The Ultimate Valorant

Aim Training Course

Learn More

Interview with Samantha “Naorimizuki” Timms, esports analyst, host, caster & coach

Interview with Samantha “Naorimizuki” Timms, esports analyst, host, caster & coach
Written by: Yoann

Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with Samantha Timms, esports and VALORANT analyst, host, caster, and coach! How are you, and how would you introduce yourself?


Samantha: Doing pretty good! I’m Sam, or Naorimizuki, as most people might know me! I work in multiple esports, but VALORANT will be the most relevant here!

Yoann: When and how did you get into esports?


Samantha: I was really late to get into esports, I’m still new. Back in 2018 was the first time I got into a competitive game, which was Overwatch. There were local teams desperate for casters, so I thought I’d give it a shot! It was terrible, I’ve come a long way! But that opened the door for me, I got involved with a community called, which a lot of talent will be familiar with, and they eventually began to cover some of the official Blizzard tournaments, which gave me my first bit of paid work. It all started as a fun thing my friends convinced me to do, and I found that I enjoyed it, and I was good at it. I kept going from there! 

Yoann: That’s amazing! What are you currently working on?

Samantha: Right now, I’m busy with the ESL Impact League, which is the women's Counter-Strike league! At the moment, my Valorant work has become limited to Game Changers, which I’m not upset about because I love Game Changers. One of my biggest passions is women in the esports scene!

I’m also heavily involved in the local VALORANT scene in South Africa, and will be covering one of the upcoming tournaments, as well as coaching one of the teams! 

Yoann: Great! How do you feel about the Game Changers program and the future of women in Valorant?


Samantha: I love that there’s such a huge push to get more women involved in esports at the moment! I know there’s a lot of misunderstanding when it comes to the women’s scene, the difference between men and women is not necessarily biological, but very much social! When you’re a kid, you’re going to get different toys whether you are a boy or a girl, and if you’re a boy, you might get introduced to PC games like Counter-Strike or Valorant, which are more stereotypically oriented for male players, and if you’re a girl, you might get introduced to Barbie games. It has become a reflex that society ingrained in us. 

I feel like that’s changing now, Jazzyk1ns is a prime example, she played on Cloud 9 White, and she started when she was only 16! 


Game Changers gives women a platform to be able to compete and practice, in an environment where they are playing with other women who are also trying to figure things out, it also allows them to get more opportunities. 47% of gamers globally are women but in terms of competitive gamers, it’s incredibly low. Game Changers helps to give them a chance in the esports scene! I think the future for women in esports is incredibly bright, we can already see how much growth and development there’s been in the last few years, and we’re just going to keep going from there!

Yoann: That’s very interesting for sure! What's your preparation routine before a broadcast as an analyst or a host?


Samantha: Your prep work doesn’t start when you’re hired, it’s constant. I don’t cast VCT, but I’ve been watching all the regions getting to grips with what the landscape looks like because if the day comes that I’m called up to work on a broadcast, I want to be ready. For me, as an analyst, I need to look at the statistics, maps pools, win-rates, agent compositions, finding patterns teams play at, players' storylines, there’s a lot of research that goes on before an event starts. It really is a 24/7 game!

Yoann: That’s for sure! You're also hosting the YWIGPodcast, what can you tell us about it?


Samantha: YWIG is Your Week In Gaming. Myself and a friend here in South Africa decided to start a podcast to talk about games every Friday for 30 to 45 minutes! We do a recap of the news in gaming that week, picking 4 topics that we go in-depth about, and in the end, we do a special mention section with other news that people might be interested in! And we round it off with some fun news no one cares about, in the first episode, there was a toaster that looked exactly like an Xbox! Nobody cares, but it’s interesting! It’s just a short podcast you can listen to on your way to work to keep up to date with gaming!

Yoann: Nice! You are also coaching a Valorant roster, how is it going so far?


Samantha: I didn’t realize coaching was trying to wrangle chickens! I feel like I’m constantly chasing ADHD children - it’s insane but I love it! The guys I’m working with are a ton of fun, they really take me seriously even though it’s my first time coaching. I have anxiety and impostor syndrome about it, but they listen to what I have to say and often bring up things that I hadn’t thought of; there’s a lot of back and forth, and it’s a great learning opportunity for all of us!

