Interview with CREA^ , the quiet strength of the Mandatory team
He seems calm on the surface, but he is a real killer on Valorant. Charles ' CREA^ ' Beauvois quickly joined Ninjas in Pyjamas, one of the first European organisations to have launched on Valorant. He now joins Team Mandatory and meets up with his colleagues HyP and menegh. In this interview, we learn more about this talented Frenchman, expatriate in Poland.
You can find a condensed version of the interview on video. The written interview below will go further in the answers and topics covered.
Mandatory: First extremely difficult question... Can you introduce yourself?
CREA^: My name is Charles Beauvois, I was born in Paris, I am 24 years old and I currently live in Poland.
Mandatory: With the rest of the team in France, have you considered returning to our beautiful country?
CREA^: It's true that when I went to Poland, I was in Ninjas in Pyjamas. It was an international roster, there was a Norwegian, Russians... I was in the middle of Europe compared to everybody else, so I was well situated. It's true that now I feel slightly on the side, but it suits me very well and I'm very happy!
Besides, my girlfriend is Polish, so I don't plan to return. At least not in the short term.
Mandatory: How did you discover Valorant?
CREA^: When I saw the trailer for 'Project A', I was immediately hyped. I could not wait to get a key. At that point, the only way to play it was to watch streams on Twitch to win one. I was incredibly lucky, because I got the key right away. I was able to launch the game and I loved it straight away.
Mandatory: You did not start your career on Valorant. Can you summarize your career as a professional player?
CREA^: I've been playing Counter-Strike since I was 10 years old. I started playing on FFA servers and met people who are now my friends, including Lucky. We started playing for fun, then we created a small team. We started playing French tournaments and LANs like EpsiLAN. We weren't that bad at the time and I was caught in this virtuous circle. Then I had the chance to be contacted by professional Counter-Strike teams. At that point I turned them down because I wanted to keep the game as a source of entertainment. Even for a salary, I didn't want to leave my friends and a well-functioning team to play with people I didn't know from Eve or Adam.
But when Riot Games unveiled Project A, I was really excited. I've always dreamed of having a game with the moves of CS and its fluidity, but that wouldn't really be CS. Eventually you get bored, it's a bit repetitive after years of playing. The fact that, in Valorant, the gameplay is so evolutive really made me want to play this game. I then met HyP and Fearoth, joined HypHypHyp, and it worked out too well! We were Top 2 in Europe, behind fish123. One thing leading to another, I was contacted by Ninjas in Pyjamas, among others, and I decided to accept their proposal.
Mandatory: So you considered becoming a professional player as soon as Valorant was released?
CREA^: I've never really said to myself 'I have to be professional'. That was never my plan. I never shaved and thought 'well, what if I became a professional player?', like presidents do. *laughs* It's really a combination of circumstances. I had a good team on CS, but we were definitely not professional.
But when Valorant came out, yes, I thought that maybe this was an opportunity to do something more advanced. That if I got into the game from the beginning, I had my chances. On Counter-Strike, the pro players are guys who have been well established for 10 years. So with the arrival of Valorant, I thought maybe I could be that guy who's been around for 10 years. That's when I changed my mindset, thinking that if I liked the game and wasn't too bad, maybe there was something to do.
His arrival in Team Mandatory
Mandatory: You have been through a structure with an international reputation, why did you accept to join the Mandatory project?
CREA^: I accepted to join Mandatory because it's a French project that really convinced me. I was very happy to have played internationally, it helped me a lot, especially with my English which was cataclysmic at the beginning... But playing again in France became a priority for me. Especially if I have the opportunity to play again with HyP, because we have built a strong bond since our first team together. The fact that HyP came to get me made me very happy!
Mandatory: Apart from progressing in English, what did you learn from your experience at Ninjas in Pyjamas?
CREA^: I don't really know where to start. I would say that with NiP, as it was my first real professional structure, I learned from all the guidance we had. Whether it's in terms of planning, consistency, training or just having a coach as well. Having a really professional coach makes you a whole team!
Mandatory : What do you expect from Mandatory?
CREA^: What could Mandatory do differently for me? I think it's the fact that I play in French. I know it sounds like a detail and I've said it before, but I'll come back to it: I really think it changes a lot of things to have a team where all the players speak the same language. When you have five players who speak French, it's much easier to create links. Because in the end, a team is not only the game, it's also everything around it. In the end, I didn't expect much from Mandatory as such, I just want to enjoy the moment and see what happens.
Mandatory: Even if you didn't expect anything, I hope you are not disappointed with the welcome and the staff!
CREA^: Not at all! I'm pleasantly surprised, actually. The thing is, Team Mandatory as an esport project is new. I knew you as a news site at first. And to see this whole environment, with ZQSD Productions behind it as well, is pretty amazing. So I'm really pleasantly surprised.
What has impressed me, what is certain, is that the whole environment here is ultra professional! And for me, that's new. I may have been at NiP before, but in the end, we didn't have such a professional environment as I feel here now. It was very different... Here, I feel a little more family atmosphere, warmer. Again, maybe it's also due to the language, because when we all speak French it's easier to create links at the beginning.
