Chronicle pleased with progress but thinks he and Gambit can improve
Chronicle, Sheydos and nAts at VCT Masters 3 Berlin

Chronicle pleased with progress but thinks he and Gambit can improve

Chronicle weighs in on his personal performances and why he thinks he's not the best player in the world right now
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When Gambit lifted the trophy at VCT Stage 3 Masters, Ayaz “nAts” Akhmetshin was the name on everyone’s lips. Now, five months on, his teammate Timofey “Chronicle” Khromov has captured  the attention of the VALORANT world, with some even saying he is currently the best player in the world.

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The happy-go-lucky 19-year-old had an incredible performance at VCT Champions in 2021, and fans and analysts were left waiting to see if he could replicate his form in the new year. After two weeks of competition, Chronicle is already one of the most impressive players in the region.

Taking the games from Champions into consideration, Chronicle currently averages 254 average combat score across six different Agents, and none of those are duelists. In comparison, Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek, one of the best duelists in the world, averaged 244 ACS across the same time period, while Team Liquid’s Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom averaged 237 ACS.

“I’m really happy about my current form because I feel like I’m progressing and making really good moves in the game,” Chronicle said. “We are all playing well. It’s not like I’m carrying my team, but I just like how consistent I am right now.

“I thought I had a really good game against Liquid, but maybe at times I was a little bit lucky. But now I think I just proved it’s not just one good performance from me. I can play that well against many opponents. I am training very hard, and I am happy with the way I’m playing.”

Despite the opinions of others, from casters to fans and players, Chronicle doesn’t think he’s the best VALORANT player in the world and said he thinks he has more growing to do.

“I have two mentalities right now,” he said. “One, I just care about winning. I want to beat every team and win every single game, and I don’t care about my form as long as the team wins. But the second mentality is where I want to play at my absolute best and show my real form, and I don’t care if I win or lose. There are these two mentalities in me, and I’m changing between them, so it’s hard to explain how I feel. 

“I feel like I’ve been playing really well for the past few months. My stats have been looking good, and I hope I just stay in my current form and keep showing it, but I don’t think I am the best player in the world.”

Despite a stellar performance from Chronicle, Gambit fell to their Commonwealth of Independent States rivals FunPlus Phoenix at VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA Challengers. FPX’s in-game leader Kirill “ANGE1” Karasiow said he feels the 19-year-old his team took down needs to prove himself again on an international stage before earning the mantle as the top talent worldwide.

“I think it’s too early to call him the best in the world. He still needs to prove it, but he’s definitely in a good shape, probably the best shape we’ve ever seen a player from EMEA,” ANGE1 said. “He’s hitting the shots, he’s winning clutches, he’s doing everything, but in order to call him the best in the world he needs to compete against the best teams at the next LAN and prove it.”

Chronicle gets a boost from the ‘girlfriend buff’

So what is the secret in Chronicle’s form? Outside of the six-scrims-a-day schedule and rigorous training, Chronicle used to also play chess to get an edge, but it seems that he’s replaced the latter in favor of the “girlfriend buff” from a fellow first-person shooter enthusiast.

“I have a girlfriend, so I don’t have time to play chess, but that’s not a problem because I am so glad I have a supportive girlfriend,” he said. “Maybe the girlfriend buff is real, who knows? She watches a lot of Counter-Strike more than VALORANT, but she will watch when I am playing and message me during the game. When I finish, I am always so surprised with how many messages she sends me. It’s very nice.”

His teammate nAts carries around a stuffed panda, which drew some attention in the past, and it’s no secret that the stuffed animal is also a token from nAts’ girlfriend. Perhaps Chronicle is onto something, not that he needs any more buffs than he already has.

Brimstone main?

Form aside, Chronicle is one of the only players in EMEA that regularly plays Brimstone, and his answer to why he loves the agent so much might be somewhat of a surprise.

“I like his big, good, strong arms, and his hands and gloves are also nice,” Chronicle said. “At Champions, Boaster gave me a small figurine of Brimstone and I was like ‘What the hell, I’m a Brimstone main now? OK bro!’ and I really liked that.”

Chronicle’s relaxed nature and straightforward approach when it comes to being a flex player often set him apart from his opponent, and he most recently took on the responsibility of playing Chamber, earning a 2.33 KD (kills/deaths) and 347 ACS in his pro debut on the Agent.

“I’m a flex player, and I just play whatever my team wants me to because why not?” he said. “I do like Chamber too, I like his abilities and there is a lot of potential with this agent.”

Chronicle and Gambit will be looking to bounce back in week 3 of VCT EMEA Challengers as they take on another CIS opponent, Natus Vincere.

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Yinsu Collins
Award-winning Esports Journalist @Upcomer & Freelance Host, specializing in VALORANT, LoL and CS:GO. Previously SkySportsNews & RedBull Gaming | CPFC