Vision Strikers’ BuZz is ready and determined to become the first VALORANT World Champions.

After a dominant group performance at VCT Masters Berlin, Korea’s Vision Strikers were set to make a deep run for the championship title. But that initial dream was cut short when they narrowly lost to Gambit Esports, the eventual Berlin winners, in the quarterfinals. A loss that really affected them, they chose to bootcamp in Germany for nearly a month, with hopes that at VCT Champions, they could exact revenge. 

And after a dominating performance in their opening series against Full Sense, the Vision Strikers are looking to show why they are one of the dark horse contenders to win it all.

In this interview, we speak to Vision Striker’s star Yu “BuZz” Byung-chul to talk about his dominant performance against Full Sense, Vision Striker’s one-month boot camp, and who he believes are the best teams at VCT Champions 2021.

Vision Strikers Buzz screaming
BERLIN, GERMANY – SEPTEMBER 11: Vision Strikers’ Yu “BuZz” Byung-chul reacts at the VALORANT Champions Tour 2021: Stage 3 Masters on September 11, 2021 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Lance Skundrich/Riot Games)

First off, congratulations on your series win against Full Sense given SEA’s increasing strength recently what were your initial thoughts going into that match? 

VS BuZz: We were actually expecting either a really one-sided, easy game or a very difficult game. As you said, teams in SEA are a lot stronger than they were before. Even though our scrim win rate back in Asia is above 95%, we didn’t want to be overconfident and have to pay through losing rounds. We made sure we were focused and I think in the end, the results showed that we were well prepared.

What do you think Asia, more specifically Korea, needs to do in order to improve? It seems like there is a huge drop-off after Vision Strikers?

VS BuZz: Yeah, I think on average, the Korean teams are actually still the strongest teams in Asia. But during the Last Chance qualifiers, many of the teams that were participating in that event didn’t really have the time to prep. Some of them were rebuilding their roster and some of the teams were called up because some Chinese and Japanese teams dropped out. While it was not the best showing from Korea, I do believe they are still a strong region. That being said, the Korean scene and the ecosystem still need development. And it’s not like we don’t have the players that have the potential. I think in the next few years, you can expect much better teams to come out, of Korea.

So let’s actually talk about you guys specifically After Berlin because you guys have pretty much been here for nearly a month to prepare for champions. What was the decision behind staying in Berlin for a long time and what have you feel like the team got better at

VS BuZz: champions is the most prestigious VALORANT Esports event throughout the year. And so we went into the preparation thinking, you know, this is the biggest event. Let’s give it our all. We are able to play against and scrim against many of the European and South American teams that we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to play in Asia. And so it was a great experience for us to build off that we know we learned for them. We learned from them and we grew off of our mistakes when we played against them.

Full Sense’s Lammysnax during his match against Vision Strikers.

actually want to piggyback off of that, because in this game, we saw a lot of plays similar to what we saw gamba do with like some of these flanks were what do you feel like you learned the most from the EMA EMBA playstyle that you wouldn’t have learned if you just stayed in Korea before champions.

VS BuZz: Had we not bootcamped in Germany, we may not be as confident in playing Fnatic or Cloud9. Or even some of these other EMEA teams that we may face in the future. But having practiced here, we actually gained the confidence to play well against them. Having scrimmed here, we were able to get exposure to unique compositions. It’s just about the agent comps and the meta in general that we might not have learned in Asia.

In your group, you are against familiar faces like Xeta and Autumn from Cloud9 Blue. Is there any excitement in facing former teammates slash coworkers?

VS BuZz: Yeah, so both Xeta and Autumn are people that I look up to. They taught me a lot about VALORANT. I haven’t had a chance to really meet them and talk to them for over a year. It was really exciting for me to see them here in Berlin. We did catch up a little bit. I look forward to playing against them. There is no better feeling than being able to stomp someone that taught you something. So looking forward to playing them if we get the chance.

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Where would you rank yourselves among the teams at Champions? And who is in your top four?

VS BuZz: I can confidently say that we are number one of all the teams here at Champions. And then in descending order, I would say Envy is second best, followed by Gambit and C9. 

Vision Strikers are one of the favorites to win VCT Champions 2021.

You nearly beat Gambit at VCT Masters Berlin. At this event, what will the team do differently to change that outcome?

VS BuZz: Yeah, like you said, the match against Gambit was pretty close. We were able to go back and study the games and find out what led us to the defeat. What we need to do is make less mistakes. When we were here in Berlin, a lot of us made some small mistakes that led to that snowball in game 3. We are confident that Champions will be our turn to lift the trophy.

Stay tuned to Esports.gg for the latest Valorant news and updates, as well as coverage from Worlds 2021.

Images via VALORANT flickr.

Sage Datuin - Writer of the Month: June

Sage Datuin

Writer of the Month: June | Twitter: @sagedatuin

Sage been following esports since high school and has remained a massive fan ever since. When he's not working he likes to work out, knit and overthink things..