After introducing the refreshed TENSTAR: Nova roster earlier this month Nova Coach TENSTAR shame9k answers some questions on his past, Nova, and the future.
How did you enter the esports industry?
I've always been a video game player, when I was a kid I played Adibou and World of Warcraft.
In 2004, a friend of my class showed me "Counter-Strike" and I was immediately hooked, this game was my life until 2020 before I made the transition to VALORANT.
I am also a sportsman, and it is because of my two passions, sports and esports, that I decided to do a master in sports management, with a clear ambition to live from my passion.
Thanks to my studies, I was able to work on projects for Vitality, or to do internships at Gamifly or Toools esport.
I am very happy with my past experiences, and to be where I am now!
What made you choose TENSTAR?
I had just declared myself a free agent when J0hn contacted me to tell me about his project.
I had been contacted by other clubs (mainly English ones) but he took the time to explain the history of the club and his long term plans.
I mainly liked it because TENSTAR makes it a point of honour to work with girls and train young talent. This is far from being the case for many other clubs, who prefer to put their hands on the wallet and take from others.
He also made it clear that he has faith in me and that I will be the one to make decisions for the team.
In short, the trust he placed in me and the long-term projects TENSTAR proposed were perfectly in line with my opinion on women in video games and young talent.
It is therefore a real honour for me to represent a club with such an open ideology.
What was your first job?
My first jobs weren't really sexy, but when you're a student you have to be able to pay your rent and buy food (and especially drinks…)
So I worked as an estate agent for a year and a half, which was really my first job.
I was mostly doing property management and rentals but I also did some sales.
After that, I worked in a supermarket where I did some stocking, but it was really during my internships that I felt I belonged.
At Gamifly I was a business developer, I had to find companies interested in our fan engagement services in the esport world, and at Toools esport I was in charge of fan engagement and sponsoring. With Toools being a small club, I had to find the funds necessary for the structure to be able to pay its players and to be able to hire better ones!
What was the highlight of your professional career?
I came to VALORANT with the goal of finishing in the top 500 players in Europe and becoming a professional player.
I also had the ambition to become a coach if I didn't have the talent to be a professional player.
And I have far exceeded my expectations because during the beta we finished as a team in the top 25 in Europe, which is the equivalent of a top 125 in solo.
I had the chance during my early career to play with Koldamenta or Honeybee, who are now both professional players for G2 and Excel. I read our messages again recently and they loved playing with me and wanted me to be their leader in-game - It's all the more flattering knowing where they are now.
I'm also flattered to have been able to represent or interest professional teams such as UCAM / ZeroZone / Souldazz Las Palmas unity and now TENSTAR.
Other than gaming – tell us about a passion/hobby you have
Apart from gaming, as I said earlier, I am above all a sportsman.
I played some sports at a good level during my youth and I still follow many other sports.
Being a big football fan too, and a Parisian supporter I'm very happy with the recruitment of Ramos and Messi, can't wait to see what it's going to be like in European cups!
What is your highlight of 2021 so far?
I think my highlight of 2021 was joining Megakich in January 2021, we were starting from a new team with no results but in which I saw a lot of potential.
It was my first experience as a coach, I don't think I was perfect, but the players had confidence in me and I had confidence in them.
We won a few tournaments and managed to place in the European top 20 and had a guaranteed second place in France just behind BDS.
I am very proud of this period, nobody expected us and we proved that we deserved our place for months.
I'm also very proud of all these players, some are now with Finest, others have tried out for Movistar Riders, but the majority are still with the Megastitut team (currently top 2 in France and still in the European top 20/24).
What is your favourite game and why?
I would like to say that my favourite game is VALORANT, but Counter-Strike has been too important in my life.
I've been playing for over 15 years and I've never stopped since, even now, despite being a professional VALORANT coach I still play it.
Counter Strike has allowed me to travel and discover many cities in France that I would never have gone to if there was no LAN, it also allowed me to visit other countries during inter LANS like Switzerland or Spain.
I also met a lot of people who became my friends afterwards, and with whom I still have a lot of contact.
I will never regret the hours I spent on this game.
Where do you see TENSTAR: Nova by the end of 2022?
I am very proud of my players, they are all very talented.
They had already proved their level before joining TENSTAR by being the 2nd best European team and 20th best in the world.
We have tournaments coming up and a VCT game changers in September.
We have short term ambitions to be the best European team and I see us in the top 3 teams in the world by the end of 2022.
Where do you see the Female esports scene in 5 years?
I don't know what women's esports will be like in the next 5 years, but I can already tell you that there is a big difference between the way Valve used to take care of its players and the way Riot does.
They have contacted us several times to find out what our opinions are on different subjects like the VCT game change for example.
If Riot continues to listen to its female players and organise events just for them, I hope that women in esports will be able to make a comfortable living from their passion, and have their own fanbase.
If you had to describe yourself with a song – which song?
If I had to describe myself in one song, I would say "Last Breath" by Future,
It's a song I listen to a lot to motivate me when I go to the gym and I can relate to the lyrics a bit.
I'm not one to give up before I've given it my all, and I always want to be the best at what I do.
What is your best feature?
I think my best feature is that I listen to my players and I can challenge myself.
I don't think I know everything and I like to learn new things.
I listen to my players as much as I can, allowing them to be in the best possible conditions to perform.
I think that for the moment it has proved its worth when a person feels listened to, they feel even more confident
If you had one piece of advice for someone wanting to enter esports what would it be?
I think my advice would be to never give up, I know far too many players who have given up on the idea of being a professional player because they got kicked out of their team or had a bad performance.
For me, it's important when you're doing something to give it 100%, and that's the only way you'll achieve your goals in life.
But that doesn't mean you have to put your studies aside, esports is too new and not yet very stable, so it's important to have a diploma on the side to be able to turn around if you don't get the results you want.
Thanks TENSTAR shame9k and follow TENSTAR: Nova in the upcoming Huntress Trials!
Follow TENSTAR shame9k here
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