GE AYRIN: “The beauty of being an import is that you just get to see so much – different people and playstyles” cover image

GE AYRIN: “The beauty of being an import is that you just get to see so much – different people and playstyles”

Jordan “AYRIN” He, currently the IGL for Global Esports, opens up about being an import, the game meta, and more ahead of VCT LOCK//IN.

Of all the VCT-partnered rosters, Global Esports is the one that lives up to its name. With players from India, South Korea, North America, and Oceania, the roster is one that has generated a great deal of anticipation.

This journalist had a chance to speak with Jordan "AYRIN" He, the IGL of the team, and the sole import for the team from outside the Pacific region. Before joining Global Esports, AYRIN was the co-IGL and controller player for the XSET roster.

 Jordan "AYRIN" He of XSET poses at VALORANT Champions 2022 Istanbul Features Day on August 28, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Angel Franco/Riot Games)
 Jordan "AYRIN" He of XSET poses at VALORANT Champions 2022 Istanbul Features Day on August 28, 2022 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Photo by Angel Franco/Riot Games)

While they had not won an international title throughout 2022, the roster had made it to both VCT Masters: Copenhagen and VCT Champions 2022. At the latter event, they finished within the top six, a respectable accolade for a team who had formed their current iteration towards the end of 2022 and achieved so much in less than a year.

AYRIN's thoughts about moving to South Korea

AYRIN stated that he'd studied and worked in a lot of different countries and this made it feel natural to him. It was also one of the reasons he took the job at all -- he likes to meet different cultures and see different people.

Korea is just some place that I've always wanted to go to and perhaps live in because it's kind of where esports kind of really thrived and started at the very beginning.

He said to be able to play there live in front of an audience each week makes it seem like he's going back in time a little bit. AYRIN also said he's been fitting in quite well over the last couple of months and that personally, the food is great.

The Korean people are very courteous and very generous, so they always say you're doing a good job.

He said the city reminds him of Tokyo and has what he likes about Europe and Toronto as well. There are so many different parts of Seoul, and when you take a subway to the next station, it's a different place. There's something for everyone, and you can hop neighbourhoods and experience a bunch of ridiculously crazy and fun things without having to travel or get on a plane.

How things are going with the team

According to AYRIN, everyone had made it to South Korea except for the Indian players due to visa issues. This means the first time the team is playing together in person would be in São Paulo.

"One of the reasons why Global Esports was really interesting was because it's a very ambitious project and the fact that there are just so many different nationalities, I think it's probably the most international roster created in VALORANT," Ayrin said when asked about his thoughts on the Global esports roster.

On being asked about who the most jolly person was on the team, AYRIN named Kim "t3xture" Na-Ra as someone with a great personality who's super funny. It isn't all work and no play though. Despite the team spending a lot of time in practice, AYRIN said the GE coaching staff have done a great job with things like going out or having lunch/dinner together, or even taking an extra day off.

Expectations for São Paulo

While AYRIN mentioned that many professional players have spoken about the pros and cons of VCT LOCK//IN's single-elimination format, he said that he and GE were grateful for the opportunity to compete internationally.

The only thing we can hope for is to play our best game, and hopefully turn our practices into reality on the big stage. We're just gonna take it game by game.

On being IGL at Global Esports

AYRIN said ever since he was 16, he was always a caller. And when he picked up VALORANT, he knew he was going to be a caller. He took a three-year break before coming into VALORANT as he wanted to make sure he knew the game and compete at the highest level.

He further stated that he felt like there have been some struggles with an international roster, especially when they're trying to get everyone back on the same page and learn to play a certain way. The negatives are just the smallest part though.

The benefit is that you get more perspectives, you get more people voicing their appearance on how they think the game should be played, and then you can come to a conclusion. I think that's the whole point of an international roster is that you get the struggles, but if you pull it off, you get a really great reward and being in the process of it is just, it's what I expected.

Thoughts about regional competition

AYRIN mentioned that the team so far had only partaken in scrims. He mentioned that if he was only talking about scrim results and whatever that means, including the fact that teams don't scrim to win, they've gone well.

We've beaten, I'd say for sure, like if there was a, like a percentage, we've definitely far exceeded 50%. If we're just talking about beating the teams in the region, you know, does that give me a little bit of confidence? Sure. But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter until we actually beat them in the match.

About being an import

AYRIN said that being an import is really interesting because he felt like he has to prove himself. He speaks on behalf of all of his teammates that they want to show they can compete in the APAC region. He knew a couple of players from other teams from different events like DRX and Detonation Gaming, but at the end of the day, he's a new person and he really wants to prove himself.

One of the parts, I'd say that's kind of negative, you feel like you have to prove yourself, but then I think the positive is definitely like, everyone's being exceptionally nice, just like playing ranked and talking to other pros.

He continued saying that the most important thing for him is when the league actually starts in the Pacific region: although we're going head-to-head teams for a spot in Tokyo and stuff like that, I think it's gonna be really exciting to these people, and hang out with them. At the end of the day, he is an import, but at the same time, for a lot of people, it's their first time in Seoul.

