“Many people ask me, ‘do you ever regret leaving Acend?’” Jose Luis “koldamenta” Aranguren Herrero said after beating his former team at VALORANT Champions Tour EMEA Challengers.
Back in June 2021, koldamenta made the decision to leave his team Acend and join G2 Esports, but after an initial period of success, the roster failed to qualify for VALORANT Champions while his previous teammates went on to lift the biggest trophy in the game without him.
Now, as the in-game leader and his new team, Guild Esports, became the first team to take down the world champions, koldamenta opened up on taking down his former team and the camaraderie that still exists between him and his former teammates.
We beat @AcendClub 2-1!
Well played brothers we both gonna make it to Masters ❤️❤️❤️!!!
NEXT FRIDAY @supmassblaze
— GUILD koldamenta (@koldamenta) February 18, 2022
“Beating Acend was especially nice because they are the world champions, but at the same time I’m still really good friends with all of them,” he said. “When we don’t play, they are the team I cheer for. If it’s not us, then I’d want them to win. I believe we are both going to make it to Masters, so it’s all good.
“People ask me if I have regrets about leaving, especially since I was kicked from G2 later, but with G2 we made it to Masters 2 and we had a better finish than Acend. Of course, they had enough points from Masters 1, and they qualified for Champions. I was honestly just happy watching them play Champions. I never had any feelings of wanting them to lose. Actually, the last thing I wanted was for them to lose. It was the opposite; I was just cheering for them, and I really wanted them to win.”
Koldamenta ‘learned a lot’ from G2 experience
It’s easy to believe koldamenta’s sincerity when you take a look at his interactions with the current Acend players on social media and in broadcast interviews. There just isn’t any bad blood between any of them, but what about G2?
After all, as koldamenta admitted, he never decided to leave G2. The org simply went in a different direction without him.
“With G2 there aren’t any bad vibes between us, but there is obviously a difference because it wasn’t me leaving the team, they decided not to continue with me,” koldamenta said. “It wasn’t a surprise because when you’re there you get some impressions. For example, we were told by the staff, not G2 directly but from the coach and analyst, that if we’re not the best in the world there would be changes. It never came from G2, so I don’t know how much that was true, but that was what we were told.
“They’re always trying to become the best, and I guess one way to do that is to find the best players as fast as possible, so I knew there was always a possibility they would make changes. In the end that did happen, and I’m happy that it did.”
Despite the org deciding to part ways with koldamenta, the 28-year-old is still grateful for everything he was able to learn from the team, including how to become a better in-game leader.
“I’ve changed so much as an IGL. I look back and I realize I was making so many mistakes,” he said. “Every team is also super different, so instead of dictating my own style, I usually try and mix it up depending on the players’ abilities, skills and personalities.
“I think I used to be too strict and narrow-minded, and I’ve become way more flexible. I try to understand why my teammates think in certain ways and let them do what they want to do, and if they are wrong, then I’d have to show them why instead of trying to dictate them. I definitely feel like I’ve evolved so much. I learned a lot from G2, especially with how to treat players with experience and players with strong personalities.”
Koldamenta’s Guild are currently undefeated in VCT EMEA Challengers. They will face SuperMassive Blaze, Fnatic and G2 for the remaining weeks of the tournament. Koldamenta has already taken down one of his former teams as Guild beat Acend 2-1 this weekend, and he’ll have another opportunity to face another one of his previous teams in Week 5 of VCT EMEA Challengers.
“G2 have really skilled players there, and in this league any team on a really good day can upset you,” he said. “They do have some struggles, but if they work on that, they can become a very strong team. I’m looking forward to that game and showing what we can do against them.”