Interview with Vincent “Zescht” Talmon-Gros, Valorant Coach, Caster & Analyst
Yoann: Hey, hello everyone! Today I’m with Zescht, Valorant coach, caster, and analyst for the VCT EMEA! How are you, and how would you introduce yourself?
Zescht: Hey, I’m good! I see myself as a Swiss knife, but I don’t want to be a Swiss knife anymore. I like what I’m doing as an analyst for the VCT, and I’m a big fan of Valorant, obviously!
Yoann: Great! When and how did you get into esports?
Zescht: That’s a funny story! Like every good person, before Valorant, I played CS.
Back in the day, there was a third-party provider called ESEA, and when you died, you were muted to the living players, but the dead could hear you. One day, in a ranked game, I died and I started commentating on the gameplay, and someone joined me, and invited me to cast a tournament!
It was good, that’s how I got into it!
Yoann: Awesome! You're now working for the VCT EMEA, what can you tell us about this experience?
Zescht: It’s a very fun job to do, because it’s quite creative, you have freedom on what you introduce like sketches, games, gameplay analysis…
A work day usually looks like this, you arrive at the venue at 1 pm, then you have the story meet, the makeup, rehearsals, and then we’re live. It feels like your day is shifted, starting work at 1 pm is very awkward. After the broadcast, it’s midnight and you just go to sleep, you don’t have much time. But it’s a great job, it’s big fun!
Yoann: What's your preparation before a broadcast?
Zescht: It’s usually tough preparing for 10 teams playing, trying to watch all the VODs, trying to understand how the teams play, watching all the data. There are people that help us a lot regarding statistics, big shoutout to Ender, Anderzz, Seasonal, Ohneflachs, and Moraro!
Storylines are also very important, everything that can’t be measured by numbers, like “this player played in this team previously, and now they’re playing against each other”.
Yoann: That’s interesting! How's the atmosphere behind the scenes?
Zescht: Cool, It’s quite chill! It’s a unique job because you bring a very unique skill set, but the work itself is fun. Being a talent on a broadcast is one thing, but something that is overlooked is the people behind the scenes, special shoutout to Sam and Kim!
We basically pop up and bring in the ideas, but someone has to realize it, it has to be integrated into the show.
Working with them, and always being constructive and positive has really enlightened the atmosphere!
Yoann: Yeah, I recently interviewed Kim, and it was awesome hearing from his point of view!
Zescht: Oh, this guy is the MVP to me! He and Sam work until 3 am, he has his own ideas, and he’s like a big ball of positivity! It’s the best thing I value about him, every idea you have, he sees something in it, and knows how to grow something from it! He’s just an amazing dude!
Yoann: Awesome! You are also coaching CGN’s Valorant roster, how is it going so far?
Zescht: This off-season, I really wanted to study the game better. Watching the best teams’ VODs is great, but you don’t understand how a team works if you’re not part of a team. Sitting in scrims, understanding the learning process of a team, the development on maps, on strategies, is something you can’t grasp if you’re not in a team. Learning from Kapio and Benny is particularly interesting, as I would say they play VALORANT differently to most
First of all, I saw it as a learning experience, but right now, I’m enjoying it so much that I want to keep on doing it because I want to win. When you’re an analyst on the desk, you can’t really win, you just sit there and say things, and talk about people playing good or bad!
But when you’re part of a team, you can contribute to the team, and help them win, it’s my absolute goal!
Yoann: That’s so cool! Let’s now move on to the quick questions part, you'll have to answer as fast as possible, ready?
Yoann: Phantom or Vandal?
Zescht: I would go Phantom!
Yoann: What's your favorite map?
Zescht: I started liking Lotus!
Yoann: Who's your favorite agent?
Yoann: What's your favorite skin collection?
Yoann: What's your favorite team?
Zescht: CGN Esports!
Yoann: Of course! Who are your favorite players of all time?
Zescht: Fair mention to my homie Gob b, but I’m going with Ange1, I think he’s overlooked in some regards!
Yoann: Interesting! Can you name the eight teams that won an international event?
Zescht: So, Gambit, Optic, Loud, Sentinels, Acend… EG obviously, Fnatic, and FPX of course!
Yoann: How often do you play Valorant?
Zescht: Never haha! I sit in practice for 5 or 6 hours a day, I watch enough pro play, and I don’t play ranked or unrated.
Yoann: What kind of music do you listen to to get in the zone before a broadcast?
Zescht: I would go with rap/hip-hop most of the time!
Yoann: Can you quote a voice line from your favorite agent?
Zescht: No, I can’t haha!
Yoann: Let’s now get back to the standard questions, what are your hobbies or passions aside from gaming?
Zescht: I, unfortunately, have two very annoying injuries, nothing bad, but it’s stopping me from doing some sports. My answer would running and fighting, but I’m a little bit held back right now. I would also say cars and motorsports in general!
Yoann: How do you feel about the current meta?
Zescht: Extremely boring. For context, I work for a team changing comps every single week!
Overall, it feels boring, if we look at the agents that got released recently, most of them are bad, they don’t bring any value. They may be fun for ranked, but I don’t see Iso or even Deadlock being played in pro play.
Teams are just picking the best options, there are no big alternatives right now. I want to see multiple options and compositions fight against each other.
Yoann: Like Paper Rex are doing for example.
Zescht: Yeah, they are cool because they dare, they risk! They have the right players for it as well, which makes it easier!
Yoann: Of course! What would you change to Valorant if you were a developer?
Zescht: I need to have a demo player, it’s annoying watching VODs! Casual players will most likely not use it, but for pro players, and coaches, it enhances the game, it makes everything better!
Yoann: Yeah for sure! What would be your dream Valorant roster?
Zescht: Okay, I’m going cocky on this, it’s not very realistic!
I want Ange1 to IGL, Cloud to be the initiator, AtaKaptan as the controller, I want Elllement to be the duelist and Alfajer as the sentinel!
Yoann: Alright, awesome! What are your short and long-term ambitions on Valorant?
Zescht: Short-term, I want to stay with the team, and long-term, I want to do something in the VCT without being in front of the camera!
Yoann: Make your team win Ascension, and play in the VCT!
Zescht: For example, yeah!
Yoann: Okay, interesting! What advice would you give to someone aspiring to work in esports?
Zescht: That’s a good question! The scene is still young, and fairly unprofessional, so there’s going to be a lot of last-minute cancels, a lot of getting screwed over, things like that.
Also, be proactive. No one is coming around to find you, you have to make yourself known. Don’t be lazy, some things seem hard, and others seem easy to obtain, but sometimes, getting small challenges is important!
Yoann: Yeah of course! Is there anything else you would like to say?
Zescht: No, I think that’s pretty much it for me!
Yoann: Great! Thank you so much for your time, and I wish you the best in the future!
Zescht: Thank you!
Twitter (X): https://twitter.com/zescht