spoke with s0m, the W Streamer, regarding his return to competition with NRG for VCT Americas 2024 Stage 2.

NRG has a new-look coming into VCT Americas Stage 2. Well, it's a bit of an old look to be fair. Slotting in to the roster are a couple of the team's former stars, including Sam "s0m" Oh, who proved to be a top Controller player in the world in 2023.

The league conducted a couple of media days prior to the start of Stage 2. During those, we spoke with s0m and got some insight into his return to NRG. He also discussed how all of his time playing ranked made it easy to transition back to the competitive mindset.

s0m talks rejoining NRG with FNS and getting used to competing again in the VCT

(Image via NRG)
(Image via NRG)

"It was probably one of the worst kept secrets in Americas, and I’ve already heard FNS’ side. So, your side of things, what details can you share regarding you rejoining NRG in the VCT?"

s0m: "I'm pretty close with everyone on the team, and I always have been. I always hang out with them. Like, whenever I'm not streaming, I'm in Discord, I just hang out chill with them. And yeah, I kind of just got mentioned by them."

"FNS mentioned the team reaching out to both of you at the same time. So, was it sort of a package deal? Where you would only come back if he did?"

s0m: "From my standpoint, yes. If I were to be offered by them, just me on my own, it would be a no for me. And I think they knew that. So, yeah."

"And it’s been a while since the Bilibii game. Does that loss still haunt you at all?"

s0m: "Honestly, no. From the outside standpoint, it's a pretty bad loss, but knowing where our team was last year, it was kind of just like, yeah, the season's over anyway. It's a wrap."

"With that being your last official before moving fully to streaming and content creation again, has it been difficult to switch back?"

s0m: "No, individually, definitely not. I think, if anything, I've gotten way better than I was last year. That being said, throughout split one, I've probably played more ranked games and have more actual VALORANT playtime than everyone else. Whether or not you say that's good reps or bad reps, I say as long as you're playing the game, you're getting better. So, I think that individually, I did get better."

"Okay, well, your familiarity with the system and the players, as you mentioned, had to have helped you. Was there anything they’ve asked of you so far that you’ve found difficult?"

s0m: "No, not really. I think the only thing, and it's not really difficult, but was kind of was exciting for me, was to try different kinds of Agents, not just Omen. So, yeah, I don't want to go too much into detail, but yeah, it's definitely exciting."

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

"What about the game of VALORANT in general? You're playing ranked, you understand how the game works. But from the competitive side of things, what has you excited to jump back into actually competing?"

s0m: "I think the Agent changes were definitely meta-changing. That makes it exciting to come back. Also, not even our first couple scrims, but like our first day when we came back, it was rough. But that was kind of just a reminder that not only did I get better, everyone else got better."

"And the flip side of that, what about the current state of VALORANT might have you a bit worried, comparing the competitive VCT side of things to how it would play out in ranked?"

s0m: "Ranked has always been different compared to scrims and pro play. So, nothing really changes for me. I think meta changes like these Raze nerfs and Duelist changes were big.

"But I do think these Duelist changes in ranked is definitely much different from pro plays. For instance, Iso in ranked is probably the most broken character, but not so much in pro play, because you lose like a Jett dash, a Raze satchel, or a Neon slide. But in ranked, obviously, it's insane."

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

"What the map pool? We've got the new map pool with Abyss coming in during playoffs. What are you thoughts on all of that?"

s0m: "I've always liked Haven, so I'm definitely excited that Haven's back. Not just in ranked, but in pro play as well. And then I'm glad that Breeze is gone. I was never a fan of Breeze. As for the new map, Abyss, I don't know. I've only played it in a DM once or twice, so I can't really speak on it, but it looks cool. It does look cool."

"Right now it is an extremely important time in the VCT. Everything that happens from here on out has Champions implications. Is there added pressure knowing that, and coming in so late in the year?"

s0m: "Pressure? I don't want to say pressure. I mean, I guess there's pressure. It's like our backs are against the wall. I feel like at the same time, that's when we perform the best. That's how it's always been, even last year, when we were down 1-3 for the regular season. The only chance to make playoffs was if we just won out. And hopefully we can do the same now."

"Well, your first hurdle is Sentinels. Tell me how you’re prepping for that match, and what are your expectations?"

s0m: "We're not really doing anything different that we would do against someone else. We're just, you know, practicing, getting our reps in, doing scrims, VOD reviewing. It's definitely an exciting match. I know everyone will be watching. But no expectations. It would just be nice if we started out with a win."

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