In Upcomer’s latest episode of Showstopper with Yinsu Collins and Tyler “Fionn” Erzberger, Cloud9 Blue’s Anthony “vanity” Malaspina discussed his anticipation for VALORANT Champions and their chance to play against Gambit Esports.
“I think the landscape as a whole (for Champions) has gotten more competitive,” vanity said. He used Crazy Raccoon as an example, going from their showing at VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 2: Masters Reykjavík in Iceland to being able to take some ground against Gambit at Stage 3: Masters Berlin. But, for vanity, the best team in the world is Gambit.
“I think they are like Sentinels in Iceland, just a little bit better than everyone else. They are the favorites going into the tournament, but I wouldn’t be surprised if another team wins the tournament,” vanity said.
Gambit have been strong ever since their debut starting in the VALORANT Champions Tour CIS Scene this year. VCT Stage 3 was their first showing in an official VALORANT tournament. After they won in Stage 3 to the EMEA playoffs, Gambit stormed Berlin, losing only three maps and one full match. They are the clear favorites for Champions and one of the top teams to beat, along with staple names like Sentinels or Fnatic.
In Showstopper, vanity also talked about his experience as an in-game leader in the North American VALORANT pro scene. While he enjoys the role, he agrees there is a massive shortage of IGLs in the scene. “There is experience tied into it, but I think people are just lazy,” he said.
When talking about some of the IGLs in the NA scene, he brought up Michael “poiz” Possis. “He has been really good on Rise and one of the harder IGLs to play against,” vanity said. He also shared that he thinks a scene that pumps out leaders like poiz is incredibly important.
Looking to VALORANT Champions Tour 2022, vanity said he thinks that Chamber, the newest agent to the pro scene, is virtually useless — an opinion that may startle many players looking forward to the agent’s Operator potential. He said that “absolutely nobody plays with that agent,” and that Chamber will be more of a ranked agent, mainly due to his lack of utility.
When Yinsu asked whether vanity thinks Chamber will be picked less than KAY/O or Yoru, he said, “Yes. He is not going to replace a Skye because he has no info. He is not going to replace KAY/O because he has no info. He is not going to replace Killjoy or Cypher because he can’t hold sites by himself.” According to vanity, in terms of team play, there is no aspect in which Chamber excels. “If you want to replace a second duelist, you would run a Skye or KAY/O or a Sage,” he said.
With Chamber being released soon before a major VCT tournament, we will not be seeing the French Sentinel until next year, in VCT 2022.
Vanity will be playing along with Cloud9 Blue in VALORANT Champions, which begins on Dec. 1 in Berlin, Germany. He will be representing North America along with Sentinels and Team Envy. Champions is the last official tournament of the VALORANT Champions Tour and will be the last chance for teams to make their mark in the pro scene this year.
Attending university on my Master's in Mathematics, working as an on-campus tutor and writing about what I enjoy. For Upcomer, I mainly write about Valorant and esports, combining my love of Math and video games! I also love food, Pokémon and League!