Supermassive Blaze have one last opportunity to make a run at VCT Champions. SM’s star Izzy spoke to us about the incredible support Riot Games has given to the Turkish region.
With such a massive support system from the Turkish community, EMEA second seed Supermassive Blaze went into VCT Masters Berlin looking to represent Turkey at the highest level. Going into the event as the only full Turkish lineup, Supermassive Blaze were looking to make their first international event one to remember. Instead, they fell in the group stages after losing to Ascend 2-1 in the deciding match.
With all eyes on them to perform, Supermassive Blaze struggled under the pressure. However, while their run at Berlin did not end lifting the trophy, their season is not over just yet.
Supermassive Blaze now just have one final opportunity to qualify for the VCT Champions. If they want to represent EMEA on the international stage again, they will need to win the VCT EMEA Qualifier.
In this interview we speak to Supermassive Blaze star Izzy to talk about his transition from CS:GO to VALORANT and having support from Turkey.
Let’s take some time to talk about your CS:GO background. What was it like being a CS:GO player in Turkey and how did you eventually make that transition to VALORANT?
SM Izzy: Making a career out of CS:GO in Turkey is quite difficult. We could not manage to achieve what we wanted competitively playing CS:GO in Turkey. There is just no support for that game. Eventually, we made the decision to move over to VALORANT and so far, it is a great decision. I am really happy with where I am right now.
In CS:GO, there are players who are brought over from Turkey to join top European teams, but it is nothing like the support we see Turkey give to VALORANT. Why do you feel like VALORANT is so popular in Turkey in comparison to CS:GO?
SM Izzy: The primary reason I think is because Riot has an office in Turkey so they can give more support I feel. In CS:GO, there is no opportunity to provide the same level of support for this region. CS:GO in Turkey is not the same compared to what VALORANT means to Turkey. In VALORANT, there are also popular Turkish influencers and streamers who support VALORANT in Turkey. They do whatever they can to promote the scene and actually create all this hype for us.
What is it like having all that support compared to your days in CS:GO where it was non-existent?
SM Izzy: it's amazing to have all the support from the Turkish scene. We really want to do our best in VALORANT so Turkey can continue to be proud of us!
So when you guys were able to actually qualify for Berlin, what was that feeling like knowing that you would be an all-Turkish team at VCT Masters Berlin?
SM Izzy: We worked really hard to make that run to get to VCT Masters Berlin. In the end, we got second place at that event and it was bittersweet. On one hand, I was really happy that we were able to qualify in the first palace. Yet, I was really sad that we were not able to beat Gambit in the finals. I felt as if we had the right preparation to beat Gambit, but we just could not close it out. Still, the fact that we are able to represent Turkey at all on the big stage is something I am really happy about.
VCT Masters Berlin as a whole did not go as people expected and you guys ultimately did not make it to the quarterfinals. Talk to me about this event?
SM Izzy: Going into the event, we knew what was needed to even get to the VCT Champions after Berlin. Prior to our qualification to Berlin, we did not have any Circuit Points so we knew the only thing we could do was win the tournament. We placed a lot of pressure on ourselves to perform well and got sidetracked.
This event was the first LAN environment for this team. We are not used to playing in such a huge tournament with implications like this. On the first day, we played very badly, barely won against Paper Rex and ultimately lost to Ascend in what I feel was our best showing.
It isn’t all too bad though. We have a final opportunity to qualify for VCT Champions through the Last Chance Qualifier.
Do you just have any final words to the Turkish fans and community before VCT Qualifiers?
SM Izzy: Thank you very much for all your support. We still need your support to qualify for VCT Champions. I am sorry we were not able to give you guys a better showing at VCT Masters Berlin, but we are going to work super hard to make VCT Champions. Thank you for your support.