It's gonna be really good to, for our team to mingle and talk to other teams outside or inside the game, just talk more, hang out with people. And I think that the beauty of being an import is that you just get to see so many different people and play styles.

About the meta and changes to Chamber

On being asked about the nerfs to Chamber, AYRIN said that when he was helping develop the roster, he thought SkRossi would have a lot of potential on the Chamber role, because of how talented he is on the Operator. At the same time, AYRIN mentioned that they could run both Jett and Chamber because they'd signed six duelists.

FEBRUARY 21: Ganesh "SkRossi" Gangadhar of Global Esports speaks during the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023: LOCK//IN press conference on February 21, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
FEBRUARY 21: Ganesh "SkRossi" Gangadhar of Global Esports speaks during the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023: LOCK//IN press conference on February 21, 2023 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

However, he also felt that the game had been quite stale, and with Chamber being out of the picture, Cypher and KJ are back. Certain players on the team have shown expertise in the role he said. The nerfs to Chamber would help level the playing field since the agent had been quite busted and there were some players who were crazy on it, like his ex-teammate Cryocells or FNATIC's Derke.

"It's a great way to start off the new year for our team because we're a new team," Ayrin told "We have time to adapt and learn just as the other teams are learning. If the meta just stayed the same way and we came into it, we technically would be months and months behind because we'd have to, you know, socialize, get together on the same page and then see what we can do with what people are, are already doing and how to beat it. So the new patch for me as a caller is always exciting because it's just boring if the game is stale. So, you know, the reason why I love VALORANT so much is the ability to adapt. And that's what also makes calling fun. I mean, if it wasn't, and we play the same agents in the same maps, you know, there's so only so much creativity and fun you can have as a caller."

Thoughts about Harbor and Lotus

On being asked about his thoughts on the latest controller Agent, AYRIN said that Harbor was supposed to shake up the game a bit more. When that didn't really work out, they buffed him to make him more useable. AYRIN mentioned that when it comes to Harbor, there is still a bit more to do, but as he is, there are teams that are going to try the agent at LOCK//IN for sure.

The rotating door in Lotus (Image via Riot Games)
The rotating door in Lotus (Image via Riot Games)

When questioned about Lotus, AYRIN called it really fun and nice to look at. He loves how they're trying to incorporate new elements like the breakable door, the switches, and the rotating doors. He also likes how it's a bigger map and how it feels fresh, and the latter is why it's a really good map for São Paulo.

AYRIN's most and least favorite map

In his words, AYRIN's favorite and most hated map are both Ascent, because of how it's so defense-sided.

When you're on the other side and you're attacking and you just can't get a single round against someone you're of the similar skill with, it's frustrating. So I'd say I, you know, I like and dislike Ascent, but I also don't really like Bind particularly a lot either.

He attributed this to the complexity of the map and said he thinks that Lotus is one of those maps that's good in a team environment at a professional level, but at a more amateur or casual level, it might just seem like too much.

AYRIN's time with XSET

On being asked about what made the difference between XSET's bomb out at Masters Copenhagen and their much deeper run at VCT Champions, AYRIN said it came down to LAN experience. The first time, they also had less practice time compared to how they spent the entire year practicing for Champions.

Just cause you couldn't do this or you can't make the high school team doesn't mean you're not Michael Jordan. You can still be a pro and not be the very best the first time. You can't just choose outliers and just be like, oh, you didn't perform like that team.

On how he was applying it to his time with Global Esports now, AYRIN said the best thing any player can do with experience is to have the right mindset.

As a veteran or a more experienced player, I think the most important thing is bringing the right type of energy. Try to get them focused on the game and not on the crowd or not focus on anything really other than just being in the game.

This is where I also think if you have that passion for the game and desire to win, you know, playing in front of an audience shouldn't really faze you. I can speak on behalf of a lot of pros. It's like when sometimes when you're playing in front of an audience and stuff like that, I never even see them. You know, they're not even in my peripheral vision cuz you're just staring at that screen like so hard.

Does AYRIN have any regrets?

AYRIN did say that if he had had the opportunity to have played with the old XSET team on a franchised team together, it would have been something he'd definitely wanted. He said it felt like they were just hitting their peak and it was their year where they were getting better and better.

If we could have stayed together one more year, I think we could have done even more, you know, maybe even have won a trophy.

He also stated, upon which region is at a higher tier of play, that as a business major, he prefers to focus on results and how teams from NA and EMEA have gone the furthest. He further stated that he thought the Americas is the most stacked league thanks to how good the Brazilian team is, combined with teams that have picked up players from OpTic and XSET.

He did clarify that it's a direct result of the amount of investment and competition that North America has put in.

There's just been more opportunities, more money, more pressure, more competition. So that's why FPS games are bigger in North America. It's just more a part of the culture.

Global Esports will face off against Team Vitality in their debut game at VCT LOCK//IN. Stay tuned to for more esports news and VALORANT coverage. Be sure to check out the VCT LOCK//IN event page for everything you need to know!