Gen.G Esports enters the space with a rock-solid team
Esports is a young people's game, has always taken on newcomers and that is only becoming more and more true with each passing day. As the new kid on the block, VALORANT is taking on any and all with some gas left in the tank looking to make it big, and one of the most promising teams in that regard are the Canadian core for Gen.G Esports VALORANT stable. The question we tackle today is: Does Gen.G have enough potential to become early forerunners in the growing VALORANT esports space?
Formed from the ashes of LiViD Gaming’s Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) team, Loic "effys" Sauvageau, Anthony "gMd" Guimond, Danny "huynh" Huynh, Michael "MkaeL" De Luca, and Keven "PLAYER1" Champagne now collectively sit as a prominent force atop of the green branches of this new esport.
One month into switching from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive to VALORANT, they were signed to represent Gen.G Esports in VALORANT. Weeks after being signed, Gen.G is set to compete in the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Invitational. They marched through the winner’s side of the bracket without facing much that could rival their level of play. The only team to give them pause would be the team favoured to win the entire event.
Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski, Tyler "Skadoodle" Latham, and team captain, Braxton "brax" Pierce, made up the core of the only team to give Gen.G any competition at the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Invitational. Unfortunately for them, Gen.G reigned supreme in both their meetings, defeating Team Brax in the winner’s final with a score of 2-0 and in the grand final with a closer 2-1.
Gen.G are a well-lead team and this stretches back to before they were signed. At the time known as FRENCH CANADIANS, Gen.G would regularly showcase quick thinking and decisive calling in tournaments like the Nerd Street Gamers - Open #2 and the Fragadelphia Social Distancing Open #1. With Sage being unchanged at the time, Gen.G’s attacking rounds would often be stifled and sometimes outright shutdown as they postured for position. However, like clockwork, their immediate reaction would be to quickly adjust and reposition for another execute onto a different site. While this seems basic and intuitive, for such a budding esport to see a team with such control and discipline is incredibly promising, as was showcased in the grand finals for the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Invitational.
In Round 4, gMd scouts through Hookah with his Owl Drone and spots the enemy Sage. Knowing they’re facing a half buy from Team Brax, a quick call is made to have the two people positioned on the B side of the map to rotate back to A to abuse the numbers advantage as well as the firepower advantage. Both instances showcase how clear and coordinated Gen.G are in such an early stage in VALORANT’s development, gaining information quickly and acting upon it without much delay.
On top of surgical tactics, Gen.G doesn't lack in terms of duelling potential either. Down 1-4, Team Brax takes an unprotected duel over the A site orb on Bind, PLAYER1 not only picks Skadoodle but wins the follow-up duel from EliGE seconds later. This play would be key to opening up that half of the map, allowing for a quick spike plant and an easy round win. This same scenario plays out during the tail end of Bind as Gen.G swaps to Defense, proving that they don't have to shy away from other teams in terms of firepower.
Gen.G's MkaeL, who acts as a strategical fail-safe, can be found defending his team from enemy flanking attempts and anchoring sites by himself. Because of this move, he often enters skirmishes late and this understandably puts him near the bottom of the scoreboard sometimes. While the kill counter implies otherwise, that doesn’t mean he isn’t up to the task of winning duels. Here is a brilliant 1v3 showing his impressive clutchness to save a key round in the grand finals of the T1 x Nerd Street Gamers Invitational. Without extraordinary wins like this, Gen.G likely would not have walked away as champions.
Gen.G Esports isn’t a flashy team in terms of style. They don’t force buy after losing pistol rounds, they don’t play aggressive defences, but their success is backed by a strong understanding of fundamental strategy. However, that’s not to say they don’t change things up from time to time. Gen.G is often found to stack a certain side of the map and push up to hold aggressive angles. They use this approach to gather information while their Cypher plays on the opposite side of the map. This gives them great positions to hold from, all the while persuading the enemy team to attack the opposite bomb site.
Without a major international event to properly measure teams, a ranking system feels disingenuous. But to claim that Gen.G wouldn’t be among the top at the moment with their track record is equally as wrong. “Best” feels like a strong adjective with how early we are at the moment, but Gen.G Esports is a team you are going to want to keep track of in the coming months. In 3 or so years, this iteration of Gen.G Esports VALORANT team is going to be talked about for pioneering the space, count on it.
Images via Riot Games