In an interview with KRU Esports star Initiator Mazino, he spoke on the teams unbending composure and responding to the Leviatán loss

In an unprecedented result, the two VCT Masters Reykjavik finalists, LOUD and OpTic Gaming, fall into losers bracket on day ONE of Masters Copenhagen. LOUD, an obvious tournament favorite, fell to the giant slayers in Latin America’s KRU Esports, putting their dreams in jeopardy against the reigning champs.

 (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

As for KRU, beating a juggernaut in LOUD brings back memories of their unbelievable Champions run in 2021. In an interview, Roberto Francisco “Mazino” Rivas Bugueño spoke about the satisfaction of proving the world wrong once again.

“At Champions, everyone was like ‘they’re gonna lose. It’s impossible for us to win against these opponents.’ We know that we can win against everyone. We have to prove it on stage and we did it.” 

KRU Shut down LOUD’s Firepower

For Mazino, it showed off his abilities to play at the center of the KRU game plan. His impact on Sage and Fade were massively important in setting up teammate Angelo “keznit” Mori. But, even more so, the damage output and intelligent play in 5v5 retake situations kept KRU in the series. Mazino ended the series with a 156 ADR, the most multi-kill rounds (15), and winning duel numbers against all the LOUD heavy hitters.

Even more impressive is KRU finishing the day with a 26.6% conversion rate in clutch situations. They found nine clutch rounds in total, with many of those rounds being crucial moments in the win for KRU. Falling down 10-7 on the decider map Icebox, Mazino spoke on the teams strong mentality in those even at a deficit.

“I really don’t remember exactly in the moment, but our mindset during the series was like round by round and the round that passed, you just forget about it and play the next round,” said Mazino. “I said just play in the moment, don’t care about what happened in the last rounds and just play together. Take the advantage when you can and that’s it “

The KRU LAN Experience

In terms of team experience on LAN, virtually no team has more hours together than KRU on the international stage. Mazino has seen the peaks and valleys of the Masters competition and survived. So when asked what KRU is capable of in Copenhagen, he gave a clear and concise answer.

“It’s a buff, but not like it doesn’t change the way we see ourselves in the tournament,” said Mazino.”I thought that before winning against Loud. We can win against anyone.”

KRU players have an air of confidence surrounding them. It’s clear the big moments don’t faze this team and that shows in their stature. The duo of keznit and Mazino brought this team to the brink of World Championship in 2021 and after sending LOUD to the lower bracket, the Chilean beast may have finally been awakened.

KRU Mazino on the best Initiator conversation

The topic on the streets this week were the inflammatory comments from XSET’s Brendan “BcJ” Jensen on the best Initiator conversation. Mazino wasn’t mentioned by Bcj, but I was curious about his opinion on the matter. 

“I don’t care what anyone thinks about me about our team. I just, like, play every second I can.”

Of course, Mazino’s not interested in the discourse and focused solely on one thing: winning. As for the discussion, it’s not only his battle Sage that creates value for KRU, but he’s found the tricks on Fade as well. 

“This new agent treats me perfect, like, I just feel really comfortable playing that character so like, it’s awesome,” said Mazino. 

 (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

The underperformance from LOUD’s Felipe “Less” Basso and Erick “Aspas” Santos was due in large part to Mazino’s utilization of Fade’s kit on retakes. It was a masterful performance from the 21 year old, who at this point, feels like an old pro in the VALORANT scene.

KRU responding from the loss to Leviatán

Moreover, the VCT LATAM Finals loss brought this team a sense of urgency and despite little changes made to their macro game plan, the improvement in their play was night-and-day. KRU needed a wakeup call and got one.

“Obviously, losing in the final 3-0 against Leviatán wasn’t what we expected but at the end of the day we just worked on it. We’re here to win and that’s what we’re gonna do,” said Mazino.

The team has mentally moved on from the Leviatán loss. It’s on to Guild Esports, also riding high from their dramatic upset win over OpTic Gaming. Mazino did speak on the potential of facing OpTic again and what it would take to finally beat them.

“We’ve played against Optic two times before and it’s always like one match is really tight and the second one they just run us over but we think and we know that we can win against them and play a very close game against them”

KRU Esports will face Guild Esports on July 11th at 11am PST.

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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