In just 6 months Peter 'Spin' Bradford has managed to catapult TENSTAR VALORANT to a top 10 EU position and wins against industry giants.
We caught up with him on location at the TENSTAR: Nova boot camp in this edition of Getting to know!
How did you get into coaching?
I started coaching a year ago just because I thought I might be good at it. I used to play TF2 years ago and I’m too old to keep up with the young’uns now but I love the tactical side of the game and the people management side of coaching.
Where do you see TENSTAR VALORANT in a year?
In my mind, we’re aiming for consistent top 5 in EMEA. I think the game is young enough and changes fast enough that no team is going to be a dominant No. 1 so being up there and competing to win every big event is our goal.
Hopes for LVP #4?
We have UCAM first who are a great team with some good ideas. We’ll take every game seriously but we expect to progress and play Giants in round 2.
They’re a team who has just hit the right spot in terms of the player/coach synergies and they’re tough to beat but we’ll be better prepared than last time and we’re not coming in to lose.
Viper. I’ve believed in her even before she got her mega buff. I still feel like she might be viable on every map…
Why does the TENSTAR roster work so well?
I think the players are confident in their positions in the team and I’ve tried to help them find a role in the team which is uniquely theirs. Any player we were to bring in now would be a downgrade in some regard so we’re really becoming a team which is greater than the sum of its parts (excuse the cliché).
Why is TENSTAR flourishing?
The organisation has made some good choices early on. I think it was a wise choice to focus on VALORANT and the timing on signing TENSTAR: Nova was perfect in my opinion. Of course, it helps that we’ve been able to improve a lot lately and get some good results but having multiple avenues of success will be what makes the org stand out from other new ones.
A passion or hobby outside of gaming?
I like weight training and the theory of programming that goes with it. I considered a career as a personal trainer at one point but nothing quite replaces the competition in esports.
Favourite part of each country you lived in?
The food culture of France is amazing and the weather in Spain is perfect in Spring and Autumn but honestly, I’d rather not be there for the Summer next year if I can avoid it.
Favourite part of boot camp?
The facility is fantastic and it has been great to meet the coach of Nova and talk a bit about the game and see the differences in his style with their team. It has been a pleasure seeing their Game Changers run but unfortunately, I wasn’t able to be here for the semi-finals onward.
It also makes the whole thing feel a bit more real – I’ve been working from home for 18 months and until now hadn’t met any of the people I work with on a daily basis so it’s good to see the faces behind the voices.
Best TENSTAR moment so far
Our VCT run was best, beating BDS was our first ‘real’ victory. I’m just looking forward to beating a team who is in form now since everyone loves to credit our wins to teams on the decline (see Heretics, BDS and Fnatic).
Advice for someone entering the industry
Networking and marketing yourself is more important than vod reviewing and having good strats. As lame as it sounds you can’t get opportunities just by knowing the game really well. Someone either has to like you or vouch for you or see you know your stuff because you’ve put out content etc. Make sure you know your stuff but make sure everyone else knows it too if you want to get anywhere.