Our first tournament is this week, I’ll be excited to see how that goes! It has definitely increased my understanding of the game, which elevates my broadcast work!

Yoann: Amazing! Let’s now get to the Quick Questions part! I will ask you 10 quick questions, and you'll have to answer as fast as possible. Ready?


Samantha: Yeah!

Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?


Samantha: Phantom!

Yoann: What's your favorite map?


Samantha: Breeze!

Yoann: What's your favorite agent?


Samantha: Fade!

Yoann: What's your favorite skin collection?


Samantha: Valiant Hero!

Yoann: What's your best memory working in esports?


Samantha: A couple of years ago, we had the regional league finals, and they flew me out to Berlin to work in the studio and be on the analyst desk, that was incredible, I’d love to do that again!

Yoann: Amazing! How often do you play Valorant?


Samantha: Not very often, unfortunately, I spend so much of my time doing analytical work and watching pro games, I don’t have the time sadly. 

Yoann: Can you name the eight teams that won an international event?


Samantha: I don’t think I could name all 8, but I know most of them! Sentinels, Fnatic, EG, Loud, Optic, Gambit…

Yoann: The last two are Acend and FPX! What kind of music do you listen to when working?


Samantha: I don’t listen to music while I work - I love music and that’s the problem! I’ll put up a song, and I’ll start singing and jamming, and I’ll forget what I’m doing. I need no distraction, shut everything down, and focus on what I’m doing!

Yoann: Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent?


Samantha: Nightmare take them!

Yoann: Great! Let’s now get back to the standard questions! 

What are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?


Samantha: Music! The first tattoo I ever got is designed around music, and I studied music at school! I’ve also competed internationally for singing, I flew out to Los Angeles for the World Championship for performing arts, I got a bronze medal! It’s not esports, but it’s cool! Entertainment has always been in my blood, and the other big passion of mine is Dungeons and Dragons!

Yoann: That’s so cool! What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer? 


Samantha: Deadlock! I understand the concept, you want something that’s able to deal with double dive comps, but her kit is just so unoptimized, a lot of what she can do, other agents can do it better. I’m not a game designer, I don’t know what needs to change, but she definitely needs a rework!

Yoann: I agree! What are your short and long-term ambitions on Valorant?


Samantha: Short term, I want to help my team win a tournament and hopefully have the opportunity to work on broadcast for more events. I also so badly want to work Game Changers Championship, but I’m not sure that’s something I’ll be able to achieve short term. Long term, I want to join the VCT broadcast team. That’s been my goal since the VCT circuit was first announced. We aren’t there yet but hopefully one day!

Yoann: What would you say to someone aspiring to work in esports?


Samantha: Just do it! The biggest thing people struggle with is starting, and there’s a great quote from The Rock, and it goes like “One day, or Day One”! And TechGirl, another famous South African caster and host in esports, made a TikTok posting photos of her working on international events, and a photo from the very first event she ever worked!

You can look at it like “One day I’ll start”, or you can look at it like “Okay, it’s Day One, this is where my journey begins”!

I still have the VOD of my very first cast, and it was awful, I had no-copyright music in the background, I was talking absolute nonsense, I barely understood the game, and I thought I could cast it! It was a nightmare, and I could’ve stopped there, but I didn’t and I decided to keep doing it. Just do it, find your local tournaments, you can even run your own, even if there’s no prize pool, do some casting, and get a reel together. 

There’s a song from Fort Minor, called Remember the Name, I think most people will know this song. He says that it’s 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% power of will, 5% pleasure and 50% pain. And that’s pretty accurate! 

Yoann: That’s amazing, thank you so much for your time, I wish you the best in the future!


Samantha: Thank you!

Samantha’s socials:

Twitter (X):


Your Week In Gaming Podcast:


No comments yet
Please login to leave a comment.
Lethal Gaming Gear DesktopLethal Gaming Gear Mobile