Interview with Alliance player Niels "luckeRRR" Jasiek
Carriço: The first question is how did you get into esports?
Niels: Actually it was very far back when I was twelve I think. I played the game Call of Duty 2 with my brother. I beat him in a 1v1, we just went to one map and play 1v1, and I won against him and I don't know I got that feeling of having a nice play or winning you know it feels really good and I got hooked into that.
Carriço: Why did you choose to become a professional player?
Niels: I actually didn't choose to, like I just wanted to get better and better, and I really wanted to get really good at the game, and obviously you know it's a dream to make money with that. All of a sudden people noticed my skill my level, and they contacted me and wanted to sign me in good teams.
Carriço: Can you talk a little bit about your path in VALORANT before joining Alliance?
Niels: That was actually super super fun because we started in the beta right away. Actually, I had problems getting the key for the beta. Every single one of my friends they just go on the stream for like three hours and they get the key, and I'm like waiting for days. I even told them to go in this twitch so you can get the keys. Everyone got keys except me. So I was like super late and it was kinda annoying.
But as soon as I had it I joined up with my german colleagues from CS as well. Rex nukkye and so on we like instantly started playing Valorant. Rex actually played PUBG before, and he brought some PUBG friends with him.
We instantly started making a fun team, a fun streamer team Valorando. With Valorando we just kept playing, played some tournaments you know, everything was so fun because it was so new. And I got invited to Twitch rivals and things like that.
All of a sudden, after we in Valroando decided to go our ways, NIP was writing to me. They tried to contact me I said yes, and after NIP it was Alliance.
Carriço: You currently play as a duelist, what are some things that make a good duelist at the pro level?
Niels: I mean a good duelist should know where to be and where to put pressure. Actually, making space sounds so simple but it’s actually a bit more complicated than that.
It’s not like about entering on the attack, it’s more like on defense really getting the most out of that space you know. Getting a lot of pressure on them. As soon as you see that they put a good amount of pressure on the enemy then they are a good duelist.
Carriço: How does your daily routine look like?
Niels: Actually I never had a routine but since recently maybe like two-three months I always make a shake you know, with mil,k banana, peanut butter, gray protein powder. I drink that I go into Kovac or the range or deathmatch, and then I start streaming you know.
That's normally how it goes, and then after that, I have practice with my team.
Carriço: How long do you practice with your team?
Niels: It depends, on a normal day we have four pracs. But also before that, we have strat time, and after we have so talks as well. Sometimes when there is like a tournament we play more games, it can be up to five or six games to get some stamina. Yeah around six hours I would say.
Carriço: How do you prepare for opponents in general? What is your preparation method?
Niels: We are actually working on a good preparation method right now because we were missing that a bit. But I think that when you try to prepare for an opponent you don't want to get surprised. You could anti-strat completely maybe, but you never know if they are going to use it and at what moment, so you just got to be ready. Just not get surprised by any plays, so you actually look at the plays and see “okay they can do that “ but not necessarily play your whole game plan around that anti-strat. So you should still play the same way you play, but just be ready for everything they throw at you.
Carriço: What are some of the things/intangibles each player brings that are very important to the team?
Niels: When I was like in lower-tier teams and there was like no org behind it everyone spoke more freely I would say. But also like less respectful, less teammate more ego, more focused on themselves. So I would say having no ego and actually like being a good team player is very important. Every player should have that.
Carriço: Is it very important to have a great team environment, do you think in order to find success a good team environment outside and inside the game is necessary?
Niels: Yeah I think so. At the start of teams, there is always a good team environment because everyone is new, it's fresh, and everyone is hyped and motivated, and they also have more respect for each other. But a lot of teams actually, after that phase they crumble a bit because they annoy each other, and don't talk truly to each other. I think it's very important for the long-term success of the team to have a nice team environment.
Carriço: You guys played in both closed qualifiers for challengers, despite not being able to make it do you think that playing some of the best teams in Europe was an experience that benefited you as a team and one from which you learned a lot?
Niels: I mean yeah 100%. The only sad thing about that is, you know we always practice against these people a lot. It's not the same practice and official right, but it's hard to get right now in Valorant to get good official training done.
So these are literally the only changes to play against these teams and if you are out of this tournament then you cant get to the next one. There are not a lot of tournaments other than VCT right now, so it's actually nice to face them you know, but I would like to face them more in officials.
Carriço: How would you describe the playstyle of Alliance?
Niels: I think we try to keep it a lot balanced you know. You make them think a the start of a half that we play a certain way but then we take it out and play differently. So I think we are not like a team that goes always five-man push or plays a lot of executes, or plays only default. I think we just have a balance.
Carriço: What are some of the things you think you guys as a team need to fix or improve?
Niels: I mean it's the same from the VCT qualifiers. It’s the same for us and it's actually bad that it happens the same way. So we didn't improve enough during this period to actually perform when it counts in the league. It’s still the mental pressure I think because in the league we played these games and we are like dominating. But there is nothing big to lose.
But as soon as we go to elimination matches, one small thing goes wrong, then the other goes wrong, and it’s just all stacks up. I think this is more of a mental thing because I know we can do better. I see it in practice i see it in the league, and yeah we need to fix that.
Carrico: Is it harder for you to play against more structured teams or teams that adapt more on the fly?
Niels: I actually love to play against more structured teams. Especially when you are like that operator Jett, and you try on defense to make some space you have a better feeling of the timings. But when you play against more random I would say teams, that don't have that structure and rely on individual decisions, then it's a bit harder to read, so it's unpredictable. So if they are having a good run right now they can just overrun you like this or get this duel and the second one, and all you're structure gone and it feels very bad. So yeah I would rather play structured teams.
Carriço: Is there a team you are really looking forward to facing off against in the next season of the Polaris VRL?
Niels: Oh yeah, every team we played so far, I want to win against them. I want to win against Thundra that felt very bad to lose twice to them. I want to win against EXCEL because it was like so close and I feel like we should have gotten the comeback on Ascent. So yeah I want to face all of them again.
Carriço: What are the main goals for Alliance this year?
Niels: I mean we are always aiming for the highest. So there are no like goals to make it to master you know, obviously, that's good, but we want to be champions. So that is why we need to reconsider everything that happened now and see what changes we can do to actually come closer to that.
Carriço: For you as a player what are the main goals for the remaining of this year?
Niels: It is the same for me, I'm aiming high, I want to be the best team. So I want to play in the best team against the best players that's the dream.
Carriço: Is there anything else you want to say to the Alliance fans?
Niels: Actually I want to say sorry and I want to say thank you for the support. We couldn't keep up the promise, we had really good performances but we blocked ourselves in the last tournaments, and yeah we should have won it. But thank you guys for your support you are always there.
Carriço: Thank you a lot Niels for accepting to do the interview, and I wish you guys the best of luck in the future tournaments.