Bringing Envy to the top of NA, Food was by far the standout player in the VCT this week
Another week, another VALORANT qualifier, and this week's thrilling competition ended in North America with Envy taking first place in the closed qualifier defeating Sentinels in the grand finals, with Victor “food” Wong being the star player for the team throughout the bracket.
Where he made his name
Like many other current professional VALORANT players, food began playing competitively on Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) playing in his first official matches back in 2014 on a number of pickup teams. However, it would be years before he ever made a name for himself in the lower tiers of North American CS:GO, when he found himself on semi-professional organisation RESOLUTE alongside future VALORANT star Tyson “TenZ” Ngo. Whilst he was only on this team for a mere 22 maps, this was the start of his rise into tier two NA tournaments where he would consistently find himself on rosters filled with future tier-one players or players who, like food himself, decided to transition to compete in VALORANT.
Although, whilst other players were making leaps forward quickly in their professional careers, food found himself still behind the pack playing for player ran team Swole Patrol in his last competitive Counter-Strike team, meaning he was relying on prize money as the team obviously wasn’t being paid a salary. The team did show promise in a few matches, achieving notable wins over teams such as Furia and Team Liquid in the North American ESL Pro League Season 11, however finishing sixth place behind the clear top five teams in the region when all was said and done, it seemed as if for food there was no clear path to the top of his beloved CS:GO.
His entry into VALORANT
With the release of VALORANT, a rivalling first-person shooter to Counter-Strike, food had a decision to make. Continue playing the game that he had been competing in for his entire career or take the leap of faith and hope that his experience near the top of CS:GO would catapult him to the top of VALORANT from the start. Fortunately, he chose to take the risk and pursue competitive VALORANT, and with the announcement that he would be joining T1 alongside former CS:GO legends such as Braxton “Brax” Pierce and Tyler “Skadoodle” Latham, it appeared that his gamble had paid off.
Although, whilst early signs looked promising that the team could compete for titles in the game, a string of subpar results led the team to look into making changes to their roster and with food and fellow player Austin “Crashies” Roberts being the least experienced on the team it appeared to the fans that they were scapegoated by the team and were subsequently removed from the active roster.
At the time this may have seemed like a step back for food, although when it was announced that he and Crashies would be sticking as a duo and joining Team Envy, it was clear to the fans that this could be a scary roster if the players lived up to their potential. Straight away the team showed that they were a force to be reckoned with, winning the First Strike North American Qualifier, beating teams such as 100 Thieves along the way, and even though they unfortunately fell short in the Major itself, their skill level as a team was evident for all to see. So heading into the VCT qualifiers, Envy came into the event as one if the rightful favourites to once again rise to the top of North American VALORANT.
VCT North American Challengers Two
Heading into the first match of the week for Envy, they found themselves up against XSET, a roster that came into the event as clear dark horses that avid viewers of the game knew could pull off an upset or two. Although, with Envy coming out hot they put the series to bed 2-0, with food achieving a series high 1.46 thespike.gg rating and a 294 ACS, far and away the highest on the server. In their second series of the weekend they found themselves up against possibly the toughest test they would face all week in Sentinels. The series went all three maps with Envy eventually squeaking out the deciding map to advance through the bracket, and whilst food didn’t achieve the highest rating this time he did still find himself with a team high 258 ACS.
Once again in the upper bracket final, their series went to all three maps, however, this time it was a lot more comfortable for Envy, coasting through Icebox to book their place in the finals. Once again food impressed, averaging a 1.44 rating from the series and what will come as no shock, a server high 265 ACS. In his most impressive performance of the weekend by far, food and the rest of Envy found themselves up against Sentinels in the grand finals with a one map advantage due to coming through the winner’s bracket. Although, food put on an absolute clinic over the two maps that were played in the finals, achieving a 2.0 rating, 383 ACS and a staggering 53 kills over the two maps, 23 above anyone else on the server. This effort without a doubt cements food as this week's VCT player of the week.
Images via Riot | Swole Patrol | T1