Psalm speaks about Dignitas' performance at Pop Flash, the early state of VALORANT, and his journey through esports
Sun 20th Sep 2020 - 3:33pm
After exceeding expectations with an impressive 4th place finish at Pop Flash last month, Psalm of Dignitas’ VALORANT roster sat down with Michael Kelly to talk about the team’s performance, the early state of VALORANT, and his esports career as a whole.
Obviously, you have a storied history across several genres of games. You’ve proven yourself as a top tier competitor in both HotS and Fortnite. What are you looking to prove in Valorant?
Psalm: I really just want to prove that I can hang with everyone. So many of the players in the scene right now have thousands of hours on other tactical FPS games like Counter-Strike, so I want to be able to prove that I’m just as good as they are.
You’re coming off of a successful Fortnite career. What inspired your recent swap? Why did you give up the Fortnite scene for Valorant?
Psalm: Honestly, I was getting bored of Fortnite. I wasn’t very happy with the way Fortnite esports was going and how the leaders of the scene were directing the game. Then Valorant came out, and I’m a big fan of how Riot directs their esports, so I made the jump.
On a more focused point, how did you end up with Dignitas as an organization?
Psalm: I was always in talks with Dignitas just because of my connection with Bakery. So I think we were always kind of keeping an eye on each other - since the Valorant beta, even. They were mostly keeping an eye on how I was doing and how I was adjusting to the scene. So naturally, once I started proving myself with a few top four finishes, we reached out to one another again.
You mentioned those top four finishes, and you’ve had a couple of them now. Recently the team had a great showing at Pop Flash a few weeks ago. What do you think the team did so well to find success at that event?
Psalm: We didn’t do much. We had only been together with that roster for about five days, and honestly, that’s been the story of all three of my tournament finishes. I’m always with a new roster for a maximum of a week and we always go into these tournaments with not many expectations. We end up doing pretty well, but even for a new roster, I don’t enjoy coming in 4th. I want to win. [At Pop Flash], we just matched up well with certain teams and not as well against others.
One of those teams that you did match up well against at that particular tourney was TSM. What was it that allowed you guys to have their number so consistently?
Psalm: When we were playing the TSM series, we were in peak condition, mentally and physically. Everyone was ready to go, and we played our best. There were other series, though, where the schedule was suddenly switched on us. It didn’t feel like we were playing in peak condition. We were making a lot of mistakes in some of those other series and not playing how we normally do.
Do you think if some of those circumstances had been changed, the result would have changed as well?
Psalm: I think we could have taken the series against Envy for sure. We were definitely making some uncharacteristic mistakes in game 3, where we were up 7-2 ready to close out the half. But, we were just throwing some rounds terribly. C9 is another tough matchup that’s been terrible for us, though.
For you, coming from a game like Fornite, where you always had to rely on yourself, what’s it like to be back in a team-focused environment?
Psalm: Whenever I was playing Fortnite, I would sometimes think to myself about how I missed the team aspect of things. Popping off as a 5-man roster is different than going out by yourself. Even with VALORANT, though, the feel is very different from a 5v5 MOBA. I can’t really pinpoint exactly why, but this is definitely a different kind of team experience than when I was playing MOBAs.
When it comes to VALORANT as a whole, what are your expectations for a game like this? Not only for the rest of the year, but in the long term, as well?
Psalm: I think VALORANT will succeed, just because the tactical FPS genre has not had much competition - like, at all. I think a lot of people think that CS:GO is getting a bit stale. People have been playing CS:GO for years, now. I think Riot has the capability to really shake things up with how flexible the agents, the maps, and the mechanics of the game are. And, it’s Riot, after all. So, I think VALORANT will do well.
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