I really believe in the project! The fact that it's created by Mandatory, with ZeratoR and all that it represents, the hype is really there! I'm so happy to be part of this adventure!
CREA^ in the team
Mandatory : What kind of player are you? Are you more of an attacker or a defender?
CREA^: Ah I prefer the Attack a thousand times! But I think I'm the only one, haha. Every time I have this discussion, the guys are like 'no, Defense...', but for me the Attack is much more interesting and strategic! You can set the pace you want, you set the tempo. So clearly, for me, it's Attack, yes! In fact, I would say that my character in the game is the opposite of my character in real life: I am a rather aggressive player. My problem is that I have no patience. Running around and pressing Z is my thing!
After that, there is one thing that doesn't change as far as my character in game or in life is concerned: I am a very stressed person. It's a point that should be negative on Valorant, but in the end stress can also be a strength. At least, when you can condition it. If you play bored and without feeling anything, you won't necessarily be very good. But with a little bit of stress, you'll play saying to yourself 'ok, I need to play well', and that will allow you to concentrate better. That's how I see it, anyway.
Otherwise, I would say I'm a rather reserved person. Shy and reserved at first, yeah. But once I'm in an environment where I feel comfortable and I know people, then I can change completely! I'm quite a chameleon. If everyone is a bit crazy, a bit nuts, I can become a bit crazy and a bit nuts too.
Mandatory: Let's talk about the team. What do you think of its potential and of your new teammates?
CREA^: I only got to know the team a month ago. We haven't played together much yet, but on paper I'm very excited. Not least because playing with HyP again makes me very happy, as I said earlier. Plus he's an in-game lead now, which wasn't the case when I played with him back then. After the first trainings we all had together, I'm very happy with his vision of the game and the team.
HyP and I, we see the game the same way, but we're not alone, there's menegh too. All three of us, I think, really share some fundamental principles. It's important that the decision-makers agree with the way you play and make decisions. If you're in a team, and there's one guy who just wants to play full aggro and the other one who's only interested in post-planting, after a while there's bound to be a clash and it won't work.
As for APO, hoppY and Jbzzare concerned, I don't know them very well personally yet. But even though we haven't played together very much yet, I have the impression that we share the same philosophy and the same line of conduct. It's something that drives the whole team.
Mandatory: It's true that in addition to HyP, it's also your reunion with menegh!
CREA^: Yes, the fact that Menegh joined us is a big plus! I worked with him a little bit with HypHypHyp. Then he joined us at NiP, with Ex6TenZ who really wanted him, because they are a good duo. He was really Ex6TenZ's right-hand man. Menegh is awesome, he's got an incredible work ethic: if you need anything, he's there for you. You play Sova and you need a marker for an arrow? He'll always be there to find it for you, at any time of the day! That's a huge plus, both from a strategic and a personal point of view.
Mandatory: Together, you'll smash everything?
CREA^: It's not really my mindset to say 'we're the bosses, we're going to beat them all'. I prefer to have lower expectations and not to imagine the best. It allows me to be pleasantly surprised, rather than disappointed and bitter. As far as the team is concerned, I prefer to tell myself that we have a long way to go and that we will progress.
We're starting with a roster that's original, because we're playing with a Raze, which is a big positive. I think she's an underrated character whose full potential should soon be apparent. Kind of like us in the end.
His ambitions for the team
Mandatory: What are your ambitions for the team, in the short or long term?
CREA^: The first objective is to do well in the French league, that's a certainty. The goal is to get as high as possible on the national level. I'm not trying to say to myself 'in six months we'll be top 2 or top 3', I don't react like that. What's important for me is to progress day by day to gain better places in the long term. That's the most important thing!
Mandatory: You are planning to participate in the VRL France, are there any teams you would like to play against?
CREA^: I would say Vitality, because it's always positive to play against them. They are a very good team. But above all, playing against Vitality is something! It's a name; as a Frenchman, I think it speaks to everyone. It's the mythical team of the country. So yeah, playing against Vitality, also because I really like their coach. And as a Counter:Strike fan, playing against Vitality is always interesting!
Mandatory: And do you have any international ambitions, any teams you would like to test your strength against?
CREA^: Let's just say that playing against Sentinelshas always been a goal in itself. Not necessarily Sentinels actually, but playing teams from North America that you hardly ever meet. Especially coming from CS, I want to play against players who come from that game like Skadoodle or those kind of players that I have a lot of respect for.
Mandatory: Do you have a message for the people who already follow you or who discover you today?
CREA^: I would say that for the people who knew me before, who followed me a little bit at NiP or at HypHypHyp, I think I can show a version of myself that they won't necessarily recognize. Already from my roles that I will change. I will evolve in my game. From that point of view, they might be surprised. I hope to be able to show my ability to adapt, because I was often categorised as an Omen player and I didn't know how to play anything else. My goal is also to prove that I can play something else and that I can adapt to any situation.