Immortals’ VALORANT lineup has gone through several changes in an effort to find the right balance for success. The VALORANT Champions Tour begins this week and the organization picked up two new players just in time for the next major event.
The roster’s latest iteration has had little trouble adjusting to the changes, though, and has put in the extra work to stand out among other tier-one teams.
Immortals parted ways with Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk and Quan “dicey” Tran in October. Yannick “KOLER” Blanchette also left the team for NRG and Noah “jcStani” Smith briefly trialed for other squads before being added to Immortals' starting roster. Jason “neptune” Tran’s contract expired earlier this month, which left two open spots on the team.
Nicholas “NaturE” Garrison and Rhett “Kehmicals” Lynch were signed last week and are joining Andrew “ShoT_UP” Orlowski, Amgalan “Genghsta” Nemekhbayar, and jcStani in the starting lineup.
The team has gone through more roster changes than most other teams, but NaturE and Shot_uP believe the current lineup will succeed.
Immortals' coaching staff ultimately decided who would join the roster and decided to acquire two young players with a lot of potential. NaturE and Kehmicals also have an "explosive" playstyle, which was something Immortals previously lacked.
“Both of the players are really explosive in terms of their fragging, and one thing that the coaches had problems with before was that the players didn’t always bring that,” ShoT_UP told Dot Esports. “They really wanted to pick up two players that could make or break every game that we play.”
The team has had little trouble adapting to the roster changes and Shot_UP believes many people have the wrong impression of the process.
“I think that adjusting is always way easier than people make it out to be unless you have real problems," Shot_UP said. "I think everything has been fine. Definitely, the hardest part has been with NaturE because he hasn’t IGL’d in the past. But he seems to have a knack for it, so there isn’t a big problem there.”
Despite the lack of experience, NaturE believes he's introduced positive changes to the team’s playstyle.
“We slowed down a little bit. We realized sometimes a team is going to run into you even though you’re on the attacker side,” NaturE said. “They try to do these aggressive plays, and we tended to just run into them until we slowed down and realized, hey, this is about to happen. They’re about to run into us. That’s kind of one thing that we changed a little bit when I came into the role instead of just going at them.”
NaturE formerly competed in the tier-two VALORANT scene, which is significantly different than the major leagues. He confirmed the competition is at a much higher level and that every scrimmage is a challenge.
But ShoT_Up and NaturE also said the team has consistently practiced and that it's unlikely another squad has scrimmaged as much as they have. The scrimmages have reportedly gone well and the team seems to be in good standing.
Some pundits might be concerned about the two new players and their lack of professional experience, but ShoT_UP doesn't see that as an issue.
“With the scrim results that we’ve had, I am super hopeful because we are doing extremely well against some of these top tier-one teams," ShoT_UP said. "I’m not really concerned.”
The young age of NaturE and Kehmicals is a stark contrast from previous iterations of the team, but this is a positive change, according to Immortals. The change of pace introduced with a new IGL could also impact the team’s performance—and Immortals could become a new top team in the North American region.
Immortals earned a top-eight finish during the First Strike event last month and will have another chance to prove themselves during the VALORANT Champions Tour. The Challengers Open Qualifier begins today and the Closed Qualifiers will take place from Feb. 4 to 7.
There will be three qualifiers before the first stage NA Masters event in March and there will be three stages in total this year. The best teams in the world will compete at the VALORANT Champions tournament later this year.