“We’re Really Comfortable in These Lower Brackets” – NRG FiNESSE after Defeating DRX

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“We’re Really Comfortable in These Lower Brackets” – NRG FiNESSE after Defeating DRX

NRG looked completely different than their series against FNATIC, and IGL Pujan “FiNESSE” Mehta praised his teammates for the lower bracket win


The North American favorites of Masters Tokyo have grabbed their first Playoffs win at Masters Tokyo, and they have sent DRX home from the Lower Bracket. NRG had a completely different look in this game, especially on Haven, where they proved more powerful than the South Korean roster could handle. With this victory, NRG have avoided elimination from the Masters alongside EDG, who defeated the Brazilian favorites LOUD. 

In a post-match interview, the team’s in-game leader Pujan “FiNESSE” Mehta, talked about having a much more assertive stance in this series compared to their game the previous day. He also highlighted what happened against FNATIC, complementing the European opponents for the excellent counter-plays.

“Like We're Not Gonna Lose Like This, Right?”

After the massive loss against FNATIC, where the North Americans faced domination from Jake “Boaster” Howlett’s crew, FiNESSE knew his team needed a mental reset. “Yeah, I mean, as soon as we lost yesterday, I was like, I told my team after we kinda got over it, had some time to rethink things, like, ‘We're not gonna lose like this, right?' Like, ‘We're not about to go out 0-2,' and you know, we have way more in the tank than that, and we didn't show our whole face yesterday, so we figured, you know, it's time to kick it in gear, we know we're really comfortable in these lower brackets.”

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Compared to the team’s match against FNATIC, where almost all members collectively suffered from poor performance, four players of NRG had over 200 ACS in this game, and Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks and Victor “Victor” Wong were let loose to grab multi frags for the squad. 

“Deservingly so; we lost yesterday, but, yeah, we came in with a new fire today.”

“We Were Just Outplayed” – NRG FiNESSE on What Happened against FNATIC

Again, the match against FNATIC ended devastatingly for the North Americans, especially since this roster barely faces huge score gaps like the 13-4 map facing the European favorites. 

“So we had a pretty good read on how they played, we knew how they rotated, but they did an incredible job of shutting us down on our main hits.” 

FiNESSE also pointed out one of the rounds on Fracture, where even with a decent execution on B site, they were stopped by the forces of FNATIC due to pure skills.

“So, there was a round 4-4 yesterday on Fracture, where we hit the B bomb site, and they just wiped us. And they weren't even ready for the hit. So, it's one of those things where they were mechanically just on another level compared to us yesterday, and they just rode with that momentum onto Bind, and it's the way we lost Fracture was really hard to continue with the momentum on Bind.”

Bind was even more of a one-sided affair, where NRG were only able to secure two rounds on both attack and defense, and it was one of the worst performances we have ever seen from the OpTic core.

After this, the team’s captain had to tip his hat to FNATIC – “It was devastating, but at the same time, when a team is playing that incredibly well, you have to give them props, and we were just outplayed.”

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“I Have Five Incredible People Behind Me” – FiNESSE on What Makes NRG Special

NRG IGL IGL Pujan "FiNESSE" Mehta, formerly known as FNS

Credit: Riot Games

NRG’s core is one of the longest-standing favorites from the North American region, and they have continuously proved their worth through massive victories and heartbreaking losses. Throughout their journey, FiNESSE has established himself as one of the best IGLs we have in competitive VALORANT, but the captain pointed out how many decisions come from every member of the squad – “I have five incredible people behind me, you know, Chet as the coach and four incredible teammates, any one of them can call a big round at any given point, and that makes it easier on me. So, it's not just all on one person that's the good thing. I know a lot of people give me credit for my strats (strategies) and stuff like that, but the whole team does an incredible job of calling things on the fly.”

He also mentioned the retake plays on Pearl against DRX, where NRG won 7 out of 10 Spike plants by the South Koreans. “A lot of those retakes that we went over on Pearl today, none of them were set. We know we just have incredible comms in those high-pressure situations, and I think that's what differentiates us.”

NRG will have to go through three more Lower Bracket games to reach the Grand Final, and they will likely face the loser of the Liquid vs EG game in Lower Round 2.

“We’re Really Comfortable in These Lower Brackets” – NRG FiNESSE after Defeating DRX
Najib R
Who knew combining a love for cheesy one-liners and Valorant would lead to a writing career?