Interview With FTW EVO player Tiago "Tigax" Batista
Carriço: My first question is how did you get into esports?
Tigax: A quick answer is PlayStation one. My parents gave me a Playstation one and I played a lot of games there. Then came the Playstation 2, I played a lot of “finding Nemo”, I think people from my generation all played that game. Then came the Playstation 3, Call of Duty, I was a main sniper, but I didn't play it very competitively it was more for the highlights.
I also played a lot of Combat Arms, nothing professionally still, only to have fun, and I was still a kid at that time. I didn't play a lot of CS. I played a little with my friends, on Faceit, I wasn't at a very high level on Faceit, I mainly played it casually.
Then Valorant came along, and I started to grind since the beta, it was an evolution. I started on the beta and I wasn't mechanically very good I was still learning, and it was something gradual.
Carriço: Why did you choose to become a professional Valorant player?
Tigax: I started on FlyMatez which was my first team, it was a mix I had with RaykiNN,Yebesore,furyah, not the one that is on RESET currently, it was a different person, and with Shoumei who was a player from the United Kingdom.
We started playing together, like I said before I was still in the learning phase. I had the opportunity of improving with these four players, who helped me a lot. I was very inexperienced at the time, I’m still not super experient but I think we are all learning, and I’m always learning, but I already have some experience with me.
When I started on FlyMatez I was very inexperienced, they helped me a lot. At that time I was a duelist, I only wanted to play Jett obviously. I did the switch to Sentinel, they told me “ you are going to play as a Sentinel because I see you as a Sentinel player, you are very aggressive, but you know how to hold a site alone.”. They saw those characteristics in me, they said “ you are going to play Sentinel”, and it worked. The people that played with me at that time, saw something in me that I didn't.
After FlyMatez I went to FTW Red. Also with RaykiNN,Yebesore.Shoumei, not furyah because at that point in time he was working and couldn't come. We went to the VCE 1,2, and 3, If I’m not mistaken. At the third one, I wasn't able to attend due to personal reasons. I had to take a break from the game, I was one month away from Valorant.
We had some good results at FTW Red in my opinion, we finished in fifth place in the VCE. At that time there were a lot of good teams, Reject$ with jannyXD, Fizzy, the 123TAP, Axsor,KASTIRALIS, ORO Esports, then us in fifth place, we finished ahead of the first team at the time, well not ahead it was the in the same position, here is 5th/8th place so. But it was very good for us, we were the academy team at that point in time.
Then there was the “death” of the competitive scene which we will talk about more in a while. I never stopped playing, some of my teammates stopped playing because they had to work, and fortunately, I had the chance to continue playing. Then I stopped a little bit, got back to playing again, and then the competitive scene started “rolling” once again, finally, and I created this project.
CaZoTo came to me and said “ I want you to create a project at FTW”, and I took the core I had before, symoN, skypzz, and now we are here.
Carriço: You play as a Sentinel what are some things that make a good Sentinel player?
Tigax: A lot of patience, I’m also still learning what qualities a great Sentinel needs to have, as you can imagine. But I think it's a constant learning process, despite right now in the game we have three Sentinels, okay two because they took one of Chamber traps and I don't understand why but okay.
Currently, we only have three Sentinels. A more aggressive one in Chamber. We have Killjoy which if you know how to be patient, play with the setups, and read your opponent you are going to find success. We also have Cypher, despite not being played that much, there are teams that still use him because they have very good Chyper players.
When it comes to being a Sentinel you have to be versatile, you have to know how to adapt to what is happening in the game. You need to give the callout on the attacking or defensive side to your IGL, saying “ this is happening on the map I think we should do this”. You need to be proactive and talk.
It’s a constant learning process. I have seen a lot of people saying that this game is much harder than CS:GO tactically. Because on CS:GO you have those smokes in that map, that strat. In Valorant, everything can happen, the game is a complete gamble sometimes because five Sheriffs or five Marshalls on Breeze can change the outcome of one round.
Sentinel right now is the most unappreciated role in the game, in my opinion.
Carriço: How do you prepare for opponents in general? What is your preparation method?
Tigax: In the first games of the league, let's talk about the league because it's the competition I’m playing now. For the first games of the league, there wasn't a lot of preparation for me personally. When it comes to the team there is always preparation. I have my default setups, and it’s more about adapting in the moment.
It depends on the composition, if I see a KAYO if not going to play aggressive or forward, especially when he has ultimate. I'm going to play on the back site, I put the setup for my team and play close to the spawn in the limit of the setup with Killjoy on Ascent I do that.
If I'm with Cypher versus a KAYO, I can place my setup on the A site and I go play on the B site. But the preparation comes a lot from what we see week to week from the other teams, and I think going forward now that the league already has been going on for some weeks, I think we are going into the sixth fixture, and now team swill have to change their identity as LionClaw said in the interview, and I totally agree.
The teams and players will have to if they want to win going forward, will have to watch VODS, analyze their opponents, and do the correct vetos. Not forcing maps that they know the other team is strong in and that they are not that comfortable on. People have already played, there are VODS now, there is a lot of information, and teams need to prepare.
Personally, I have been preparing much more now and preparing my team's obviously, in order to be able to play against any team.
Carriço: What does your daily routine look like?
