Interview with OG LDN UTD Tyler "Bambino" Jay
Yoann: Would you like to introduce yourself?
Bambino: I’m Tyler also known as Bambino. I’m a 23-year-old assistant coach and analyst from the UK, previously working with OGLU for challengers 2 and LCQ
Yoann: When and how did you get into eSports?
Bambino: I have watched esports since I was a kid; like 13-year-old, I got into watching DOTA. I didn’t actually consider it seriously until Covid. I was in my final year of university at the time and was playing sports to keep me active and competitive. With covid, all the sports stopped so I needed to find a new competitive outlet. VALORANT had just come out, and I was playing a lot, so I thought, why not try out for the university VALORANT team? There were 6 of us, so I just said I was happy to coach, and from there, I fell in love with it. I then went and worked on amateur teams and worked my way up through the levels to get to where I am now.
Yoann: What's your job as a Valorant Coach? How can you help your players?
Bambino: My job often changes between the teams and coaching staff I work with. A lot of the time, it involves tracking data from scrims and using that data to identify weaknesses. I then work on these weaknesses with the players and other coaches to improve the team. I also do a lot of opponent scouting and anti strat the other team.
Yoann: What did you learn during your experience with AREA and OGLU?
Bambino: I learned so much about coaching: trust and having a good relationship with your players. I can give the best advice in the world, but if the player doesn’t trust or respect me, then he’ll never listen. That is the main reason why I make sure I am at every boot camp and tournament with the teams I work with. Everything is easier in person.
Yoann: How did you prepare to play against opponents?
Bambino: This normally changes again depending on who I work with and how much time I have. Some teams like huge scouting documents; others just want one page of notes. I normally start with looking at data from a team, as this is the quickest way. From there, where possible, I watch VODS and look for common trends or tells in their plays. I then try and pick out key points (the most useful and actionable tells and trends) and present these to players.
Yoann: Which play style is hardest to counter strat in your opinion?
Bambino: For me, the hardest are the teams that play incredibly fast and loose, without much structure and a lot of paces. These are always the teams that it's hard to get solid reads on, and overall I think most teams struggle to adapt to these teams quickly.
Yoann: How important is it to have a great team environment in and outside Valorant?
Bambino: Honestly, I think it's one of the most important things, creating a strong team culture where players want to win not just for themselves but for each other. It also makes all of the hard times so much easier to handle. If you have a really bad day of practice or lose an official.
Yoann: What's your preparation routine 1 hour before matches?
Bambino: Normally, we might play a warmup scrim. Then it’s just a case of making sure the players are all in the right head space for the match. If they need hyping up, then I hype them up. If they need to be calm, then I help them to calm down and focus. Then we’ll normally discuss the game plan and strategy and do the map vetos if we need to. Then the head coach will give a team talk to the players, and we go.
Yoann: You are now looking for an assistant coach/analyst role. Do you have an ideal team or players/staff with whom you'd love to work?
Bambino: Honestly, I’d love to work with many great EMEA coaches. If I had to narrow it down to just a few I’d say d00mbr0s, Sliggy, and Lateks. I’ve heard amazing things about all 3 and feel like I could learn a lot from them.
Yoann: Thoughts on the new Valorant franchising program in general?
Bambino: Overall, I feel positive about it. It will be great for the steady growth of valorant as an esport and allow the partnered teams to invest safely and create the best teams possible. Although, I do feel that a lot of the orgs that aren’t partnered could simply leave the scene unless they really plan to spend a lot of money and push for promotion which only a few will actually do.
Yoann: What are your short and long-term ambitions in Valorant?
Bambino: Short term, to get on a franchised team and carry on proving I can work at the top level of the game. Longer term, I want to be the best in the world at what I do. I want to be the best assistant coach and analyst in the game, head coaching is something I have considered, but I feel I have much more I can accomplish as an assistant first.
Yoann: How do you feel about Pearl as a coach?
Bambino: So I haven’t scrimmed on the map too much since it wasn’t played in LCQ, but from what I have seen, I like it a lot, especially after the most recent changes. I’ll definitely be brainstorming some comps and strats for that map soon.
Yoann: Do you prefer attacking or defending? Why?
Bambino: Probably attacking. You get to control the pace of the game when you attack and can force the opponent to react, although I will say that a team's attack is normally easier to read than their defense.
Yoann: What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer? (Agent/gun balance, map changes...)
Bambino: Definitely a chamber nerf, I think that agent is still way too strong and until he gets more nerfs, his pick rate will still be really high. I’d also love to see some buffs to the “traditional” sentinels to make them more viable.
Yoann: Which team would you like to play against in the near future?
Bambino: LOUD is the obvious choice, it's always fun to play against world champions, and you can definitely learn a lot from them. For me, more personally, though, I’d love to play MAD Lions again since my brother is their assistant coach, so we have some sibling rivalry.
Yoann: Which Valorant team are you supporting right now?
Bambino: I always love to watch FPX play, the way they structure and are able to change their compositions throughout tournaments is really impressive, so I really like to see them win.
Yoann: Is there anything else you would like to say?
Bambino: Make sure to follow me on Twitter and thank you so much for the interview!
Yoann: Thank you for your time!
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