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"We tend more to adapt around how the enemy plays": From entry fragger to IGL and support, Valantino talks about Falcons' international debut

Earlier today, Team Falcons moved to the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen Phase 2.

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Banner image: Ubisoft / Kiril B.

Team Falcons have topped the standings in Group A following two well-deserved victories against MNM Gaming and SANDBOX Gaming and will compete in the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen Phase 2.

The Saudi Arabian-majority roster has been in the spotlight since their international debut on Tuesday, as not many knew what to expect from the Gamers8 2022 finalists.

"We have always watched other regions playing, comparing it to them, we have our play style, especially us Falcons, and we tend more to adapt around how the enemy plays, not letting them expect certain things from us," explained Hussein "Valantino" Shrara in a post-match interview with SiegeGG.

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The Lebanese admitted having always found similarities to one playstyle which can be found outside MENA. "We have always thought the Brazilian scene was the closest one to us in the gunfight side of the game, which is aggressive."

Team Falcons have faced MNM Gaming and SANDBOX Gaming, who have some of the strongest players in the entry fragging department: Fatih "Solotov" Türker, Jiheoon "GoodBoy" Lee, and Juwan "Mephi" Park, who got a combined amount of 52 opening kills throughout Stage 1.

However, the Saudi Arabian-majority roster imposed itself over both teams, as they got 17 of the 23 first kills possible. So far in Copenhagen, Denmark, these numbers can only be compared to the ones of w7m esports or Ninjas in Pyjamas, all Brazilian rosters.

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"What makes us good at entry kills is that all five of us have played as a fragger, especially an entry fragger," Valantino admitted.

According to the Lebanese player, past experiences as entry fraggers have built confidence around not just his aggressiveness but his teammates.

"Myself, P9, and Madskiils mainly played entry fragging operators so we basically know what to do in certain situations, which really helps secure that first kill most rounds. It's all about the experience of all five players in that certain way of playing."

Right now, Team Falcons' main fraggers are Okillz and Joker619, and "the rest of us play around supporting them get these frags.

Unfortunately for Team Falcons, the team's IGL, jlaD, couldn't travel due to visa issues. Instead, Rakan "Madskill" and Valantino has taken over the IGL role.

Despite the situation, Valantino is confident in himself and his teammates. Although he wasn't there as he joined Falcons in Jan. 2023, the team's experience at the Gamers8 2022 was pivotal for the players.

"Basically, the most important thing the boys have learned (from Gamers8) is being confident," Valantino explained.

"No matter who you are playing you'll come on top if you play your own game, not letting the enemy predict what your next step is, that's what made the team go into the finals of Gamers8, the same thing is happening now."

Team Falcons will be in the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen Phase 2, which means the team will finally play against teams from regions other than Europe and APAC.

According to Valantino, the team found MNM "way harder than playing SANDBOX, especially in the Xv5 situations."

"MNM had some pressure on us even if they were low in man count, they would always keep fighting to equalize the man count between both teams."

"I wouldn't say we “struggled” but it was a decent two games to start the major with, giving us an insight around how to play in the future without our IGL, and with the difference in the regions' playstyles," he concluded.

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