Xset PureR’s 2021 season is now over, but he is ready for next season to be a breakout year for Xset.

Xset was the definition of consistency throughout North American VALORANT in 2021. In a very inconsistent scene, Xset was just one of two North American teams to qualify for every North American Stage Final, alongside Sentinels. Their only issue, finding that one breakout performance to bring them to a big event. Throughout the year, Xset continued to grow as a team before ultimately ending their final two events in fourth place. Now, with their 2021 year over, the team brimming with young talent now looks to continue their growth into 2022, in hopes they can push past consistency and achieve greatness.

In this interview, we spoke to XSET's Bryce "PureR" Lovell about Xset's consistent growth throughout 2021 and his excitement to achieve greatness moving forward into 2022.

Your tournament began with playing two maps on LAN before moving to online. Is that something you feel set you guys back at the event?

Xset PureR: Yeah, it was really weird. Obviously, at the time, a team like 100 Thieves was okay with it because it slotted them directly into Winner’s finals. But, the other teams like Luminosity and Gen.G would most definitely want the bracket reset. In my opinion, you cannot really learn as much in those two weeks, but it is still nice to get that fresh start. We pulled out Bind in the online stage because we wanted to surprise these teams. All in all, it was an interesting experience for the four teams that played because everyone could study us. It definitely gave us more time to practice and figure out exactly what we wanted to do when we got back. In the end, it didn’t work, but it was nice to have that extra time.

After the match against 100 Thieves, what was the biggest flaw you saw in your play that you feel helped you play better online?

Xset PureR: Just confidence in general. We play a lot more confidently in scrims and this is our most of our debuts on stage. I think we're just a little bit nervous. We had a bit of a buff actually being able to play from home after seeing each other in person. That's really the biggest thing. We played very differently throughout the event because we were scared to make certain plays and mistakes. Even though we lost, I think we're slowly getting better at that. As we go on. As we play more matches, we'll play like we do in scrims a bit more and dominate even harder in the future.

How different was your confidence back then from what it is now? Did you feel like you had to play more passively? Like what was it?

Xset PureR: We really didn't have a structured stage one. Still, we always maintained confidence that we could eventually get better so instead of focusing on plays, we put focus on what would give us the most confidence. We are a lot more freestyle now. 

Xset Dephh is the IGL of Xset and is responsible for the more freestyle approach to VALORANT.
Xset Dephh is the IGL of Xset and is responsible for the more freestyle approach to VALORANT.

On LAN, you said most the players were nervous and played better in the online portion. For yourself, what exactly makes it different?

Xset PureR: For me personally, the PCs and monitors are different on LAN. It is a very subtle difference that really does make a difference in comfort. You are not used to playing on different stuff, different desks, and different chairs. Honestly, I think the hardest adjustment was the desk because it was too high for me. Other than that, there was also the server lag which was really rough. When we came home, I think it helped all of the teams perform better. 

It was good though for Riot because they know what they need to fix in December. Sad we cannot be there though, but I am sure we will get there next year.

Seemed like it was all a hard adjustment that set you guys back. How differently do you think things would have gone?

it's good for us that we lost. I mean, obviously, we wanted to win out at that event on LAN, but it was better for us at the time to get better. We always play it better as the tournament goes on and even against Cloud9 I think we played well on Ascent. We just choked at the very end which really sucks. Still, we are a new team.  The more and more matches we play, the more confidence we build as a team. I think that's how we were able to beat Sentinels before in qualifiers. When we play more maps together and these plays become more seamless to this group, we will be amazing. We have a really great base to work off of and I am excited for this lineup moving forward.

Seems like repetition is what inspires confidence and that is something integral to this lineup.

Xset PureR: Yeah, exactly. The more and more you do something in a scrim or in a deathmatch, the more you feel confident to do that in a high-stakes match. That's why I think ranked can be really important for some players. It can really inspire some confidence to see if certain aggressive angles can work. Having those plays work out a lot in scrims or ranked can give you so much confidence to make it a calculated risk. In this event, those risks didn’t work, but who is to say in the future it won’t. The only thing we can do is take a quick rest and then become even greater in 2022.

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