The Reykjavik Rundown with Sliggy: The Meta
If there is a grave secret to interviewing, it’s how much ends up on the cutting room floor.
Sliggy came into every question with a lot of energy and passion for the subject—many players and coaches do, but the analyst and the veteran tend to go above and beyond. Being a veteran analyst, Sliggy had a lot to say on a lot of topics that didn’t slot well into one region or area.
So I’ve put together his wider thoughts on the meta and the game here in one last “bonus round” article. It also means you get a bit of insight into one or two of the many, many stupid questions that I ask Team Liquid players.
Do you feel like the Viper buffs, specifically, almost were a Fnatic buff given how good Mistic was on that and how good they were at playing around the Viper?
Yeah, massively. There were quite a few teams in Europe that were using it a lot. I think they were probably the main ones that were using it on the most maps. I know that Boaster likes to run around the server and come up with stuff so they definitely got a big buff.
I felt like we as a team actually got hit one of the hardest because we had just changed ec1s for Jamppi and ec1s was our Viper. So essentially we just got rid of our Viper guy and they made Viper really, really good. [Laughs]
So the bootcamp [at the EU Alienware Training Facility] was really good for us cause we had to put in some agents that the team hadn’t been playing before. The buff to Viper definitely changed a lot. I think we adapted pretty fast and yeah Fnatic, again, they used it a lot so I’m sure they were pretty happy about it.
How do you think Viper will be in the meta? Does she still seem like a must-pick or has that dampened a little?
I think it’s made it more in the right direction. I think obviously the patch before when it was 50 damage [to step into her abilities] was too strong. It was OP, that’s why we forced it in [our comps]. I think the 30 still might be a bit too much, honestly, but at least it’s in a better place for Iceland.
I normally wouldn’t be happy with updates that happen this close to an event but I do think that this is better for everyone because it was just a big over-buff in my opinion. She went from like a middle tier agent to the best agent in the game so I do think this is a step in the right direction. But yeah it might not be enough to be honest, I still think she’s really strong.
Is it a little bit easier as a coach to have those conversations where it’s like, “Hey we could really use you to pick up this agent.” When the team is all together and in one place?
Yeah it’s good to just talk about it and see who’s comfortable on what, but it’s one of the things I’ve drilled into them from the beginning of the game. You'll see even if you look back into the fish123 or early Liquid days, every tournament there’d at least be like 2 or 3 people playing new agents.
So it’s something that I’ve always said, when it comes to events I’m gonna do this stuff. You’re gonna have to be able to play multiple agents. It was kind of something that everyone was aware of from an early stage but yeah, it definitely helps when everyone is together and we can talk about what style of agent suits who the best.
In terms of us moving Jamppi over [to Killjoy], it’s just that on certain maps I want us to be able to do a more defensive comp. And again, you need to be versatile in this game so having him on another agent in a big event, it just really helps us. Especially when I VOD review other teams and see their style of play.
So it’s good to have him on like a super passive agent and less of the in-your-face stuff.
It does strike me that when Jamppi’s on Killjoy that the lurks have a different tempo or are maybe more patient.
Yeah it honestly plays really different. It opens a lot of different opportunities up. I think it’s good to have comps where you can just flex like two guys on different agents for sure because it really does change the style. So even if teams have been watching a lot of your stuff, if you change two agents it can change a lot of how you approach the game.
Are you expecting to see a lot of curveballs—different agent picks to change styles and mess with people’s review?
[Laughs] Yeah I think so. I think there’s gonna be a lot. I think there’s gonna be a crazy amount. [...] In this game it’s super hard to come against stuff that you haven’t seen before so I feel like there might be a lot of that. So it’s gonna be really interesting.
From what I see with Team Liquid it’s almost like Astra versus Brim. How do you feel about whether or not to pick Astra, whether or not to pick Brim? Do you feel it’s a tradeoff?
It all goes down to style of play but on paper, Astra is the better agent. Astra is a little bit broken right now, to be honest—in terms of the gravity well. But I also think people are forgetting she has some downfalls.
The Brim’s more comfortable with us so we like to use the Birm a lot. I think that’s the same with Fnatic. I think that Astra has a really high skill ceiling and I think that maybe teams are rushing a little bit, maybe they’re not the best with it. It takes a lot—I think people are underestimating how much time it takes to be really good with her.
I think it’s a bit like Skye as well. At the beginning we didn’t see too much of Skye—she has a really high skill ceiling—and now we’re seeing a lot more of Skye. I feel like teams—at least for the qualifier—rushed it a little bit but I think in the long term Astra is better than Brimstone, yeah.
You, Immi, Boaster - which one is the top British Valorant mind?
[Laughs] I can’t. Everyone’s good, everyone’s good. Fnatic have their coach Mini as well. So there’s actually 3 UK coaches and we’ve all known each other and been in the scene for a long time so there’s gonna be a good amount of friendly rivalry going on.
Honestly there isn’t a better person. Everyone is just super smart. Mini and Immi very much get the games. We’ve been in CS long enough to understand FPS.
At least from the coaching side, I’m excited to see what those two teams come out with for sure cause I know they’ll be going really hard for this—like really, really hard. Especially in the UK, if you think about it, we haven’t had anything for so long. We literally haven’t had anything for so long so this is a good chance for us to win something big. I expect everyone to be going pretty hard for this.
I actually had a question in the back of mind: Is it kind of crazy to you at all, Britain’s rise in Valorant? All of a sudden, it’s practically like the French or Swedish in CS:GO. Does that surprise you at all?
To an extent but not so much. That was part of the big thing in Fish123, right? We wanted to put the UK back on the map and inspire some other people. I feel like we did that.
I also feel like this game is a lot of who wants it more. Who’s gonna put in the extra work, who wants it more. I do think multiple years of failing in CS:GO—it’s just an extra kick, isn’t it? I think it just makes us want it a bit more.
You’re known as one of Valorant’s top minds. While I’m sure it helps the team to do a lot of VOD review and watch other regions and think, it sounds like it’s a lot of work. Do you ever think of just leaving the strat book empty and telling ScreaM to go and do the frags?
[Chuckles] I mean yeah, to an extent, but not really. Dude, I just love doing this so much. I probably put in ridiculous hours for sure, when you add them up. But this is something that I’ve wanted to do for so long and I’m in such a good position that it’s just like—I love it so much, so that I just want to keep on putting in time.
At least so far, I haven’t felt any burnout or anything. It’s so fun. It’s so fun for me, it’s so satisfying just seeing things go well in the server. Even just seeing stuff that I thought of playing out well, it’s great. And then to have the 5 players back it and believe in everything, and have the individual skill. It’s just a dream, dude.
Up Next: An interview with Jamppi