Only a week after Team Envy’s victory over 100 Thieves at the Nerd St. Gamers Closed Qualifier, we got the chance to interview Victor “food” Wong.
This year, Valorant saw massive success as CS: GO players flocked from the tier 2 scene to compete in the brand new esport. Of the professionals that decided to switch, food was among them, ready to test his hand at the new shooter. Prior to switching to Valorant, food played CS for EUnited and Team Singularity before that with middling success before the scene slowly started to lose support. He made the switch to Valorant in May and joined T1 in June, taking second at the T1 x Nerd St. Gamers Showdown.
What was the solidifying moment you decided that you wanted to pursue Valorant fully and leave CS: GO behind?
So, obviously one of the main reasons was the financial aspect because at the time CS: GO wasn’t doing too well in terms of organizational support. Valorant was a new game and everyone was hyped about it and organizations are starting to get into it. I saw all that and a lot of CS: GO players that I was friends with were switching, Matthew “Wardell” Yu for instance, and I thought, Damn, this is the time. As far as the game goes, I didn’t really like it at first, to be honest, but it grew on me. I really enjoy the game right now, I think there are so many possibilities and we are not even close to the best way to play the game. Everyone is playing the game their own way, for instance, Cloud9 brought Killjoy to our attention. It was a character that we didn’t really think was good at the time but in practice, Cloud9 showed that she could be good.
T1 you had to fill a lot of roles, at Pax Arena you played Jett, Brimstone, and Phoenix, how is it being on a squad where you consistently play two heroes?
On T1 I was kind of everywhere, but it doesn’t really bother me. I actually enjoy it. I like playing more than one character because to me it keeps things fresh. I can’t imagine being stuck on one character like Cypher but I respect the Cypher players who go out and play Cypher every map.
In September, food left T1 and joined Team Envy. As the First Strike tournaments approached having food on their roster was exactly what Envy needed to secure their spot at the Regional Finals in December. At the Nerd St. Gamers Qualifier tournament, Envy took out SpotUp, Dignitas, Complexity, T1, GenG, Renegades, and 100 Thieves, proving to be a formidable foe in NA Valorant.
Was there a big mentality switch when going from T1 to Envy?
To me, I didn’t find the transition that hard at all, I kind of just slotted in and I knew Pujan “FNS” Mehta really well and I knew how he liked to think about the game and we played against him so I know how he likes to play so there was no issue at all.
What was going through your head when you guys beat T1?
It definitely felt good to beat them but there was nothing else beyond that, there was no beef or anything like that, it just obviously felt good to beat my old teammates.
Were you familiar with T1’s tactics when playing against them or did they surprise you with their playstyle?
They were very different from when I was on the team which is probably because they picked up Sam “DaZeD” Marine who is their IGL so they probably play how he sees the game. For example, on Bind, they kept giving up the B bombsite and we had never run into a team just giving up the bombsite and we are used to teams fighting in Garden or Hookah and that was something that really caught us off guard.
We’ve also seen GenG play this tactic before, do you think it is easier from a tactical standpoint?
I’m not sure because you could argue knows that you are just giving up the bombsite they can walk in and you lose. Right now most teams are fighting in hookah and garden so they use a lot of utility coming in and don’t have enough utility on the bombsite. You can technically win the utility battle if the opponent doesn’t suspect it.
During NSG you switched from playing Raze and Phoenix to slowly integrating Omen and dropping the Raze in Playoffs, was there reasoning for it?
I was just having a bad time on Raze recently, I’ve been killing myself with the rockets and not getting the kills so I told Jake “kaboose” McDonald to play Raze and he plays a good Raze on Split. I told him to take Raze and I took Phoenix and that’s just the way it went.
How do you think the bracket would have shaped up if you went against C9 Blue for a rematch in the Quarterfinals instead of Renegades?
Yeah to be honest I wasn’t expecting Renegades to be our matchup. If we were to play Cloud9 there’s a good chance we could have lost and they would have played 100 Thieves in the Grand Finals but to be fair I didn’t expect 100 Thieves to beat TSM because of how their previous matchups have gone.
How do you feel about your guys’ performance against 100 Thieves?
That day everything was just going our way, a lot of the first kills were going our way, we were winning all our clutches it was hard for them to get into the game with how it was going.
What do you feel like you and the rest of Envy need to improve on to repeat your success at the First Strike Main event in December?
With this new patch, there is going to be a shift in the meta and I don’t think Killjoy will be played as much and Sentinels (agent class) will fall out of the meta because of their recent nerfs. Teams might not play Cypher or Killjoy at all so this upcoming tournament isn’t going to be anything like the qualifiers.
Do you feel like you are at a disadvantage at all not being able to play or are you enjoying sitting back and watching?
It’s nice to take a step back because you see for yourself if the ideas would work. If another team tries something you thought of you can see what works and what doesn’t. We still play all these teams in scrims too so we get our reps in that way.
How do you feel you have grown as a player so far this year?
I think since I started playing the game I’ve gained a lot of confidence in myself. In FPS games even if you make a bad decision, if you make it with all the confidence in the world it can work.
Envy will face off against Immortals during their opening match at the First Strike North America Regional Finals on December 3rd, and by then Skye and Icebox will be introduced into play. Food can be found on Twitter and Twitch, and make sure to follow our Valorant Esports Twitter for all of the latest Valorant news.