VCT Player Of The Week: Asuna - From Counter Strike Nobody To VALORANT Prodigy
After leading his team 100 Thieves through the open qualifier of the second week of VALORANT Champions Tour, we take a look at how Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk found his way from the lower levels of North American Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), usually finding himself losing early in open qualifiers to playing for one of the biggest organisations in gaming qualifying for some of the biggest events in VALORANT.
Where did he start?
Starting as most players do in video games, Asuna found himself wanting to play competitive Counter Strike early on in life and found his way onto his first official semi pro team in early 2018 competing in open qualifiers with his team in an attempt to try and upset some professional teams, and maybe get recognition for his ability or pull off the Cinderella story and somehow even manage to qualify for the events themselves. However, just like a majority of teams in the open qualifiers, when playing the best teams in the qualifiers, Asuna and his teams always found themselves falling short.
Although, towards the end of his tenure in CS:GO, now as slightly more experienced 17-year-old player, Asuna found himself actually starting to show some promise in the scene, playing on the Triumph roster that managed to place fifth/sixth in the North American minor qualifier securing their place in the North American minor and whilst their chances were very slim of ever advancing past that point, the improvement to reach that level showed that maybe Asuna could develop on a good NA team.
Unfortunately, with the event being cancelled by Covid-19, Triumph never got their chance to show how good they could have been and as many North American players of the lower levels did during the early stages of VALORANT, Asuna took the leap of faith in search of greener pastures on a new game.
Rise to the top
Just like many others in VALORANT, his rise started from playing in a few open tournaments early on in the game and quickly building himself up on to better teams seemingly week after week, until eventually he found himself on a professional team only months into the life cycle of the game, validating his decision to leave behind the uncertainty of NA CS:GO. He joined the Immortals roster alongside Joseph “Bjor” Bjorklund, Noah “jcStani” Smith, Yannick “KOLER” Blanchette, and Amgalan “Ghengsta” Nemekhbayar. However, Bjor was soon replaced after a couple of events by Quan “dicey” Tran. On the Immortals roster, Asuna would actually see decent success, with a notable placement of third in the FaZe Clan invitational.
Eventually, Immortals decided that they would use their VALORANT roster as a talent farm and profit from their best players leaving the roster, which led to both Asuna and dicey being sold to 100 Thieves to join their new roster of CS:GO veterans. This is where Asuna finally proved himself as arguably the best player in the game, helping the roster qualify for the First Strike VALORANT major and then doing the unthinkable and being the first North American team to win the major, beating out teams such as Sentinels and TSM along the way, in a tournament in which many people believed Asuna could very well have been the MVP. Finally, from competing in open qualifiers for nothing, Asuna now had reached the pinnacle of the early stages of VALORANT, but he was far from done yet.
VCT Week two Open Qualifier
This week in the VCT open qualifier, 100 Thieves found themselves back playing with their core roster after having to use a stand in for week one. The team looked absolutely night and day back playing with Nicholas “Nitr0” Cannella, and found themselves cruising through the early round of the tournament as many would expect against mostly amateur teams. Although, maybe somewhat surprisingly given they hadn’t played with their full team in a while, this dominant form continued and 100 Thieves didn’t drop a single map throughout the entire qualifier, proving once again why they should be considered a top team in North America.
As for Asuna, he was the driving force this weekend for 100 Thieves, averaging a 1.64 rating - according to thespike.gg, the highest rating in the tournament by any player, which is even more impressive given the higher rated teams he played against later in the tournament. However, what really separated him from the rest was his performance in their final game against ANDBOX, a roster some people thought may be able to compete with 100 Thieves. Asuna put on a clinic with a 1.66 rating, 323 ACS and 1.48 K/D in the matchup, head and shoulders above anyone else in the server and most impressively also did this whilst playing as the entry fragger, a role notorious for causing players to die more often than their teammates. Therefore, in what may be one of the easiest weeks to award player of the week, Asuna well and truly earned it.
Images via 100 Thieves | ESL