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Interview with SR Benita

Interview with SR Benita
Written by: Yoann

Yoann: Hello, everyone. Today I'm with Benita from Shopify Rebellion Game Changers Team! 


Benita: Hi. My name is Benita. I just turned 30, born and raised in Los Angeles.


Yoann: When and how did you get into esports?


Benita: I started playing in 2003, I was introduced to CSGO and esports by my older brother. I went to my first tournament in 2009.

Yoann: And how did you make the switch to Valorant?


Benita: I got access to play beta on the very first day that it came out. I had access to play through my old organization CLG, I was still playing CSGO for CLG red.

And like within 3 to 4 weeks, I got benched and it was the perfect moment. It was like a sign from the universe to transition to Valorant.



Yoann: Has anything changed for you since you joined Shopify Rebellion?


Benita: Yeah, honestly, this whole year in general, I feel like I've really grown as a human. I got married, I bought a home, just a lot of different life events happened where it made me feel even more complete as a player.

Since joining Shopify, it's been amazing. The staff and the foundation that they have built alongside this team are the best I've ever seen. It just feels really good as a player to have that support.

Yoann: That’s great! You are playing the controller role for Shopify Rebellion, what's the difference between a good and a great controller in your opinion?


Benita: I think the biggest difference is the game sense and awareness. Being a good controller might sound easy on paper. You just throw smokes, but there's a lot more to that. It's all about awareness and timing. There are just so many little things that make a big difference.

Yoann: How do you feel about the current Valorant Meta?


Benita: Well, I'm really glad Chamber got nerfed, I do still think he is good. He might be used if you have a really good operator player in your team, you'll get good value out of him. I'm really excited to see where the game goes next year with Split in the map pool and the Cypher changes.

Yoann: Yeah, I agree. What was your preparation routine one hour before the Game Changers Tournament in Berlin?


Benita: Berlin is really interesting. We had really long days. For example, if our match started at 3 pm, that means we would get in the shuttle at like 11 or 12. So we would already be at the venue for a long time before the match started. But I didn't really have a specific routine.

Yoann: How did your coach ban impact your team during the grand finals?


Benita: Yeah, it did impact us a bit, we weren't able to interact with him all day. It was very weird. It wasn't only for the match, it was all day, and we couldn't see him at all.

It sucked because we had a really good thing going for the tournament, we had our groove. 

Yoann: Yeah, right. What do you take away from this experience from your first LAN experience on Valorant?


Benita: First, Valorant on LAN is amazing. It feels so good. I have so much experience on LAN in Counter-Strike. And I know the game always feels better on LAN, but valorant specifically. I was like one with the bullet. It was crazy. Other than that, it was really cool and I think it should have been more slots. They wanted to start small. Next year is going to be crazy.


Yoann: Yeah, I hope! How do you feel about Pearl in pro play right now?


Benita: I personally love Pearl. I think it's a really interesting map. There are a lot of counterstrike elements to it. taking mid is important and I feel like some of those default elements get taken away in Valorant on certain maps.

Yoann: Do you feel like your team could maybe try to bring Harbor into your compositions next year?


Benita: Actually, we were going to bring Harbor to Berlin and we were ready for it. But we found out the last week that we couldn't play.

We are ready for it. He's not the best. But you can make it work.

We were looking to play it on Bind, we had something cheeky going on. 

Yoann: That’s cool! Would you be the one playing it?


Benita: No, But I don't know what we're going to be doing next year, so maybe I will play.


Yoann: Okay. Which team would you like to play against next year?


Benita: I really, really want my rematch with G2. I feel like we should have won. It was a crazy BO5. I would like my rematch.

It was just a crazy tournament, just so many ups and downs. And then they announced the coach thing at like three am. It was really bad.



Yoann: Yeah, I understand. What are your short and long-term ambitions with the team?


Benita: My short-term ambition is definitely to win the next Game Changer.

Long-term It's always been our goal to compete in the main VCT. Try to make it through any of the open qualifiers if possible. That's always been the number one goal.


Yoann: Have you already scrimmed against franchised teams?


Benita: Not the franchised teams. We have played against the Ascension tier.


Yoann: What do you think about the difference between male and female rosters in pro play?


Benita: There 100% is. I've been playing for 20 years. And the people who say that there isn't a difference are just spectators. I always have this discussion with pro friends and they always say the same thing like, yeah, there is a difference.

Yoann: I saw really interesting strategies and really good ideas during the Game Changers tournament, that was impressive.


Benita: Oh, 100%. I agree with you. Even in Female Counter-Strike teamwork and creativity were always a little bit different and unique but in a good way!


Yoann: Thank you so much for your time, I wish you the best for the future!


Benita: Thank you!

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