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He came from the CIS to dominate the rest of the European VALORANT scene. Now he’s coming for the international crown. Whether he’s dashing across the map with his signature Jett pick, or finding entry kills to bombsites, Fnatic’s Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev is the Finnish-Russian star that the organization desperately hoped for. 

Derke joined the organization on April 8 following the removal of Kostas “tsack” Theodoropoulos and Muhammad “Moe40” Hariff. Before the signing, he was relatively unknown within the wider European VALORANT scene. He previously competed in the CIS region with CrowCrowd before making the switch to join Fnatic. 

The 18 year old made a name for himself in the region once he secured qualification to CIS Stage 1 Masters in March. During VALORANT Champions Tour Challengers 2 – one month prior – he earned the MVP of the event. During CrowCrowd’s match against forZe, Derke managed 20 first kills – seven more than the second highest in the match. He also had the highest average damage amount and the most number of kills, by far, according to VLR.gg

This is the expectation for Derke. He’s known as one of the best fraggers in European VALORANT but has to keep his performance at the highest level. So far, early signs don’t show him slowing down. 

Fnatic has lost one best-of-three match with Derke on the roster out of 11 games. Acend, led by star Duelist Mehmet “cNed” Yağız İpek, is the only European side to defeat Fnatic in a best of three. Team Liquid is the only other team to hand Fnatic a defeat with Derke on the roster. 

Fnatic suffered a loss to rival Liquid in the finals of the EMEA Challengers Playoffs earlier this month. While Fnatic had secured qualification to Masters, the team could not match the firepower. 

Versatility is the name of the game for Fnatic’s Derke 

While his team may have faltered at the final hurdle, Derke never slowed down. He consistently performed with his Duelist picks while his teammates picked up the slack. The other Fnatic players let him become the star of the show. 

While it could be considered hasty to conclude that Derke is one of the best Duelists in Europe, it could be argued he brings even more to a team than kills. Derke is versatile since he can perform just as well on Sage or Sova when needed. Other Duelists aren’t typically the best performers when they’re not comfortable. He is able to set-up plays, get frags but also help his teammates by providing utility on agents that allow this playstyle. 

While Derke typically picks Jett on maps such as Icebox, Split and Ascent, he is known to pick other agents such as Sage and Sova on Haven and Bind respectively. While he manages to retain his high damage output on almost all agents he pilots, his Jett is the most notable with a 168.5 average damage per round in his career, according to VLR.gg

It wouldn’t be a surprise to see Derke drop over 70 kills in a best-of-three on a Duelist. But it’ll be just as likely to see him pop off on an agent that provides utility rather than self-sufficiency. 

Fnatic is set to face off against KRU Esports on May 24 at VCT Masters 2: Reykjavík. 

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