Interview with Kim “vserov” Panagos, VCT EMEA Script Writer & Segment Producer
Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with vserov, Script writer and segment producer for the VCT EMEA!
How would you introduce yourself?
Kim: Hey! I’m Kim, and I’m a script writer/segment producer for Valorant, and esports in general. I also have experience as a journalist, and a little bit as a coach as well!
Yoann: That’s great! When and how did you get into esports?
Kim: There are three parts to this story. I’m in my 30s now, but when I was 13 or 14 years old, I started playing Team Fortress Classic competitively in New Zealand. When I was 18 my team won the Australasian TFC circuit.
However, the game wasn’t professionalized, so I stopped playing to focus on my studies. I got back into esports in my mid 20s, when a friend introduced me to CS:GO, and I became obsessed with it. I didn’t play, but I loved following the scene.
Around the time that VALORANT came out I built a gaming PC for the first time since my TFC days, and got completely hooked. At the time I was writing a PhD about military strategy, and I thought that a lot of what I had learned could be applied to esports, so I started writing for esports websites, analyzing games, and teams, and trying to learn as much as I could about VALORANT. Then last year, a friend asked me to coach for a Game Changers team,, which was a huge learning opportunity. It was an incredible experience!
Yoann: That’s so cool! What's your role on a Valorant broadcast?
Kim: I was originally hired for VCT EMEA as a script writer, but my role expanded. I’d describe myself as a segment producer now. During VCT EMEA I focused on helping the talent realize their vision for the broadcast’s desk segments, the game presentation, the statistics, the analysis…
I also oversaw our asset production, video clips, stats, or graphics, I’m taking care of the logistics and management behind that.
Then, when we are live, my main responsibility is to work in tandem with the desk and the replay team, if they want specific clips of a certain defense set up for example, I’ll ask the replay team to get some clips to illustrate it. It’s a team effort, and I’m there to help coordinate everybody. I love doing that!
Yoann: It’s interesting, I already interviewed Harriboe, and he told me about you!
Kim: Oh yeah, he’s awesome! He really helped us a lot! Our team for this year was incredible!
Yoann: What does your match day routine look like?
Kim: I'm up early to complete any outstanding briefs for our GFX and video editors. Then I'll have a meeting with our live broadcast producer to go over the day's run of the show. Once that's sorted I'll do QC on our GFX and video clips as the editors start sending them through. I'll then arrive on site around 2pm, and have a meeting with talent once I'm there.
Once we're live I'm watching the games while in close contact with both talent and Riot's replay, and GFX teams to help ensure the we have all of the clips and stats graphics we need for our postmap and match desk segments
Yoann: You are also open to new opportunities in Valorant, which type of tournaments would you like to work on?
Kim: I’m up for anything in tac FPS, I think I could do CS2 or other games! Any broadcast interested in having someone who can provide good leadership, management, or writing. I’m also very interested in figuring out best practices for presenting stats in smarter ways to help elevate our storytelling.
My job is to make the talents’ jobs easier, and help the production get their ideas done! I’m ready to work for any broadcast who might find that useful!
Yoann: Awesome! Let’s now get to the quick questions, I’ll ask you ten quick questions, and you’ll have to answer as fast as possible, ready?
Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?
Yoann: What's your favorite map?
Yoann: Who’s your favorite agent?
Kim: Probably Cypher, I think he’s the coolest agent in the game!
Yoann: I agree! What's your favorite skin collection?
Kim: The Araxys range! I’m trying to get a black and red collection together so it’s perfect!
Yoann: Which skin would you like to get in your next Night Market?
Kim: I would love to get the Protocol Spectre!
Yoann: Who are your favorite teams in each region?
Kim: I’m more familiar with the Game Changers scene, especially in EMEA, where I’ve been cheering for Karma. My old IGL is on that team!
In the main VCT circuit in NA, I’d say G2, in the Pacific, I admire Paper Rex! I have so much respect for their coach, Aleks!
Yoann: Cool! Can you name the eight teams that won an international event?
Kim: Sentinels, Optic, Acend, Loud, Fnatic, EG… FPX…
Yoann: The last one won in Copenhagen, right after Sentinels!
