Interview With Odivelas Sports Club player Tiago "Forrowz" Reis"
Carriço: My first question is how did you get into esports?
Forrowz: I entered the Esports world a long time ago. To me, the Esports world started when I was playing CrossFire. I was around 14,15 years old, and we played team vs team in the game.
After that, ESL started to create tournaments for CrossFire, I began to have LAN tournaments in my own city, and that was basically my introduction to the Esports world, and after that, I discovered that I wanted to pursue a career in Esports.
Carriço: Why did you choose to become a professional player?
Forrowz: I think it's already in my nature the fact that I love to compete. When I was younger I played football, like most of us do, and I already had a passion for competing. However, I had a very serious injury and stopped playing football and started to dedicate myself more to video games.
I decided that if I’m not going to be able to compete in football then I'm going to do it on the video games because I was actually good at it.
Carriço: Can you talk a little bit about your path in VALORANT before joining Odivelas Sport Club ?
Forrowz: My first competitive scene was in CS:GO like most people who started in the FPS genre, but I never got really far there. Where I feel like I actually went far and achieved some things was in Overwatch, where I played in teams like GrowUp, and we were really close to qualifying for Overwatch contenders, which is like the second division of Overwatch, and we're always competing in the Overwatch League and other similar smaller tournaments.
It was at that time when I had a break, and then Valorant was released. Valorant is the mixture of Overwatch with CS:GO so I decided I wanted to try the game out, after that, I fell in love with the game and will continue to put everything into it.
Carriço: You play as a Sentinel what are some things that make a good Sentinel player?
Forrowz: One of the main things is knowing how to lurk, taking intel for his team, and changing up their setups, if the setup is working you stick to it, if it's not change the setup, be original and do something unpredictable.
Carriço: How do you prepare for opponents in general? What is your preparation method?
Forrowz: At this moment I don't have a special method because I don't have a lot of time to warm up before the games. Normally when i have time, mainly on the weekends I like to go into a custom and learn some new traps and lineups, watch some videos to take some new ideas from there, and just play some aim training, Kovacs, or AimLab, or deathmatch.
Carriço: What does your daily routine look like?
Forrowz: I go to work at noon, I’m working since noon to 9:00 PM, which basically takes up my entire day. After I get home I get together with the team and we play some scrims even if it's already a little bit late. After the scrims, the rest of the team goes to sleep and I stay until 3:00 AM playing, doing aim train, and studying the game since that’s the only free time I got.
Carriço: Talk to me a little bit about this project of Odivelas Sport Club
Forrowz: It’s still a very new project for me since I've only been here for two months. At first, I was a little bit skeptical since it wasn't a team I knew a lot about, but since I entered the organization, the staff was been spectacular and has helped me to find some justifications so I can leave my work a little bit earlier in order to be able to attend the League games.
I meet them on the media day, and they explained to me the ideals of the organization and everything else. Even after the results are not being the best so far they are always sending supportive messages. For me, it’s an organization that has been supporting us a lot and is a great place to start my career.
Carriço: How do you describe your playstyle right now?
Forrowz: At this moment I would say we have a very passive playstyle, at least in my opinion. I see other teams that are more aggressive and seem to have more confidence. While we are very passive.
Our biggest problem is that when we try to change a little bit and be more aggressive, we end up being too much aggressive. Maybe in the ranked games it works, but here in the competitive scene the players and teams are more disciplined and know how to punish that.
We are at an impasse, where we are still trying to find out what is our game style, the style that is the best fit for us.
Carriço: How important is it to have a great team environment, do you think in order to find success a good team environment outside the game is necessary?
Forrowz: For me is very important because in the end one of the main factors for us to play well and have a good performance is our mental state. One of the things I talk about a lot with my team is, let's stay calm I know some of the players are nervous but its the first time for all of us, so if we made mistakes let's see what they were and fix them, stay positive, and I think that the staff also helps me a lot in that regard always keeping the team with a positive environment, even if its a little frustrating how the games have been going.
Carriço: What are some of the things/intangibles each player brings that are very important for the team?
Forrowz: We have a little bit of everything. Vrtx is the IGL, is a very nice guy and also very smart, he spends days in front of his PC just studying the game, watching VODS, and creating tactics for the team. I'm more like the dad of the team, I try to keep the calm in the team, and if I have to be critical of them I will also be.
TyPal is more like the funny guy, a little like a class clown, but he is a very nice guy and has a very bright future ahead of him. Hax is like our aimbot, when he wants no one can stop him, but sometimes it seems he turns off his brain, and it's all the way down from there. Minikid is the more relaxed player, he is in his own corner and does his work, and doesn't stand out that much.
Carriço: How is it to work with these groups of players?
Forrowz: It’s very fun, for the results we have been having it's still a team that tries their best, even if the things are not working they are trying, and training, it’s just a matter of time until the pieces start to come together and we start to see good results.
Carriço: How important is this Campeonato de Elite for the Portuguese competitive scene?
Forrowz: I think it is an incentive for a lot of people that we're thinking if it was worth to invest in Valorant in Portugal. They are seeing players doing everything to get noticed, it gives us visibility and a career in the VLR which is what the players use to pursue a career outside of Portugal.
Maybe it’s going to bring other players that, even if this is just a hobby for them they have that competitive hunger, and step by step we are going to build the Portuguese acne until it’s more sustainable.
Carriço: In your opinion what are the main problems of the Portuguese competitive Valorant scene?
Forrowz: Being very honest I think it's the lack of players to compete, there are a lot of players that play well in the ranks just to play with their friends and being there chilling a bit. But one of the most important things is the lack of tournaments. Even if they are tournaments with small prize pools, for example, 20 euros for each player or ten euros, as long as there is a tournament for someone to compete and have that experience, I think people wouldn’t look at the prize pool but look a the experience and how that can be beneficial for them in the future.
Carriço: What team are you really looking forward to facing?
Forrowz: The team I was really looking forward to playing against is GTZ Bulls because I’m used to playing ranked with them, and they are players that help me a lot individually, learning some things. It’s that game against friends that at the same time gives you even more motivation to win.
Carriço: What are the main goals for Odivelas Sport Club for the remaining of this year?
Forrowz: Our goal right now is to keep our spot in the VCE. Like I said to you we are people with little experience and were thrown at the beasts, so if we can survive it's already a win for now.
In the second split, we definitely have to be in the top 3. There is no excuse.
Carriço: And for you as a player what are your main goals?
Forrowz: My main goal, like the goal of many players, is to be able to dedicate myself full time to Valorant, and be a professional player for many years. I still have a lot to learn, and I still need to gain a lot of experience, but it's like I always say, do your work, focus on your priorities and the remaining time you have spent in the game and everything will go alright.
That’s what I have been doing lately, I leave work, and stay 5 hours just studying, practicing my aim, and learning the game. Basically, loving the sport, and I want to be a professional Valorant player.
Carriço: Is there anything else you want to say to the Odivelas Sport Club fans or the Portuguese scene in general?
Forrowz: More to the Portuguese community, if you really want to pursue/ work in the Valorant scene just risk it, and invest your time. If you really want to play competitively this is the time, Ingyon is doing everything, and one very important thing is never to attend a tournament just because of its prize pool, if there is a tournament attend it, gain experience from it, and don't give up when things don't work well for yourselves, that is just like life, some moments things will go well in others not so much.
Carriço: Tiago thanks a lot for agreeing to do this interview. It was a pleasure talking with you, and I wish you the best of luck in the remaining Elite League.