We at Gankster are pleased to host IcyCubed’s blogpost on their experience using Gankster to practice for VALORANT Premier and finding teammates.
I originally created Glacial back in 2021, which consisted of my two younger brothers and two childhood friends. COVID trapped us inside with little to do, resulting in much of it being spent playing Valorant. I threw together Glacial so we would be able to enter tournaments and play in a more professional setting. We thought it would be fun to see how we stacked up against others and to play something a little bit more structured than your typical ranked game.
Glacial played in a couple of tournaments, but after a lot of matches part of us got burnt out, so the team started to decline. We were divided, some of us continued playing constantly, others periodically or quit. Until Riot, on the heels of LOCK/IN 2023, announced the Premier Beta. Between the creation of the team and LOCK/IN, we had managed to improve dramatically and had recently gotten back into playing again. Premier seemed like the perfect opportunity to test ourselves and play at the next level of structured competition.
Unfortunately, one of my friends quit playing, so we had a week to fill our fifth slot. Not knowing where to look, we brought in a friend of a friend. We went in blind, and this ended up backfiring at us. We were only naturally good at a handful of maps, and after qualifying in division 20, the tournament finals came, and we got a map we weren’t good at, earning us second place. We were completely lost on how to play the map, our comms were a bunch of gibberish, but we were hopeful for the next Premier.
With the announcement of Premier Ignition, we were excited to get back into it and take it more seriously! Yet again we needed a fifth, as our new edition stopped playing. So, having learnt about Gankster through my CVAL team, we decided to look on there. There were many options for players LFT, but after a lot of DMs and some vetting through the LFP, we came out with our new player NUCHELLA. After onboarding him, we started to scrim other teams on Gankster, we were back on the winning train! I think it’s one of the best places to look for a team or players.
Organizing five people to practice and play every week is much more challenging than you would think. Everyone being students and having extracurricular activities meant we would have to find times that worked for everyone. Luckily, it was the summer, so we had some more flexibility. Still, everyone had their own lives, sometimes there was only a day when we had an hour or two to practice. This is where being able to look for a scrim on Gankster and find a team to play with right away came in clutch. Having such a long history together meant we had good chemistry but little plan. Playing Duos ranked doesn’t teach you enough for structured team play. So, practicing one map together and understanding each other’s roles is a huge step forward.
We started scrimming and watching more high-level teams to see what they were playing and trying them out. Being able to play practice instead of playing once a week in qualifiers was extremely helpful. Taking scrims seriously and having a plan on things to do or try beforehand, then analyzing what we could do better next time, enabled us to get the most out of our practice. Figuring out our comp and playstyle before the real matches made us feel much more comfortable and confident. Playing a lot more together meant we were able to learn how to communicate better and allowed the team to incorporate our new members. This time around we were ready. Qualifying in division 19 and winning Premier Ignition. With the next Premier, we qualified in elite 5 but due to CVAL, dropped out of the tournament earlier than expected. At week 2 of E7A3 we are sitting first in Elite 5. We are looking forward to the next season and to come out on top!
If I were to give any tips for new Premier teams or looking to improve, they would be:
- Find good people then players. If your team hates each other, you aren’t going to do well. Practicing is not going to go well because you won’t be learning from each other. Your team is going to be miserable and selfish.
- Make a playstyle that suits your team’s strengths. Have a cracked duelist? Play aggressive comps like PRX. Slow and tactical players? Play accordingly, get picks and map control, run fakes to get yourself free sites. Put players in roles that suit their play style or a role they want to play. This means you get the most out of each player.
- Play, just play with your team. The more time spent playing together, the better you will be able to make plays together. If you win, see what you did good, If you lose see what areas you need to improve on, and find comps or strategies that find what issues you having. Play, analyze, fix etc.