“We don’t look at the scoreboard,” BONECOLD explained, “whether we’re winning 12-0 or losing 0-12—all we care about is the next round.”
Acend was one round away from losing in the VCT Champions finals vs Gambit. But, because to their incredible mental toughness, the VALORANT squad turned things around and won the best-of-five series.
Many teams would have crumbled under the pressure if they were down two maps to one. Acend had just suffered a futile 13-3 defeat to Fracture in one of the tournament’s most one-sided games. The team could have simply given up, surrendered, and conceded defeat. They didn’t, however. They took advantage of the time to rest and refuel.
In the post-match press conference yesterday, Zeek said, “We took the Fracture loss as nothing.” “In the middle of the game, we were laughing, and we just said, ‘What can you do?'” ‘It’s already over.’ We were cracking jokes and having a great time on stage.”
Acend’s comeback on Icebox hinged on his laid-back and easygoing approach. When they were down 12-11 and on the defensive, the team didn’t let nervousness get the best of them. They approached the game as if it were any other.
“On our team, the most important thing is that we’re constantly prepared for the next round,” BONECOLD stated. “We don’t pay attention to the score.” We don’t care if we win 12-0 or lose 0-12; all we care about is the next round.”
Acend went on the attack against Icebox, forcing the game into overtime. They pushed the B site, found the pick, placed the spike, and breezed through the round before settling in for the series finale on Split.
It’s 12-12 https://t.co/PblpsQhP3D
— esportmetromedia (@esportmetro) December 14, 2021
The mindset of the team was essential for their performance. BONECOLD remarked, “We never let it get to our nerves.” “You can see the effects when we don’t put any pressure on ourselves and just play for fun.”
That mindset, however, did not emerge overnight. Thomas Quaade, Acend’s mental coach, assisted the team in gaining confidence and playing without fear.
“I think Thomas has made us mature outside of the game,” BONECOLD said. “He’s shown us how to deal with all of the stress.” He’s the unsung hero who goes unnoticed yet has done an incredible job building us into the team we are today.”
Quaade, who has coached outstanding athletes and teams in basketball, golf, soccer, handball, swimming, and poker, believes trust is the “magic formula.”
In November, Quaade said in a podcast, “We have to trust one other.” “Esports is reliant on communication, and it is reliant on all of the information we receive.” How will we be able to execute if we don’t trust the information we receive? ”
“You want to win in whatever you do,” he explained. “You want to be a winner when you practice, when you play games, and you want to be a winner when it comes to how you prepare.”
Throughout VCT Champions, this mindset was instilled in the team. Acend was eliminated in an elimination match after losing to Vivo Keyd in the first round of the tournament. Acend were awarded the opportunity to rematch the map with a seven-round advantage after Riot found that the Brazilian team utilized an exploit exploiting Cypher’s camera to gain an advantage on Breeze.
The strain of having to rematch this game was increased when the squad received online abuse from Brazilian supporters who blamed Acend for Riot’s decision-making. Despite the backlash, the squad handled the game well and won the series.
“As a tremendous massive underdog, we went from groups to quarters to even semis,” BONECOLD stated. “That was extremely beneficial to us. We were under no duress when we faced Team Liquid and Gambit. We had our highs and lows, but we never lost our stride.”