Benjyfishy discusses working hard to make it in VALORANT following Masters Madrid Day 2 cover image

Benjyfishy discusses working hard to make it in VALORANT following Masters Madrid Day 2

Esports.gg spoke with benjyfishy after Team Heretics’ first Swiss Stage series against Sentinels at Masters Madrid.

Team Heretics put up quite the fight against Sentinels in their first match of Masters Madrid. They unfortunately fell short, but were very competitive in front of the org's hometown crowd. And after the series, we spoke with Benjy "benjyfishy" Fish.

The former Fortnite star, now VALORANT pro, commented on all the wholesomeness he exudes. We talked about making the switch to the Riot Games first-person shooter and his thoughts on the series against SEN.

Benjyfishy on working hard to make it in VALORANT and what happened against SEN

(Photo by Adela Sznajder/Riot Games)
(Photo by Adela Sznajder/Riot Games)

"We’ll get to the series against Sentinels in a second, but let’s start with you. Coming over from Fortnite to VALORANT. I have to ask, was that switch a business decision or more a personal choice?"

Benjyfishy: "It was completely personal. I built my whole audience on Fortnite. I could have very easily just stayed on Fortnite for the rest of my career, and I would've been fine. I was still performing in tournaments. I still had really good viewers, content-wise.

"But I wanted more of a challenge, which is why I came to VALORANT. I wasn't enjoying Fortnite, and in VALORANT I noticed that I had the same passion that I had at the start of Fortnite. Which is what I always wanted when I became a pro esports player.

"I wanted to have a job that I enjoyed. That's why I ended up making the switch, and it was my dream to play on a stage like this. Ever since I swapped. So, yeah, it was completely personal."

"And was it difficult at first to get teams to take you seriously, and convince them you were for real instead of just trying to use your fame from the other game?"

Benjyfishy: "I was kind of aware that I probably could have tried my best to sneak into some high level team, just because I had followers. But I took the route where I wanted to start at the lowest level, because I didn't want to use my followers to try to get into a good team.

"So, I started in Tier 3. I just wanted to see how good I was and get my first taste of competitive. And I was playing really good in Tier 3. Then I ended up getting picked up in Tier 2 by Enterprise. I had trials for other teams. I got a trial for Acend, and I was very close to getting into Acend as a Duelist.

"Then I ended up going to Enterprise. I saw I was performing really well in Tier 2, as well. And when you're a Tier 2 team, you end up scrimming a lot of Tier 1 teams. So, I knew I had the potential just from playing so much and scrimming these Tier 1 teams.

"I kind of just took it step by step, starting at the lowest. I tried to earn my spot naturally. I think I got there faster than most people. With more followers, I've got more eyes on me when I'm doing good in Tier 2. It gets noticed a lot more compared to maybe other players. But I still think I deserve the spot in Tier 1."

(Photo by Adela Sznajder/Riot Games)
(Photo by Adela Sznajder/Riot Games)

"Well, now you’re here at a Masters tournament, just barely losing to the number one seed from Americas. Could you expand on the hard work you put in during your journey after making the jump to VALORANT?"

Benjyfishy: "I knew how much time and effort it would take to go pro, because I did the exact same in Fortnite. You have to sacrifice a lot of things, like a social life. For me, it is just putting time in. It was a lot of grinding and I knew it was going to be really hard.

"I didn't expect things to just come to me, which is why I just kept playing. When I first swapped, I thought I was just going to play ranked on stream for like a year, and then maybe I'll try and play competitive.

"Then I got an offer in Tier 3 two months in, when I was just grinding ranked. It was just a lot of time, every day, just practicing. I feel like when you join an esport late, which I have, because the pro scene was pretty developed in VALORANT before I joined. It's kind of hard to break in. I just kept doing my own thing, practicing every day, and I think that's how I got to where I am now."

"So, we saw your mom and brother on the broadcast cheering you on. Then you played peek-a-boo with the camera, in one of many wholesome moments you’ve shown in your gaming career. Why is it important for you to be that wholesome character instead of a silent killer or even a villain type we so often in esports?"

Benjyfishy: "I try to show my personality on the stream. I feel like being silent is kind of boring. People do a crazy play. They do a sick play, right? They'd get a clutch 1v3, they're fully silent. I feel that's kind of boring, you know?

"I remember back in the day, it would annoy me watching CS pros, or other pros, do something crazy and they would just have no reaction. I thought that was just boring. Sure, maybe it's kind of cool, but I don't know. I prefer not doing that."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"And furthermore, when it comes to cheering you on. Obviously, you’re not Spanish, but you’re playing for a Spanish org in Spain. How does the hometown crowd here match up to the crowds from some other larger LAN events you’ve attended?"

Benjyfishy: "This is definitely the craziest event in terms of a crowd I've ever experienced. When I was playing Fortnite, there's 100 players. You can't really have a home crowd advantage. Just because there's so many different people.

"Even if you do something cool, it might not even get seen. So, VALORANT, just as an esport is a lot better in terms of a crowd experience. You can always hear the crowd when do something cool. It's really amazing. I've never experienced anything like it. I'm super happy that I'm able to play with a home crowd."

"We all saw how close the series was, so we’ll keep it brief. It was really anyone’s game in the final map. How regretful are you, looking back on that first map, letting SEN come back after halftime?"

Benjyfishy: "I felt like we lost control a bit. For most of the start of Lotus, we were just in fully control. We knew what they were going to do, and we had good answers for everything. I felt like we failed to adapt on Lotus to what they were doing.

"And I think that's what kind of cost us the game. In general, I think we played really well. It's kind of just a learning experience for us now. We've got to make sure we don't repeat the same mistakes that we did. And I think if we can do that, I think we're a very, very strong contender to win this tournament."

(Photo by Adela Sznajder/Riot Games)
(Photo by Adela Sznajder/Riot Games)

"It was a huge win on map two. There are obviously some positives to take away from the series. What do you think went well?"

Benjyfishy: "In general, our communication was really good. We had our game plan and we executed it. I'm super proud of all my teammates, for keeping calm when you've got this crowd.

"With this home crowd, you know, people could get nervous or feel more under pressure with this atmosphere. But I think we handled it really well. We use it to motivate us, and apart from the loss, I think we played really well."

"And is there anything you can pinpoint from map three, that if it went differently, would have given your team the series?"

Benjyfishy: "We were up pretty good at the start. I think it was 6:1 or 6:2. We kind of knew what they were going to start doing. We knew what they were going to do and we tried to counter it, but we didn't, and they kept kind of just doing the same thing.

"Which was just executing A, planting, and trying to play post-plant. That's really what their comp's made to do. They want to play post-plant and play mollies. So, we tried to counter it and we failed. I think that was just a lack of team play.

"That is something, that if we would've done it better, if we would've executed better, then we would've won the series. But there were a lot of different rounds just in general. It was a super close game. It could have gone either way. It was just us this time."

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"Alright, well lastly, they did a draw on stage for the next set of matches. They definitely aren’t giving you guys an easy going here in Madrid. You guys have Paper Rex. Can I get your thoughts on your next opponent?"

Benjyfishy: "I'm super excited to play against them. My number one team I wanted to play here was Sentinels. So, I've already done that. And Paper Rex is probably a close second. I've already watched them play when I was watching VALORANT, even before I swapped.

"They're a really good team, and we don't really care who we play against. We believe that we can beat anyone. Paper Rex isn't going to be any different, and I'm super excited to play against them."

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