Kim: Oh, Gambit of course!
Yoann: Yeah! How often are you playing Valorant in your free time?
Kim: Not as much as I used to, and right now there are other new games I’m really excited to play! Lately, I’ve been deep into BG3, and I’m also super hyped for Phantom Liberty and Armored Core 6.
Yoann: What's your favorite memory as a Valorant writer?
Kim: I have two actually!
We needed to test all of the PCs before the broadcast, and we played a game of ranked in the arena! When I was 15, playing Team Fortress Classic, I wouldn’t have imagined myself sitting in this massive esports arena. And the cherry on top, I won a 1v3 clutch to close the game atthe end! EZ!
The other memory is about my former IGL, Piano, winning Project Queens with KARMA, and doing this crazy comeback to beat FOKUS on 5 maps. They are all unsigned, and some of them had to drive something like 17 hours from Scotland to attend the tournament. It was an incredible story, and even though I wasn’t their coach, it was a very special moment watching them win.
Yoann: Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent, Cypher?
Kim: The one with Breach cracks me up! “Breach, Breach. I took a servo from your arms, for my tripwire, don't be angry. Breach!”
Yoann: Haha awesome! Let’s now get back to the standard questions!
What are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?
Kim: I used to DJ on a radio station, it’s something I’d like to do again if I have time. The last few years of traveling with my wife have been very special.
I’m also a huge fan of science fiction, literature, movies, TV… But mostly, I’m a gamer!
Yoann: What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer?
Kim: I would rework Jett, Chamber and Reyna, I don’t like the untradability. I don’t think it’s healthy for the game, especially Jett.
Neon and Raze are where the proactive duelist abilities should be balance-wise in my opinion. Yoru’s teleport is fine too, he can’t really use it to actively get away in a fight, and the windup is too slow.
Yoann: That’s interesting! What would be your dream roster?
Kim: I’m going to give you a Game Changer’s roster!
Piano, as the IGL and controller, Looxie as the sentinel, really impressed me last season. Then, Tokameite would be my info initiator, she has the potential to be the best Sova player in Game Changer’s EMEA. Stacey would be my duelist, she’s very smart and reads the game really well. Slaze would be the 5th player, she’s American, but I think she was living in the UK for a while. She makes very creative plays, and she can solve problems very quickly in the game, she would be the secondary IGL.
These are all players I trialed back when I was coaching, so this would’ve been a team I’d have loved to work with.
Yoann: Great! What are your short and long-term ambitions on Valorant?
Kim: Short term is to be back to VCT next year, I like to think I did a really good job in 2023. It was my first esports broadcast, and I learned a lot. I think having continuity in the staff would help elevating the show. We were having fun, we’re like a big family, and I think it showed on the broadcast!
My long-term goal would be to work in international events, I think I could bring a lot to Masters events and Champions.
I love this game so much, so I’m grateful for any opportunity where I can help convey to the viewers how incredible and special of a game Valorant is.
Yoann: Awesome! What would you say to someone aspiring to work in esports?
Kim: There’s a few things, esports is very competitive, there are very few opportunities, and nothing is guaranteed. It’s very risky to go all-in in esports. I just worked in VCT EMEA, and I don’t even know if I’ll be back next year, if this will become my career.
If you’re still developing your skills, and studying, try to have things to fall back on that will get you employed in other industries. Don’t over-specialize in esports.
When I was hired, I was told that my CV stood out because I had a lot of experience doing stuff outside of esports. The more experience you have, and the more skills you can develop, the better your prospects will be!
Yoann: For sure! Is there anything else you would like to say?
Kim: Yeah, it connects to the last question. If you’re interested in esports, and you’re part of the community, be a positive influence. Make an effort to make the game welcoming and fun, treat other people with kindness, respect and patience. Especially online where it’s really easy to become heated and unpleasant. No one wants to play or work with someone who’s mean or abusive. Let’s lift each other up!
I would also encourage people to support the Game Changers initiative, inclusion is really really important!
Yoann: Great, awesome! Thank you so much for your time, and I wish you the best in the future!
Kim: Thank you!
Twitter (X): @cursedvserov