had a quick chat with NRG’s VALORANT coach, Chet, to discuss all kinds of matters heading into the 2024 season.

Chet "Chet" Singh is never one to shy away from voicing his opinion on VALORANT. From format complications to balance tweaks in the game, he'll let you know what he thinks. So, naturally requested a pre-season interview with the coach of NRG.

During the media days prior to the VCT Americas 2024 Kickoff tournament, we talked to Chet about all of the above. As well, we wanted to get his thoughts on the new members of the team and what they've been cooking up.

Coach Chet of NRG discusses kickoff format, Agent changes, and what to expect from the team

Chet is clearly a man of the people (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
Chet is clearly a man of the people (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"You’ve been pretty vocal about tournament formats, in-game changes, and the timing of those changes when they aren’t necessarily to your liking. Let’s start there. Huge change this year in comparison to LOCK//IN last year. How do you feel about the Kickoff tournament format?"

Chet: "I'm never really satisfied with their formats, and I think somehow it degraded even more this time around. I mean, honestly, I'm not really sure what the decision is with this format. Where there's so few teams qualifying per region."

"I think this might be one of the smallest events they've hosted. With only eight teams total in the event. So, I don't even think when the actual event starts, I don't know what kind of format they're going to be going for.

"If it's going to be any good. So, that's also kind of concerning, to be honest. I think they honestly haven't made a really good decision of upgrading the esports formats this year. I think they really just regressed."

"Okay, well let me ask you about your group. In there with FURIA, Cloud9, and MIBR. Thoughts on the field of Group A?"

Chet: "I think we have some pretty good opponents. I've heard a decent amount about C9. How they've been looking pretty decent. I haven't heard too much about FURIA or MIBR. They're kind of under the radar right now, and I'm sure they have a lot they want to prove. So do we. We're just going to make our game pretty refined and hopefully that'll be enough to beat these teams."

NRG slots into group A against C9, FURIA, and MIBR (Image via Riot Games)
NRG slots into group A against C9, FURIA, and MIBR (Image via Riot Games)

"And when it comes to in-game changes, there’s tweaks to the maps, and the buffing and nerfing of Agents. Is there anything recently that really affected the preparation or performance of the team?"

Chet: "I think all the changes affect each team equally honestly. I mean, with the Skye change being so random. I don't know who asked for that. It was not good for any team, because you're practicing a certain playstyle. That changes how the Agent is played. You have to play more committed on your flashes or you have to save them.

"You have to make more decisions based on that kind of stuff. And it's the only Initiator that doesn't fit with their game design ,where it doesn't have a rechargeable ability. Which I don't know if they're trying to get away from that or not. There's not really a lot of transparency on the decisions that they make, besides the small posts they make in the patch notes."

"With the players on NRG, this really looks like it could be one of the most flexible teams we see in the 2024 VCT. Have you guys hashed out set roles yet or are the guys kind of jumping where they need to?"

Chet: "I think it just goes per map, honestly. If we need someone to be a certain Duelist, or a certain Sentinel, or a certain Controller, we just see where it fits in for us. Everyone's kind of all over the place. We try to limit it as much as we can, because I don't want it to be like last year where we tried too many different roles, and then people are uncomfortable. So, I'm definitely leaning towards comfort zones a little bit more this time around just for the start of the season."

"Well, obviously you’re familiar with the new players in some fashion, having coached against Ethan and Demon1 last year, even being Marved’s coach in the past. Is there anything in particular that has surprised you with the three of them?"

Chet: "With Marved, I know what to expect. He's just very consistent, a solid rock in the team. I know he's going to get me these kills that he always should get. He's going come up with some good ideas mid-round, because that was just a good strength he had when he was on our previous team.

"With Ethan, I mean, I've been his teammate in Counter-Strike, so I already know that him transitioning to the IGL role was not that big of a crazy thing to happen. He was already pretty vocal to begin with. So. I just like the fact that he brings a lot of good ideas to practice and a lot of his experiences from his past team that he can transition over to us, and we can also give to him.

"So, we have a good blend of ideas. And Demon1, he's just insane, honestly. He has some crazy rounds that I didn't know people were capable of having. Like the shots he hits are just crazy. I could see why they did so well last year. I mean, this guy along with his other teammates obviously, but this guy has some unbelievable rounds."

"And what about crashies and Victor? They’re definitely considered one of the best duos in VALORANT. What areas have they been shining in?"

Chet: "Obviously with them, they've been around for a while for a good reason. They definitely contribute a lot in matches, and just making sure that we're always proactive. I think that's the biggest thing that they're bringing to the team.

"They make sure that they're filling in their role pretty properly. For Initiator, crashies is just always making sure his info is on point and given to Ethan. For Victor, whatever character he ends up playing, because he is pretty flexible. It helps fit in our system. He can just mold it to whatever we need."

When he's not napping during a pause, Chet is locked in from his coach's position (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
When he's not napping during a pause, Chet is locked in from his coach's position (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

"Okay, and when you have experienced, world-class players on your team, what does that do to your coaching? Are you able to relax a bit more or do you still look to turn it up a notch to keep at pace with them?"

Chet: "I don't think there's time to relax, to be honest. We have to work pretty hard. Just because it's a super team on paper, it doesn't mean we get to chill more. We still have to work pretty hard. It's not like the mechanical ceiling is that high.

"We have to make sure the teamwork, and the prep, and the old plays, and all that stuff is on point. The game is always changing right now, and the map pool is different compared to last year. There's just too many different variables now, so we have to be on top of our game."

"And lastly, coming into 2024, a lot of what-ifs, and a lot of new-look teams. What kind of example are you looking to set with this NRG roster in terms of strategy, fundamentals, playmaking, and the like?"

Chet: "We're just looking to be one of the best for this year. We have a style that we want show to the world. The viewers, the fans. We think we've made something that's unique. Maybe there's some things that may look similar to other teams, but we feel like we crafted something good, that maybe other teams will start following."

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