FPX ardiis spoke in an interview after the 2-1 win over XERXIA about finally getting the opportunity to play on the VCT Masters Stage.

Throughout the VALORANT world, no team has faced as much misfortune as FPX. After sweeping the EMEA competition in Stage 1, outside circumstances with the war in Ukraine made international travel impossible for FPX and shelved what could’ve been the best team at Masters Reykjavik.  We spoke to FPX’s main Duelist Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks.

Entering Masters Copenhagen, the fact the team missed out on Reykjavik is still a sore spot for FPX ardiis. In an interview with Esports.gg, ardiis spoke on the missed opportunity, but remains positive and ready to prove to everyone the strength of FPX even with a substitute. 

“I’m happy but we should’ve been here last event,” said ardiis. “I think we would have proved ourselves even more, but guess you just have to play what you’re given. I’m happy how we’ve played so far anyway and I’m pretty sure we’ll go far in this event so I’m just hoping for the best.”

SEIDER Steps in for SUYGETSU

The disappointment of unforeseen circumstances completely out of FPX’s control have turned 2022 sideways for one of the world’s most talented teams.

The ongoing VISA issues have sidelined Controller player Dmitry “SUYGETSU” Ilyushi. It’s been an incredibly unlucky year for FPX. Fortunately, they learned from Reykjavik and picked up former Alliance smokes player Mathias “Seider” Seider to take his place. 

Moreover, according to ardiis, it’s been a streamlined process that easily implemented him into SUYGETSU’s exact role. 

“The process was quite easy, to be honest. Seider just slotted into all of Suygetsu’s roles so it’s a like for like replacement, so everyone just focuses on what they do and Seider just focuses on doing Suygetsu’s role. I think the process was easy because we didn’t have to change that much so I’m happy overall and it just feels like normal to me”

FPX ardiis

Stand-ins have spiraled top teams chances in the past, including Fnatic at Masters Reykjavik. Regardless, FPX had a plan in place to have this team be competitive in Copenhagen with or without Suygestu. Suygetsu was a significant part of their success, but FPX has never relied on one individual to produce results. Even with subs prior, FPX always overcame the adversity. It’s a team of five intelligent players with plenty of tournament experience all contributing. 

Furthermore, ardiis confirmed that there’s a chance SUYGETSU can return in time for playoffs. So for FPX, the goal is to make the playoffs by any means necessary. Playoffs will give themselves a real shot at international glory with the potential return of Suygetsu.

“We don’t know 100%, but we’re guessing Seider is going to play all the group stage games and SUYGETSU might get a visa for playoffs,” said ardiis. “That’s the plan, but obviously things could change. Seider could play the whole event or Suygetsu could come earlier, so right now we just don’t know.” 

FPX ardiis finds XERXIA to be a difficult challenge

As for the 2-1 win over XERXIA, ardiis admitted he might have overlooked the Taiwanese talent. The cleanliness of XERXIA’s surprised him and is making him reconsider taking any team lightly.

“I underestimated them a lot,” said ardiis. “I was thinking, I don’t want to say it would be a free win, but thought it would be a comfortable win. When we played them, they had a lot of good pushes and good set plays and retakes. XERXIA had a lot of good stuff that I didn’t think they would have, to be honest and yet, overall, I came into the game just underestimating them. So, I learned a lot from that.”

In fact, XERXIA nearly blindsided FPX on the decider map Haven and stealing the map. In what amounts to longtime VALORANT pros ardiis, Pontus “Zyppan” Eek, and Kyrylo “ANGE1” Karasov’s biggest career moment, FPX found wins out of unwinnable 3v5 situations, including Seider’s unbelievable 3k to close the map.

“I think we just take it every round as it comes. Even if it was 10-10 on the big round, we just take it one-by-one and see what happens. Obviously, you can’t win every round, but luckily it went in our favor,” said ardiis. 

The brilliant gameplan from d00mb0s and ANGE1

Turning to ardiis as the main damage producer on the team, he gave plenty of credit to his coach Erik “d00mbr0s” Sandgren and ANGE1 for having him in the right positions on Chamber. On defense, ardiis has been an absolute menace on Chamber, putting up a staggering 246.6 ACS on defensive rounds throughout stage 2. 

“It’s d00mmbr0s and ANGE1. They counter-strat. They have a game plan. They set it up for us as the players and we just execute. I think it’s down to both of them, not just ANGE1 or d00mbr0s. Both of them combine well together,“Ardiis continued.

”We have our set strategies and I just call it based on whatever we feel or if ANGE1 says ‘I think this will work’ then we’ll do it, so it’s me or ANGE1. If ANGE1 has the read, I’ll do the setup. If I have a read we’ll do the setup. It’s kind of free flowing.”

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

Furthermore, FPX has shown teams a different way to buy in the bonus rounds. Investing into two Vandals on the bonus has skyrocketed their win percentage (61%). It’s a winning strategy and ardiis is wondering why other teams are lagging behind.

“It’s a big thing we focus on. We make sure we can buy as much as we can . We don’t always invest into rounds. But, I’m not sure, to be honest, that’s a good question and you should ask some of the other teams.”

FPX ardiis on facing DRX with a playoff spot on the line

FPX will move on to face DRX, a team with plenty of LAN experience again, and an impressive team structure. For ardiis, he might have never faced them officially, but he has been playing against their strategies since the Vision Strikers days. 

They’re literally one of the best structured teams. So, a lot of stuff they’ve had in the past has been robbed by teams in Europe.

FPX ardiis

“They’re literally one of the best structured teams. So, a lot of stuff they’ve had in the past has been robbed by teams in Europe. I know back when they were called Vision Strikers everyone would just rob their stuff. Overall, yeah, I think they’re strong.” 

Before letting ardiis leave, I had to sneak in a question about the remark DRX Initiator Kim “stax” Gu-taek made about his towering physique and wanting to be friends, not enemies. 

“I found it funny, to be honest. I got nothing against him, nothing at all. It’s just a funny comment, the way it is. But, who knows, we might be enemies… you know what I mean?”

FPX will face DRX at 6am PST on July 12th

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Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022