spoke with FNS regarding his return to NRG and competing in the VALORANT Champions Tour for Americas Stage 2.

Back with NRG for Stage 2 of VCT Americas is the team's former IGL Pujan "FNS" Mehta. He takes back that role as the organization made some roster changes. And it comes at perhaps the most important time for the team.

Stage 2 is where teams will qualify for Champions 2024. FNS has been there, he's raised a Masters trophy. He knows what it means to win. So, we spoke with him during the media days prior to Stage 2 starting, to get his thoughts on the current state of VALORANT and how he can lead the team to victory.

FNS discusses his return to NRG and the upcoming VCT Americas Stage 2

(Image via NRG)
(Image via NRG)

"First and foremost, welcome back."

FNS: "Thank you."

"Can you tell me what the conversation was like, for you to come back to compete with NRG?"

FNS: "So, basically, Ethan reached out to us with Chet and there wasn't like a crazy conversation. It was just, 'Would you guys be open to playing this split?' And s0m and I thought about it, talked about it for a bit.

"And within like a day, we decided, 'Yeah,' and then negotiations took a little bit with NRG. But overall, we both love to compete, s0m and I. And we've already played with these guys before, we're already good friends. So, we figured, why not?""

"That leads right into my next question. You’re obviously familiar with the system in place, and the players on the team. How much change have you noticed since the last time you led NRG? Are there any big fundamental differences in how the team operates?"

FNS: "I mean, in terms of motivation, and stuff like that, I think everything's basically still the same. The way these guys operate is pretty much the same. Not too many crazy changes. And I was kind of expecting that.

"These guys have been the same for so long. And because I know them so well. And s0m knows them so well, it's a lot easier for us to just dive into it and not worry about personality clashes or anything like that. It's just because we're all friends. So, overall, it's been good so far."

"You mentioned your love for competing. Is that your main drive then, as you slot into the current VCT rather than spending your time as a streamer?"

FNS: "Competing has its own place in my heart. It always will. That's basically the main reason. It's just so fun being on stage and playing with, not just good players and teammates, but also close friends of yours. So, it was kind of a no-brainer at the end of the day. You get the opportunity, you might as well take it."

"You haven't been completely away from the game itself. So, in terms of competitive play, what do you think the biggest change is that you'll need to overcome this time around?"

FNS: "Like you said, I haven't been away too long. So, I'm not really sure if there's any crazy changes. Obviously, the meta changes are a little bit different. But you get used to that with scrims and playing good teams, whether it's Challengers teams or franchise teams.

"And I think I've pretty much got the hang of how teams play, how to call, and all that again. That was a definite learning curve for a second. For the first week or so, when we first started playing together. So yeah, that's something I had to kind of get over and think about a lot more.

"I was like, I don't know, it's kind of hard. We haven't played in a while, but I kind of got the hang of it. And it's getting better and better every day. So, yeah, we'll see how it goes."

(Image via NRG)
(Image via NRG)

"So, looking back then, was it easy to sort of shake the cobwebs off and get right back into the swing of things?"

FNS: "I'd say so. I think a lot of it, I attribute to my teammates. They're very easy to play with. And I keep going back to this, but just because we know each other so well, it's a lot easier to play together. And, you know, they had the patience for me and s0m to get back into it.

"That first week was just kind of us playing. Not too many strategies being implemented, not too many of anything. Nothing complicated, really. And then after that, we started adding things onto every map, and now we're feeling a lot more comfortable."

"Okay, and is there anything you can hint at, that you and Chet have been cooking up for the team?"

FNS: "No. <laughs>"

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

"Simple enough! Well, your first go back on the stage is, of course, against Sentinels. Just tell me your thoughts on the matchup. Anything that you want to say."

FNS: "I'm excited. I mean, it's great match for the fans. Of course, I'd be watch-partying that for sure if I wasn't playing. Definitely a good match for the fans. I'm personally excited to play those guys. They're a very good team, and have already won a Masters before.

"So, it's a pretty big test to kind of go into since we've been away from the game for 10 months or so. But I like challenges like that. It's fun. And whether we win or lose it. At the end of the day, it is just a fun experience, to be able to play those games. I know that stage is going to be electric. I'm excited. "

"Alright, and lastly, how confident are you about taking NRG to the promised land again? Do you feel good about the team’s chances for playoffs and Champions?"

FNS: "I never look at it that way. It's very difficult and it's just not my mentality to be like, 'Yeah, this is something we are capable of or aren't.' You just kind of prove it to yourself step by step. And right now, we have one match ahead of us.

"After that, we'll worry about the next match and so on. So, if we're able to get through those hurdles slowly, and I'm confident that we can. There's a very good chance that we'll make Champs and do well there. But again, it comes down to what kind of form we show on stage."

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