M80 Gunter: “At the end of the day winning is the easiest way to make a name for yourself”
The North American VALORANT league is rapidly taking shape. The teams have kicked off their league stage with the first round of matches being played currently. M80 is one of the newly formed rosters that have taken the scene by storm. They have signed some of the best players from the previous iteration of the VALORANT Champions Tour. Their players include the core of the ex Ghost Gaming roster from last year alongside their analyst GUNTER. We managed to get hold of him for a short interview about their upcoming season.
Run It Back: What were your first thoughts when M80 approached you?
Gunter: I had no idea what opportunities to expect heading into this year so of course, I was super interested when M80 reached out. Obviously, it was a new org but from everybody I spoke to, I had only heard great things about Marco (Founder & CEO of M80) and of course the opportunity to work with the Ghost core again was exciting.
Run It Back: How hard do you think it would be for M80 as a new org to establish themselves as a powerhouse in NA?
Gunter: At the end of the day winning is the easiest way to make a name for yourself, so as a team we’re putting 110% effort in the server to achieve this. Our goal is to compete with the best teams in the world, not just Challengers. Marco and everyone else working behind the scenes at M80 are putting just as much if not more effort into launching org and building the brand. So hopefully together we can establish M80 as one of the leading orgs in North America.
Run It Back: What are your thoughts on the open qualifiers?
Gunter: With Brock “Brawk” Somerhalder and Alex “Aproto” Protopapas playing on team Breakthru, I’m slightly biased but they have always impressed me every time we face them. Their roster is stacked with talent and I’m sure they will surprise people heading into the group stage. The other team that I’m keeping an eye on is DSG, I think they’re one of the teams that has improved the most over the last few months and will likely continue to improve. Just hopefully not enough to beat us in Week 4.
Run It Back: Who are the biggest threats to you in the NA Ascension league?
Gunter: Our eyes are set on the Guard as one of the teams to beat, keeping the same core as last year means they will be just as good if not better. I also think FaZe Clan and Shopify Rebellion are being underestimated by fans, they both kept a core of four players and arguably made upgrades to their rosters. Though we won’t underestimate anybody, every team is dangerous and can put up a good fight. We know as long as we’re focused on playing our game, we can beat anybody.
Run It Back: How hard was it to transition from an analyst role to a coach role?
Gunter: Even as an analyst on Ghost, a lot of the work I was doing fell more into the coaching role anyway, so the transition wasn’t too difficult. Luckily, I got to learn a lot working with Adam “Kaplan” Kaplan every day, so he definitely helped mentor me into the Coach I am today. I always tell people that every team is different and the roles Coaches/Analysts fill for each team will always vary. From my experience, a lot of it is learning on the job and having the willingness to improve and craft your skills.
Run It Back: Other than NA, Among EMEA and Pacific, who do you think wins their respective Partner leagues?
Gunter: I’ve always been a fan of Team Liquid and I’m excited to watch them play in São Paulo. Though it’s going to take time for them to get up to speed after making changes to more than half of their roster. For that reason, I think Fnatic or NAVI have to be the favorites for EMEA. I have a lot of respect for the way Paper Rex approaches the game, always experimenting and pushing the limits with comps. I’m excited to see what they’ve been cooking with Harbor and Split/Lotus coming into the map pool.
*Note: Questions and answers may have been altered for the sake of fluidity and or clarity
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