cNed tells us more on the recent changes to Acend, and thoughts on the current Valorant meta.
One of the best Jett players in Valorant, Mehmet Yağız "cNed" İpek was part of the first Valorant Champions winning team. Acend won the first ever Valorant Champions after a 3-2 victory over Gambit in the Finals. Their names etched in history, the Acend players will forever be remembered in the Valorant Hall of Fame. We got an opportunity to speak exclusively to cNed after the release of the Red Bull documentary that highlights his start in esports.
On recent changes to Acend
Currently competing in the EMEA Challengers 2, Acend has already secured its top three spot in the Group stage. Having qualified for the playoffs, their next goal is to qualify for the Stage 2 Masters. A top three placement in the Challengers is enough, but cNed wants nothing but victory.
Acend made some changes to its roster recently, parting ways with BONECOLD and kiles. The move, aimed at improving their results saw Vakk and MONSTEERR join the squad with Vakk taking on the role of the in-game leader.
"We work on communicating, team play and listening to each other more in the middle of a round and making better decisions at the moment," cNed said on the team's preparation for Challengers 2.
With just a few days to go for their first EMEA match after the roster change, the team faced an uphill battle. They are in Group A, alongside the likes of G2 esports, FunPlus Phoenix, Fnatic, OG LDNUTD and Fokus. With two new players, one of them as the new in-game leader, Acend had its task cut out.
Normally Vakk is a duelist who doesn’t lead. So pushing him for a role in leadership and support led to a difficult period for us and him. But we are slowly adapting and getting there.
Thoughts on FOKUS
After defeating OG LDNUTD in their first match, Acend faced its first hurdle against FOKUS. The mixed-nationality roster gave Acend its first loss of the Stage 2 Challengers.
"I think they are a very good team, they can become dangerous if they don’t split up and adapt to one another and to their gameplay," cNed said about FOKUS.
Even though Acend lost the first map, Bind, cNed still had a great impact with a near impossible 1v5 clutch.
“[Fame] was a source of motivation for me but my burden also got heavier. As a person who always aims for the best, the motivation was helpful” : cNed
In the Red Bull documentary, cNed said he used to pose as a 16-17 year old player online. He did this to avoid the various cheating accusations from online players who would refuse to believe a 8-9 year old could play as well as him.
But cNed has proven all of them wrong and is now the first ever Valorant Champions winner. En route to the top, cNed faced various cheating accusations as well, but his LAN performance has silenced all critics.
My aim has been to play a game at top level since I was very little. Being famous made me more self confident and I forced myself to play even better after that. Yes this [fame] was a source of motivation for me but my burden also got heavier. As a person who always aims for the best, the motivation was helpful.
His brother describes him as ‘ambitious and very lazy’ in the documentary. But behind the ambition the skill is the player’s dedication and hard work. He spends nearly 6-7 hours scrimming with the team and then streams for his fans for 3-4 hours.
First of all, I focus on my game but when the opponent tries to counter my play, I try to do the same. That's why I’m able to make some nice moves throughout the game.
Speaking about the tipping point in his career, the point in his career when he realized he has the skill to reach the top, cNed reminisces about a match from Stage 1 Masters.
I think my tipping point was against Rix.GG in 2021 Masters 1. We were down 0-1 in BO3 and we were losing the second map 11-3 then we came back and won. The momentum carried us to the championship in Masters 1. That memory tells me I should never give up.
The players used to play for Raise Your Gaming. The roster was picked up by Acend shortly after qualifying for Challengers. The Player of the match was cNed with 66 kills and a 22 average across the series.
CNed: Thoughts on Jett and Reyna in the current meta
When asked specifically about the changes to Jett and if Reyna can replace Jett in the current meta, cNed spoke about what it would take for Jett to come back into the meta.
One of the biggest reasons for Jett to fall behind is her instant escape mechanic to be taken away and given to another agent, to Chamber. This situation has to be reversed for Jett to come back.
CNed is one of the best players on Jett. But after Riot nerfed Jett, the agent’s pick rate has dwindled. Even the world’s best Jett player prefers to play with other agents.
“One of the biggest reasons for Jett to fall behind is her instant escape mechanic to be taken away and given to another agent, to Chamber,” he said. “Since Jett was nerfed, most of the players switched to Chamber. This situation has to be reversed for Jett to come back.”
Speaking about the team’s Reyna picks, cNed says there is a possibility that Reyna can replace Jett.
If you have good aim you can pick Reyna and escape after getting a score like you do with Jett. That’s why Reyna can replace Jett as a duelist but we have to wait and see what the game will show us.
And finally, he wanted to thank his fans for their support throughout his career.
"Thanks a lot for supporting me and my team and please continue to do so, we will achieve much more."