Gambit nAts On Loving Cypher, Annoying Opponents, And Advice For New Players
When VALORANT launched just over a year ago, every ranked game commenced with a mad click-off for control of a certain silver-haired dagger throwing Tinkerbell. Whilst you had to have reflexes of Peter Pan himself to take control of Jett, many more savvy players looked towards mastering their own crafts and shutting down the Bladestorm badass.
One player, in particular, has carved out mass success in this area and has quickly become recognised as arguably the best player in the world, currently – at least the best Cypher and Viper on the planet:
Gambit Esports’ Ayaz "nAts" Akhmetshin.
The 19-year-old has transcended to the top of VALORANT esports, influencing the entire meta of the game with his dominance on Cypher and Viper, which differs from the usual map takeover from Jett mains.
Whilst the likes of Sentinels’ Tyson "TenZ" Ngo, Acend’s Mehmet Yağız "cNed" İpek, and Envy’s Jaccob "yay" Whiteaker continue to grab headlines for their flashy brilliance and explosive kill chains, nAts’ ability to lurk and flank is being vastly admired and adopted by teams looking to emulate his success.
Gambit and nAts have now looked to conquer the world, after becoming European Champions in the VCT Stage 3 playoffs. Now, they find themselves in the Masters: Berlin Grand Finals, after obliterating EMEA rivals G2 Esports in a 13-10, 13-0 VALORANT masterclass.
Much thanks to nAts’ inordinate ability to go unnoticed on the map and pick up a range of free kills, Gambit now look like hot favourites for international dominance. Following their win, nAts spoke exclusively to GGRecon and spoke about his love for Cypher and the art of lurking.
“I like to annoy my opponents. That’s why I’m playing Cypher,” he began. “I love to make new things and maybe that’s why I like Viper too. I just love my role, staying on-site and killing my enemy, I just like to annoy my opponents.
“Sometimes I am saying to my teammates to leave me alone on site, I can do everything - Well, I think I can do everything, I don’t know about my opponents.”
“Sometimes I’m saying can you do one thing so I can do another thing, but if they’re not I’m watching the map, seeing what they are doing, and if they can make some noise on A and maybe pick a kill up in mid. After that, I’m not looking at what they can do for me, I’m reacting to what they’re doing. Because of that I get some good timings or luck and getting some opponents without a gun sometimes. They’re not ready for me.”
For those looking to emulate his success, nAts offered a word of advice for Cypher and Viper mains, with creativity and persistence being the method behind his madness.
Overall, you have to work a lot and play a lot. You don’t have to change your role all the time. For Cypher, you have to try all setups.” He said.
“Create them, try, try, and try. You will get your own setups that will work only for you. Some of my setups only work for me because I’ve been playing them for a year. The main point is, try new things. If it is good for your role, it will be good for the tournaments, official game, and on ranked as well.”
Gambit will face Envy in the Grand finals, where nAts will face his biggest test yet: shutting down VCT stat leaders yay and Austin "crashies" Roberts.