Cloud9’s Vanity and Fnatic’s Boaster offered some much needed comic relief on the eve of the biggest Valorant event of all, Champions.
The tension could be cut with a knife as four players took the stage for the pre-Valorant Champions press conference yesterday. Cloud9’s Anthony “vanity” Malaspina, Fnatic’s Jake “Boaster” Howlett, Team Liquid’s Elias “Jamppi” Olkkonen, and Sentinels’ Shahzeb “ShahZaM“ Khan sat down and were ready for whatever came their way.
It took all of two minutes for Boaster to break the ice with his vibrant personality.
“First of all, I’d like to thank Gambit for getting us to Champions,” he says with a huge grin. Gambit’s win in Berlin Masters not only automatically placed them in Champions but due to the amount of EMEA circuit points Fnatic accrued throughout the year, they were qualified as well.
When asked which team Fnatic would like to play against whom they haven’t played before, his answer was more than satisfactory.
“Dunno really, actually. I’ll play anyone. But we’ll go for Envy. That’d be quite fun because they made it to the finals. And I haven’t actually played them yet. Actually, no, I did at scrims at the last event. Yeah, let’s just go with Envy, screw it. Oh, no Vision Strikers–oh, did they make it? I can’t remember. Yeah, they did, didn’t they? Vision Strikers. Let’s go for that.”
Meanwhile, another reporter asked Vanity about his rematch against Fnatic after the latter soundly defeated his previous team, Version1 in Reykjavík, 0-2.
“I don’t know. I mean, it’s a completely different group of players,” he explains. “They’re the same team but I’m playing it for new people.”
Regarding the situation in Iceland, he concedes that the circumstances weren’t ideal and that Cloud9 is ready for them.
And almost immediately, Boaster responds.
Rematches and Revenge
Not long after, Boaster was asked if Fnatic and Sentinels would up in the Grand Finals at Valorant Champions and if he believed things would go differently.
“I honestly don’t know who’s gonna be in the Grand Finals with us,” he concedes. “Wouldn’t mind Sentinels or I don’t mind meeting them in the quarters or the semis if we make it that far, too. I would like to play them again because I’m due a little redemption, personally. I don’t know if you’re down for that.”
He turns to Shazam who can’t help but smile and reply, “I’m down. Let’s make it there.”
“Oh, thanks, man! Yeah, if I can get to the finals again. I’ll do it. Yeah, let’s go with that.”
Vanity was then asked who he believed would be the most challenging team in his group.
“Ah, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve never played against Vision Strikers. I know they had a pretty disappointing run for what they were expected to do in Berlin. So I’d say Vision Strikers.”
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Boaster dramatically gasps, “How DARE you?”
“But I think all the groups are relatively strong throughout. I think the weakest one is probably Group C, but I think A, B and D all have multiple teams that have a good chance to make deep runs in the tournament.”
Six Months Later…
Even the reporters can no longer deny the chemistry between Vanity and Boaster as they continued to laugh and enjoy themselves during the conference. And when someone asked what they made of each other’s progress, they were refreshingly honest with their observations–even if Boaster was a bit offended by Vanity’s previous remarks.
“Um, wow. First of all, I’d like to say Vanity and I’ve now broken up over his previous comment,” he says while they both laugh. “I’m not happy about that, whatsoever. I was only going to say nice things about him at this press conference as well.”
“I think Vanity has always been considered a smart IGL in NA. And you can see the impact he has on the teams that he joins and the quick impact that he’s had on Cloud9. However, we do have the benefit of being a team longer–if that is a benefit. So I’d say we have the advantage in terms of all those aspects. And whether he had enough time with that roster to really solidify it and compete with the likes of us.”
Vanity responded, “I mean, I think the biggest difference like with Fnatic at least it seems like they stopped switching roles on every map, which I think should help them. I think Boasted plays Sova on most of the maps now, which is something a lot of European teams shied away from in the past. I think they’re starting to realize how strong of an agent Sova is and how strong it is to have a Sova player who is confident in his abilities. And I think that’s probably the biggest improvement that they’ve made and that Boaster has made as a team or player so far.”
More Surprises in Store at Valorant Champions
And to finally lighten the mood, another reporter asked how Boaster would be celebrating during the games or how he would be entering the stage.
With another grin, he says, “As for the celebrations I’ll have to keep them on the hush-hush, but for an entry, I do have a plan is just whether Vanity will agree with it after we talk after this. We’ll just have to find out.”
Vanity can’t help but smile.
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