Tigax: Right now I'm full-time at Valorant. I wake up in the morning, do my things, brush my teeth, the usual. I start my stream and let's go play ranks. It’s losing my mind during the day, and then I have practice. Unfortunately, right now we haven't practiced a lot because I have two players on my team that are underaged and so they attend school. So we need to adapt to their schedules. But their holidays will start in two weeks and then we will start training a lot.
Carriço: Talk to me a little bit about this project of FTW Evo?
Tigax: It’s a very young team, we don't have anyone that has more than 25 years old. Easylife which is our IGL is the oldest one. I have 24 years, zePiCzz has 20 or 21, and then I have my two prodigies. Skypzz and symoN, they have 16 years, they are very good players. symoN unfortunately wasn't with us in the first two weeks of the league because of personal reasons.
Skypzz has been playing really well, he surprised me a lot, he has been developing a lot. Easylife, I already said it yesterday, people don't have him on their radar but he is very good. zePiCzz yesterday won the MVP, he played super well and he said he wasn't shooting that well so.
But I really like the project, our goals are clear, and despite being in fourth place right now, with two victories and three losses, our goal is to win the league, and I think it's possible because if we get to the playoffs, I think we are going to surprise a lot of people in the playoffs with some new things.
Carriço: What are some of the things/intangibles each player brings that are very important for the team?
Tigax: symoN is our star player in my opinion, and in the opinion of everyone else on the team. He is a very energetic player, and he is a Duelist so he was to be. He is very proactive and very communicative. He has some points that he needs to work on and I already talked about that with him. But he is young and has a lot of time to do that. I like I'm a lot, as a person as well, and he is a very good teammate.
If it’s necessary for him to die 20 times for us to win 20 rounds he will do it, he doesn't care about the score, he wants to play and help the team. In my opinion, and many people when they read this won't like what I'm about to say, but he is going to be the best duelist in Portugal in the future, for me he already is, but he will be the best duelist in Portugal, no one is going to be able to reach his level.
Skypzz is the reliable guy. I know I can leave him alone on the site and is going to take his. Skypzz gives you a lot of safety, despite at the beginning of the season, when we started to practice for the qualifier he was a little bit nervous, He doesn't have a lot of experience competitively on Valorant, while symoN was a little bit more experience since he played with me before.
But Skypzz is developing a lot. He was a Sentinel player, now is a Controler, and they are young kids so they learn quickly. He had some tough times when he switched to Controller since he was an Astra main and then switched to Omen, but now he got the hang of it.
zePiCzz is the mister Clutch himself. I like him a lot, he gives a lot of great input to the team. He has always an opinion. As a player during the matches he is a very calm person, he died from the back or died with a 360 from a player in the air it doesn't matter, he dies and just gives the info. I think zePiCzz has a lot of potential, he is a very good Sova player, but careful because he doesn't play only with Sova he can also play with other agents as well, and you will see it in the league.
Easylife is the IGL, I IGL with him but he is the primary IGL. I think he is the only IGL I had that has a lot of firepower. He is very strong mechanically, very smart, he was a document for everything. All the VODS reviews have a document from him, and I like that a lot because sometimes the younger players have school and can't attend the practice or VODS review, and he documents everything so they can see it, and we all read it. He has an insane work ethic, he doesn't stop. He is a very calm player, I never saw him complaining about dying.
He is a very good player, and already has some experience from playing with players from overseas, he played with Louitan on Rhyno Esports, he played with a lot of overseas players and brings an experience to the team, that helps balance things.
Carriço: What are the main goals for FTW Evo for the remainder of this year?
Tigax: We want to win the VCE. Right now we want to qualify for the playoffs. It’s very hard to finish in first place in the regular season. We want to reach the playoffs and show what we are capable of there.
We want to surprise the Portuguese community, I think we have the potential to do that. We want to reach the Grand Final of the next VCE Cup. We want to qualify for the next split of the VCE, which is guaranteed if we manage to qualify for the playoffs, and if everything goes well we will stick with the same team and will continue to work.
Carriço: And for you as a player what are your main goals?
Tigax: I don't think a lot about myself as a player. I’m a team player, honestly individually I'm not worried. I know that if we have good results the opportunities will show up. I want to have a launching pad for the young players in my team. If I have to go somewhere else I will go, and if not I will stay here and continue to create my own teams. I love Valorant, I love the game if I can live of Valorant I want to do it. It’s one of my dreams, it’s to be a professional Valorant player. I always loved video games, I always was obsessed with them, and has a player I want to reach my full potential.
Carriço: Is there anything else you want to say to the FTW Evo fans, your fans, or the Portuguese scene in general?
Tigax: What I can say is, share the streams of the league games, we want views, we need views to start living off this, and making this a VLR which is important. Fans I don't know if I have fans or not, but a kiss for Mariana my number one fan.
I have been having great support on my streams lately, thank you a lot to everyone who has been supporting me on the stream. Thank you for the support, I will continue to stream. I hope you continue to support FTW Evo, we love to be here, we love the organization, and we are being very well taken care of. We have clear goals.
Honestly, I said at Iberanime that from now on we are not going to lose any more games. It’s possible that we lose, I said that because I'm very confident obviously, but i don't want to lose any more games in the league.
Carriço: Thanks a lot Tigax for accepting to do the interview. It was a pleasure talking with you. I wish you the best of luck in the streams and in the VCE league, and I hope we can talk again in the near future.
If you want to check the full interview you can do it here: