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As the longest-standing member of the NRG VALORANT roster, Sam “s0m” Oh stepped up in his international LAN debut, helping NRG get a 2-0 sweep over KOI at the VCT 2023 LOCK//IN tournament. Despite having an entirely new roster around him, s0m knew he couldn’t let his teammates down when they stepped on stage in Brazil.

“I wouldn’t say that I have a lot of pressure on myself, I just want to do well for my new teammates,” s0m said. “They’ve had a lot of success in their careers, and I’m good friends with them both inside and outside the game. I don’t want to let them down.”


A great LAN debut for NRG and s0m at the VCT 2023 LOCK//IN tournament

s0m has a lot of experience in NA VALORANT, but he always just missed out on any LAN tournaments, local or international. Not only was his trip to Brazil his first international LAN, but it was also his first LAN ever in the VALORANT Champions Tour. Getting that win while also standing out as one of the best players in the lobby against KOI was no small feat.

“Feels great, especially after the past two years of not qualifying for a single LAN,” s0m said. “It feels great to finally prove myself internationally.”

While NRG in general had a slow start in their first map of the tournament, going down 9-3 on Icebox, a key moment by s0m helped start momentum. After an enemy Sage resurrect, s0m was quick to stop a push and get the first ace of the tournament and the VCT 2023 season.

“I didn’t realize it as it happened, just trying to secure the round,” s0m said. “But, as the round ended and the game said ace, it was hype.”

There was a lot of doubt over s0m, with his lack of success even regionally, as well as a large amount of time he spends streaming. However, after helping secure Icebox alongside great calls from Pujan “FNS” Mehta and shots from Austin “crashies” Roberts, he pushed those thoughts to the side.

Similarly on Haven, after a slow start, some key kills helped him shush his doubters online post-match, tweeting out “I’ll do it again and again, keep doubting.”

NRG poised to make a run

With this first-round matchup over, NRG are in a great position. For a single-elimination tournament, sometimes you can face tougher opponents in the first round than the second, and that might be the case for NRG. KOI held their own on both maps against NRG, getting a big lead on Icebox and keeping it close on Haven.

But, when it comes to pure star power and potential, NRG is one of the top teams in the league. If NRG can keep this form up while their LAN rookie s0m performs well, they will be a team to fear in the VCT 2023 LOCK//IN tournament.