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Team Envy’s yay discusses move from Andbox and his dream of competing at Masters Berlin

Team Envy’s yay discusses move from Andbox and his dream of competing at Masters Berlin

Brandon "Mothman" Moore


Day 2 of NA Challengers Playoffs saw the first eliminations of the tournament. Surviving the day was XSET and Team Envy. Following Team Envy advancing to Lower Round 3 after defeating FaZe Clan, Run It Back was given the opportunity to interview Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker. Just acquired by NV from Andbox, yay entered this competition with something to prove. And prove it he did. Read ahead to see his thoughts on differentiating himself from other Jett players, how he and the team bounced back after losing the first map, and his drive to make it to Masters Berlin.

Team Envy’s yay discusses moving from Andbox and his dream of competing at Masters Berlin

Run It Back: You’ve probably been asked this question a dozen times by now, but how well are you meshing with the rest of Team Envy?

yay: I think we have been meshing really well. In general, I don’t think Envy, at least in the past, has had a Jett like me. I’m a very aggressive player. I tend to take a lot of instinctual pushes and plays. I try to disrupt the enemy team. My teammates are still getting used to that to a certain degree. They haven’t had someone who randomly pushes down mid or takes these aggressive engagements. It is a brand new set of situations they haven’t been in, but overall, it has been meshing really well. My style compliments theirs.

Run It Back: That brings us right to the next question. We see a lot of Jett game play in NA. Including a prolific Jett player that you went against, babybay of FaZe Clan. What are some things you do to differentiate yourself from other Jett players in VALORANT?

yay: To be honest, I kind of play my own game in a sense. I have my own unique style as a person. I am more aggressive. I try to punish defaults. I try to mess up the other team. Mess up their game plan. If they want to take map control in a certain area, I try to disrupt that. If they are trying to hard execute, I disrupt that. I move myself around and make it unpredictable. They have to use a ton of utility to clear me. They always have to be worried about me flanking or pushing somewhere. It slows down the other team, forces them to use more util, and when they actually hit sights, it is a pain in the ass. I do that a lot better than other people.

Run It Back: Moving from Andbox to a powerhouse like NV, slotting right into an important role in one of the biggest NA events of the year, what does that feel like?

yay: It is exciting. I’m really happy to get another opportunity to prove myself. It was a little sad after the Andbox loss. We were going to be out of everything for the rest of the year. Out of Last Chance. Out of Berlin. For me, it was sad that I wouldn’t be able to achieve the goals I wanted to in this time period. Being given another opportunity and playing with a better team, arguably, was kind of a dream. I was so thankful for that.

Run It Back: When a map like Haven is in your favor, but you fall in overtime, how do you move on? Does the team get discouraged, use it as a motivator, or just forget about it and “GG go next” as they say?

yay: It depends from person to person. Everyone has their different way of moving past it. There isn’t a team way for everyone to move past it. Everyone has to process those emotions differently. For me, personally, even though we lost, I didn’t really care. Obviously, it sucks we lost, but you need to take it round by round. Focus on the present, not the past. Each round is a new round. Yeah, we lost that one, but we have more maps to play. It was taking miracles for them to win. They had to win in man-down situations and pull out clutches. We were pushing them really hard and play just a bit better, like 5% better, we’ll win. It’s whatever to me. You just go next.

Run It Back: Map three was a clean victory, but map two almost saw it happen again. Team Envy managed to hold on. What do you think the contributing factor was to the win on Bind?

yay: We had a really good start. We didn’t approach our site executes as well as we should have, though. How we played to the mid/late-round, in terms of reacting to what they’re doing, we were a little reluctant. We were holding for pushes when we should have reacted to take the site or clear things. We slowed down our game quite a bit. We should have been more adaptive.

Run It Back: A chance for Masters Berlin is on the line in your next game with XSET. How hungry are you for that third spot?

yay: As I said, it’s my dream. I want to go to Berlin. I want to represent North America and make it to the international stage. I want the opportunity to push myself as a player and individual and as a team. We want to compete and 100%, we can do it if we make it to Berlin. It will also bring light to our organization, as well. To represent Envy, it will bring fans over and better establish ourselves. I’m really looking forward to playing XSET. Ultimately, whatever happens happens, but I really want to be on that plane.

*Answers may have been edited or altered for clarity and fluidity*

Thanks to yay for his time after the contest against FaZe Clan! Stay tuned to Run It Back for more interviews and VCT coverage as Challengers Finals continues and Masters Berlin approaches!