Valorant Conquerors Championship (VCC) is back and will start off with India Qualifier 1 on January 22, 2022.
The competition among Indian teams has grown over the past year, especially after Global Esports represented the nation at Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) APAQ Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ).
Apart from Global Esports, Velocity Gaming and Enigma Gaming are the top two names, mostly seen at the top of the scoreboards. Enigma Gaming ended up in fourth place in VCC 2021, getting another chance to prove their worth and fight for the two APAC Challengers seed.
Enigma Gaming has recently gone through a roster change over the last few months, along with the addition of a new coach. However, Shakir “hikkA” Razak, the professional Valorant player, has been a part of the roster since its formation on January 23, 2021.
He is mostly seen switching among agents like Skye, Raze and Sage in official tournaments.
Enigma Gaming’s Valorant pro player, hikkA, opens up about recent roster changes and preparations ahead of VCC 2022
In an exclusive conversation with Sportskeeda Esports’ Pratiti Dhang, hikkA talked about Enigma Gaming’s recent roster shuffle and its impact on their performance. Further, he also discussed their preparations for the upcoming Valorant Conquerors Championship 2022 tournament.
Here is an excerpt of the conversation.
Q: hikkA, you have been a part of Enigma Gaming’s Valorant roster since the beginning. Tell us about your journey so far with the organization.
hikkA: It has been a rollercoaster ride for me – from making the first Valorant roster for Enigma Gaming to being a part of this organization for the past year. Enigma focuses on long-term success rather than achieving it overnight, which was initially my vision. They build rosters who have a similar mindset and the same end goal, which helps us grow as individuals and overall as a team.
The owners, both Aryaman and JP, have been very supportive and motivating from the beginning, which has made me build rosters that are capable of winning trophies. Aryaman is that one individual who has always believed in me and my choices and has always been very communicative, which has built a great bond between us.
To me, that’s the best feeling about this organization, I can be very vocal and it’s being heard. To say the least, it has been a wonderful journey so far.
Q: Recently, Enigma Gaming had some major rosters’ shuffle, and brought Lukas “yb” Gröning as the new coach. How do you think did it impacted the team’s performance and what are some of the changes that were brought to the team?
hikkA: I think yb joining the team has spread a positive vibe across the team, as he’s already known to be the best. First, he ensured the “bad habits” we had in the team were reduced significantly as soon as he joined, which impacted our gameplay, and that’s why we were performing a lot better than earlier in just one week of him joining.
Lukas has just started and we’re seeing a significant change in the team – a few months down the line we’ll definitely be the best in the region. I can’t explain all the changes he brought in but a few would be: work ethics, aim routine, discipline, keeping a positive mindset and most importantly, map understanding.
Q: Enigma Gaming is now a six-man roster. How do you think a six-man put the team to an advantage in Valorant tournaments?
hikkA: I feel having a six-man roster gives you a chance to have a wide agent pool, and also that individual gameplay could be different to the other plays which could give you the upper hand, because teams won’t exactly know what to expect. You can always find out who fits perfect for a particular agent on a particular map, which gives more flexibility.
Q: Talking about your agent pick, you mostly switch between Raze, Skye and Sage. All three agents belong to three different roles. Which Valorant agent among the three do you prefer to play more, and how does the agent compliment your gameplay style?
hikkA: Yes, I have been going back and forth with these agents for a while. (laughs) I’d always prefer playing Raze because I have always been an aggressive player ever since I started this game, and I just love to press W.
Although recently, I have been enjoying playing Skye, which also gives me the ability to go aggressive. And I think I’m slowly getting the hang of how to play it aggressively, cause I used to play it passively before.
Q: Neon, the Filipino Valorant duelist agent, has been the latest addition to Valorant. Many players from the community have compared her to Jett. Tell us your opinion of the agent.
hikkA: I still don’t think any agent could be compared to Jett, be it Neon. I feel Jett will always be that agent you can’t replace. Neon is still very fun to play through, especially the slide.
Q: Valorant Conquerors Championship is back in 2022 but with two slots for the South Asia region. How do you think Riot Games providing another slot will help the region grow in the coming days?
hikkA: I mean, the competition will increase among the best South Asian teams to represent themselves in the APAC Challengers, where not one, but two teams get an opportunity to prove that SA can compete with the best SEA Valorant teams and take them down.
Q: Last year, Enigma Gaming ended up in fourth place in VCC. However, after the roster changes, the team seems to dominate some of the recent tournaments. How much is the team prepared to compete in VCC 2022?
hikkA: We’ve been practicing long hours and also doing well in scrims, in terms of strategy and raw firepower. Also since Lukas has joined, we have a particular schedule we follow getting ready for the Valorant Conquerors Championship.
So I think we are quite prepared, but y’all can be the judges of how prepared we are when you watch our games. It would be biased if I say anything; just wait and watch.
Q: What are your thoughts on the growth of the Indian Valorant Esports scene so far, especially after Global Esports representing the nation in VCT APAQ LCQ?
hikkA: The growth of Indian Valorant has been immense from the day this game was released until now, with massive viewership along with multiple big tournaments which makes the competition increase with each tournament.
Ever since Global Esports represented SA in VCT APAQ LCQ, and showcased some great talent by winning a huge game against DAMWON Gaming along with giving a great fight to one of the best Valorant teams in South Korea – F4Q, brought in more opportunities in the scene.
I also personally feel we got two slots because of their performance in LCQ which made Riot realize that SA has great talent.
Q: Who do you think will be Enigma Gaming’s biggest rivals in Valorant Conquerors Championship 2022?
hikkA: As always, Enigma Gaming’s biggest rival in VCC 2022 will be two teams – Velocity Gaming and Global Esports.
Q: Any message for your fans?
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hikkA: Thank you for always supporting me and sticking with me through thick and thin. I hope you guys keep supporting me and my team in the upcoming tournaments – y’all won’t be disappointed. I love you all! Keep spamming #feartheenigma as we are here to fight and become the best.