people that I think makes the environment really, really special.” 

You kind of touched on this, but how important do you think opportunities like this are for those collegiate players getting their professional VALORANT journey? Is getting this high level of LAN experience early really valuable?

AEvilcat: “I think it's really important. First off, as a competitor, if some of these players go on to be Tier 2, Tier 1 pros, getting that exposure to LAN is so important. VALORANT’s a game that came out during COVID, and compared to other esports we didn't have the same level of grassroot LAN experiences. Not a lot of players have had a chance to play in-person. So just in that regard, getting the experience that they can then take to bigger and bigger events and bigger teams is important. 

And also, even just beyond that, for the community as a whole, it's a chance to get eyes on players that might not otherwise be there. Most talent scouts, most average viewers probably aren't pulling up the niche collegiate league that each and every different school is playing in. It's something that's obvious, it's the only event that's going on right now, it's something that gets eyes on the players. If you win here, if you have a top placement, you really have a chance to impress people, and we've already seen before, some of the players from the previous Red Bull Campus Clutches go on to play in the Tier 2, Tier 1 scenes, and I think it's really kind of a... there's no event like it in terms of getting eyes on Collegiate.”

Having humor in your work, and a VALORANT World Cup

(Image via Red Bull)
(Image via Red Bull)

You've occasionally been known as a bit of a shitposter, you're very funny on Twitter. Does that humor help you parse the sometimes frankly ridiculous world of esports and VALORANT?

AEvilcat: “I think you can't take it too seriously if you are in this industry because yeah, I mean ridiculous stuff happens all the time: Orgs making wild decisions, things changing constantly. But I also think it's the same with any kind of job where if you just take challenges with a good sense of humor it goes a long way. I guess that's kind of my approach in life, but in this work as well.” 

This is an international competition, there's players from six continents competing. The VCT format kind of keeps regions kind of locked in their own place with only a couple international events a year. Would you prefer to see more small international events in VALORANT? Or even large international events for that matter? 

AEvilcat: “Yeah, I mean absolutely. Again, like I mentioned earlier, kind of given the come up of Valorant, we didn't have a chance to have as many like third party smaller international events really, so it's mostly just the Riot-sanctioned Tier 1 Masters and Champions that we get those opportunities for viewers. It's so much more exciting to watch an event with different play styles, with different regions, with teams you wouldn't expect to be good. When you're watching something at home, a North American or a European event, you kind of know or at least have a suspicion of how the teams are going to play. And a lot of times they play very similarly. But international competition is such a mix of styles and players that it's really great to watch and also just so good for players as a learning opportunity. So I would love to have more events like this that are international.

I also love the kind of ‘national teams’ approach. I think a World Cup, kind of like what Overwatch did, would be so great to have in VALORANT, because it's just really new experiences all around. And it's also just a great viewing experience.”

So the USA was eliminated, they were kind of the favorites. Then Canada, the next favorites were knocked out yesterday and it was a surprise. Who do you think looks strong now? Who are you rooting for on this last day?

AEvilcat: “Yeah, I think there's two teams that I'm keeping my eye on right now. First off is Indonesia. I think that they're a team that really surprised me. Their style is awesome. I mean, their Raze player, I don't think I've ever seen him not double-satchel with a shotgun in a round, which is just beautiful to watch. They're very explosive and just have some incredibly talented individual players. 

And also Peru, who eliminated one of those teams, Canada, who had great expectations yesterday. They have incredible clutch players, and I also thought that their coordination was on point. They're bringing out new comps on a map like Sunset, they're playing the Harbor/Viper there. I think they have good ideas and some really good players and honestly I think at this point they might be my favorite to win at.” 

The Red Bull Campus Clutch World Finals conclude today, on Nov. 24. Stick with for more VALORANT news and info!