“I would say no,” KC N4RRATE when asked if he played up to his own standards in Madrid cover image

“I would say no,” KC N4RRATE when asked if he played up to his own standards in Madrid

Esports.gg spoke to N4RRATE of Karmine Corp after an incredible series against Paper Rex, which unfortunately saw KC elminated.

Karmine Corp has shown to be quite the formidable team in the early stages of 2024. In a scrappy match against Paper Rex, however, they fell short and were eliminated from Masters Madrid. Following that series, we spoke with KC's Marshall "N4RRATE" Massey.

We discussed the super close series against PRX, what positives he is taking away from his international LAN debut, and who he'd like to see win the tournament. Let's just say, he was pretty blunt about not choosing Sentinels.

KC N4RRATE on Masters Madrid performance and staying successful in VCT EMEA

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

"This was a huge series for Karmine Corp here in Madrid. How badly do you think the team needed this win against Paper Rex?"

N4RRATE: "I don't think we needed or not needed it. It was just, we know we're here for experience in the first place. So, we're not thinking about how we need to win, or we need to win this.

"If we won, it would've been nice, because then we would have been guaranteed two more matches. I think that's it. We didn't need the win, but it would've been really nice to win."

"Well, let’s talk about the match further. What’s your immediate reaction, whether the things that went right or went wrong?"

N4RRATE: "We never really played a game that was as close as the last map was. So, there were just new problems showing up. Just because we're all kind of inexperienced. That was the biggest thing. And obviously on Ascent, it's a really disciplined, hard map.

"And when you're playing PRX, it kind of throws a lot of things out of the way. You kind of adapt to their game rather than play your own. So, it was definitely hard. It was just a good experience for us.

"It was just a really close game that we never really had, in such a critical situation. The map decides whether or not we stay in the tournament, and it's super close. So, I think it was just a lot of pressure."

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

"Obviously it looked super close from a spectator’s point-of-view, going to overtime in the third map. As the player on stage, just how close did the series feel?"

N4RRATE: "It didn't really feel close the first and second map. The first map, we kind of got destroyed in the first eight or nine rounds or something. I mean, we were down like 1-8, and we came back with the 10-13. I think we were really good there.

"And then obviously Lotus was pretty easy for us. We won a lot of clutches, which just kept the momentum, and we just kept winning rounds. So, that was good. It was just Ascent. It is a really hard map, especially when you're finishing on the attack side.

"Attack side is the weaker side. And yeah, it only really felt close when it was getting down to the wire on Ascent. I think other than that, it was just that we were playing our game, and that's it."

"We’ve heard from every side leading into this match that it’s an aggressive team versus an aggressive team. It definitely showed. Was there anything Karmine Corp tried to change to catch Paper Rex off guard?"

N4RRATE: "No. I mean, obviously you've just got to adapt to what they're doing. It's not really that we had to change what we're doing. We just had to understand what they're doing, and then make the right reactions."

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

"As this was your international debut, do you feel like you performed up to your own standards?"

N4RRATE: "I would say no, because I feel like the Sentinels match, I think I performed really poorly compared to what I I'm used to. And that's kind of it for me. I would just say, if I performed well that match, I think we win it pretty easily.

"And the other matches, I played really well. I think this match, I played pretty okay. Like I said, it was really hard on Ascent, just because it's Ascent. I just think my performance, I think it was good except for the one series against Sentinels.

"We only played three series, but, the series against Sentinels, I just think it was really, really, really poor. I think I threw Split by myself. And Lotus, I think there was a lot of rounds where I could have played better. That would have, I think, changed a lot."

"What specific positives would you take away, not just from this series, but your time in Masters Madrid as a whole?"

N4RRATE: "The positives, I would say, obviously, we didn't place last <laughs>. That's the first positive. We won a series. We also played a really, really close series and lost. So, I think that's good experience for us.

"And I think we kind of had a slump in form after Kickoff. I feel like this series was us bringing back our form. And even though we beat FPX quite easily, I think we were still not on our good form. This series we played on our good form, and the pressure just got to us.

"But that's not the point. It's just that we got back to our good form, and I think if we continue this momentum, we'll be really good in Stage 1. I think the other positive is that I had some good series. I had some good rounds, and there's definitely good memories to look back to."

(Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games)
(Photo by Wojciech Wandzel/Riot Games)

"The year is really just beginning. You and KC already have huge wins over the likes of Team Heretics and FNATIC from the EMEA league. How does the team plan to keep that success rolling into the first regular season Stage?

N4RRATE: "To be honest, it's just the same. Just prepare like we normally do. Our preparation works pretty well, I would say. I don't really know. It's not really up to me, but for me individually, it's just focusing on what works.

"Focus on how I can impact the team, and that's it. During the Sentinel series, like I said, I kind of forgot my role and didn't really do what I was good at. And that's what makes us win. And I think that if I just keep focusing on what makes us win, we'll be good."

"I’d like to ask just a bit about your journey here. From MAD Lions in NA Challengers to Karmine Corp in the VCT, what was the most difficult part of the jump into Tier 1?"

N4RRATE: "I don't think it was too difficult to be honest. I'm not in the comfort of my home anymore. I'm in Berlin, in a totally different country. It's just totally a different culture, and it's different from what I'm used to.

"And there's not a lot that I connect with in Europe, other than my teammates. My teammates are amazing. So, I think the difference is just being in person with everybody. Challengers was online for me, but in terms of the game itself, not much has really changed.

"I think I've improved over the off-season. I improved a lot. and I think that because of my improvements, and because of my role in the team, I definitely got a lot better. By like tenfold. When I came in to play our first matches, I was really ready.

"I was just there, you know what I mean? I wasn't nervous or anything. I feel like the first match can determine everything for me. So, I played really well on our first match. I kind of just knew instantly that I can do this. That was the only challenge. Moving to Berlin and then winning our first game"

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

"Lastly then, being the American import over to EMEA, I have to ask. With no EMEA representation in the playoffs at Masters Madrid, are you rooting for the NA org of Sentinels to take it all? Or who would you like to see win the tournament?"

N4RRATE: "No, not at all. I want to see, to be honest, I want to see Gen.G or Paper Rex win. Because they haven't won any tournaments before. And I think it'd be really cool to see PRX or Gen.G win. I really want to see Gen.G win, just because they're just such a cool team.

"I think t3xture is an insane player. I love watching him, and Karon, and all their players like Munchkin. I really enjoy watching them, and I think that they have the ability to do it. That is a team that I really want to watch win.

"But Sentinels? I think any team would be cool to win. I like Saadhak on LOUD. I like PRX. We lost to them. So, if we lose to PRX and we lose in the tournament, it's like, 'Oh, we lost to the winners.' But I mean, it is just cool no matter what. I just hope they are good series, to be honest."

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