TSM Subroza Interview: “Phoenix, Omen, and Jett need a little something.”
We were lucky enough to get an interview with a member of the newly-formed Team SoloMid, Yassine “Subroza” Taoufik. The squad was making a case for being the top North American Valorant team while playing under MouseSpaz before they got signed by Team SoloMid. Looking to continue their storied history from Riot’s other flagship title, League of Legends, Team SoloMid decided to make a play for an already formed successful squad. The roster placed on the podium for each of the nine tournaments they participated in during the closed beta and won six of them. In our sit-down with him, Subroza covers how TSM plans to continue their performance and shares some opinions on Valorant as well.
Being a well established CSGO player, how was the transition to Valorant from CSGO? Is there anything in Valorant that you find yourself struggling with?
TSM Subroza: For me it was a very easy transition from CS to Valorant. To be honest, the only difference Valorant has is the addition of abilities. I’ve played competitive League of Legends, Apex Legends, and a little bit of Overwatch (All games involving abilities) in the past so I was already familiar with this sort of play. The only thing I’d say I struggled with was not over crouching or moving when I shoot. In CS:GO you’re able to crab walk spray and move a little when crouching and shooting so I had to get rid of that habit.
The Closed Beta is now over and we have a small break before the game goes live – without giving away secrets, how are you and the team preparing to hit the ground running from when the game goes live?
TSM Subroza: Even while the game is down we’re still thinking of stuff we can add when the game is back up. Our minds are constantly just thinking about the game’s meta regardless if we can play or not. We type out a lot of ideas so that we can be more prepared for the launch and have an easier time testing stuff out. Individually, we also spend a lot of time aim training on Aimlabs and other stuff to stay sharp.
In CSGO we see 7 maps in the pool at once. With Valorant, we currently have three maps with a fourth incoming at launch. Without revealing any secrets, how is your team preparing with the current map pool? Do you believe teams will prepare for all 4 or specialize like most do in CSGO?
TSM Subroza: I think most CSGO pros that are coming from a game with seven maps in the pool have a clear advantage as four maps are nothing to us. Some teams already have a permaban or a map they hate to play. We as a team are making sure to fix any weaknesses on each map as we hope it’ll give us an advantage against teams that have a weak map with only four maps in the pool. I think eventually teams will realize that they have to learn ever map or be at a disadvantage. As Riot adds more maps, it will look more similar to how CSGO is in my opinion. I also believe some agents are better or worse on certain maps so it will force teams to change compositions. This combination of maps and agent compositions will make the meta interesting as agents and maps get added to the pool.
Fun question – There is a new Agent to be released alongside the game. Do you have any predictions for the Agent? How do you want the new Agent to play?
TSM Subroza: *laughs* I have no predictions. I haven’t even been looking at the leaks on Reddit or anything. What I want is a counter to Brimstone and Phoenix’s molotov’s as they make some situations unwinnable at the moment. I’d like to see some support abilities like healing or being able to give your teammate a little bit of attack speed or movement speed. With Sage being alone in supporting it makes the Agent too necessary in every team composition. I don’t like that, I like it when the meta involves many different composition possibilities. The complexities separate the noobs from the good players in the long run.
Do you think the game is in the best state possible for release? Do you think any Agents should be changed?
TSM Subroza: I wouldn’t say it’s in the best state as there are still a lot of issues to fix. I do think some agents deserve a buff or a nerf. The way I see it is if an Agent is not played at all in a competitive environment, they need a buff somewhere. If the Agent is nearly required in every composition than they probably deserve a nerf. I’d say Brimstone’s Incendiary ability is a little overpowered as there is no counter to it. I think Phoenix, Omen, and Jett need a little something to make them more useful in a team environment.
What is it like working with an established organization with a history like Team SoloMid? Does it give you a leg up on the competition in a way? Do you feel any added pressure carrying the banner of TSM into Valorant?
TSM Subroza: On this team, we’ve all been playing professionally for a long time so we don’t really feel any added pressure. We have a decent level of experience and young talent and playing for an established organization like TSM makes everything fall into place much easier. I think it does give us a leg up because they’ve made sure that we get everything we need and ask for as soon as possible. I couldn’t ask for more from an organization. They make it so all we have to do as players is focus on grinding and improving.
Do you have an In-game Leader/Captain or are things more free form currently?
TSM Subroza: Our main voice on the team right now is James “hazed” Cobb as we think he has the most experience in that role. But what is very impressive with this team is that we all can make calls mid-round depending on the situation. Any one of us can step up and make the round winning call. However, it’s mostly Hazed at the moment.
Leave us with one fact that most fans probably don’t know about TSM?
TSM Subroza: If people don’t have a background in CSGO they would be surprised to know that each of us has built-in chemistry from the past. Stephen “reltuC” Cutler, hazed, and myself have played together on Counter Logic Gaming for a long time. Taylor “Drone” Johnson, reltuC, and Tailored, our coach, played together on Team EnvyUs. Matthew “Wardell” Yu and Tailored, and I all played on Orgless. It has all come together in Valorant to make this squad.
We here at Run It Back are excited to see what this TSM squad can bring to Valorant esports. Will they be able to carry their success in the Closed Beta to the ever-changing landscape post-launch? We can’t wait to find out. We thank Subroza and TSM for giving us a great opportunity and wish them luck in future endeavors.
Check back with us at Run It Back for more interviews, news, and analysis in all things Valorant!
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