Why T1's autimatic and curry made the switch to Valorant
T1’s newest additions, autimatic and curry have had fruitful careers in CS:GO. We learn why they switched their game of choice to Valorant.
As a professional player, you dedicate your entire career to a single game. You’re trying to become the best player in the world, after all. So it’s extremely rare for players to switch games and be successful.
Yet, recently, T1 signed two ex-Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players to their Valorant roster: Timothy ‘autimatic’ Ta and Rahul ‘curry’ Nemani. Both players recently retired from Counter-Strike and autimatic in particular has had a range of first-place finishes, most notably the ELEAGUE Major 2017 in Boston and the ESL Pro League Season 4 back in 2016.
Yet they both jumped back in professional gaming with Riot’s new shooter, Valorant. We asked them why they wanted to pursue a new professional gaming career in an entirely new game and what the future of the T1 roster with them on their side will look like.
Meet the new additions
For David Dennis, the Valorant head coach for T1 Valorant, adding autimatic was not a difficult choice. He said: “Autimatic is a very talented player. I have worked with him since 2016 when he played CS:GO for Cloud9”. The years of experience under his belt, playing in multiple roles in Counter-Strike translates well into playing a multitude of different agents in Valorant.
Dennis explains that autimatic is also able to bring experience to strategic direction and supporting the in-game leader, Sam ‘DaZeD’ Marine. “Everyone mentions that he is a CS:GO Major champion which has become a meme, but is actually very important. Having players on your team that have won at the very highest level and therefore know what it takes to win is an incredible asset.”
Curry might have been a less obvious choice for some, but Dennis explains that he caught his eye while he was coaching the Gen.G CS:GO squad last year. “He clearly had a lot of talent,” he says.
[curry] brings up the energy, has very consistent communication and is happy to do anything for the team to win
Dennis knew that he needed another player for T1, so he started researching curry in more details. “Everyone I spoke to spoke highly of him as a team-mate. He brings up the energy, has very consistent communication and is happy to do anything for the team to win. He entry frags, takes on roles that other players prefer not to play and puts in the work to be prepared every day to practise.”
The fact that curry pursued school while being a professional gamer was something that Dennis also really liked. He says that it shows a lot of discipline and a level of maturity that most players simply don’t have. “He has more than met my expectations and being quite young still, he clearly has a lot of room to grow,” Dennis adds.
For the players, it was a big step to switch games. While Valorant and Counter-Strike are similar in that they're both tactical shooters, they're still ultimately completely different games. Autimatic says that after leaving Gen.G, he was certain that he wanted to stay in Counter-Strike – to begin with.
“I hadn't really considered switching to Valorant at this point until David contacted me.” The T1 coach gave autimatic insight into the work culture and environment of T1, coupled with playing with DaZed and Tyler ‘Skadoodle’ Latham again and automatic was ready to play professionally in Valorant.
Curry never really made a huge splash in the CS:GO scene – when he was joining, the American Global Offensive scene was slowly coming apart. Curry said that “in Valorant, everyone has an equal chance of being the best in the game compared to CS:GO, where players have been playing the game since the release of Counter-Strike as a whole. I plan to establish myself as one of the best players in the game.”
The future of T1 is bright and Dennis wants to replicate the prestige that T1 have enjoyed in a lot of other games, like League of Legends. “The long history of winning and success that T1 has in League of Legends is something I know personally having worked with other teams in League. I remember the matches that Cloud9 played against T1 in 2016 and 2017 at Worlds very well and how dominant T1 was in those matches. Our plan is for T1 to become a dominant force in Valorant this year.”
Our plan is for T1 to become a dominant force in Valorant this year
Dennis tells us that T1 management have allowed him to fully step into his role and take the reins, and that he was able to put the players together that he wanted and create a clear direction that he can build on. He hopes that fans will support him on their journey.
“Every player on this team is pouring themselves into the singular goal of becoming the very best and we are excited to share the results of that work with all of you.”