Interview with Jbzz, the free spirit of the Valorant Mandatory Team
He is probably the most atypical profile in the Mandatory team. However, Julien ' Jbzz ' Dupré has nothing left to prove as far as his talent on competitive games is concerned. Eager to get serious about an esport project, he is ready to give his all and show that you can be a streamer and a competitor at the same time. We talk about all these topics and more in this interview with Jbzz.
Mandatory: Can you introduce yourself for those who don't know you?
Jbzz: My name is Jbzz, I'm 27 years old even though it doesn't look like it, and I've been making a living from streaming and video games for about 8 or 9 years.
Mandatory: You were first known on League of Legends and then Fortnite. What made you want to switch to Valorant?
Jbzz: It's a shooting game, and I love shooting games. I used to play a lot of Counter-Strike but I never really tried hard on the game. With Valorant, it was an opportunity to try hard a style of game that I like more than the others.
Mandatory: Can you tell us a bit about your background and experience?
Jbzz: I started playing video games super early, around the age of 5-6 on very old games that only people over 40 normally played. But the first game I really tried hard on was League of Legends from season 2. At that time, I was already in European teams.
The small problem is that, for my parents at the time, it was not a real job. For them, it wasn't a real activity to have in the long therm. So I was forced to join Eclypsia to have some income from video games and to reassure them a little. That was the start in England but very quickly I got bored of having bosses and I wasn't the only one. That's why we created Solary, to be really independent.
We had a lot of disagreements and I ended up going independent about two years ago when Valorant was created. I really love the competition in video games and that's why I'm here and why I want to continue.
Mandatory: What type of player are you? Shy, impulsive, aggressive?
Jbzz: Jbzz: In soloQ I'm a bit out of control and I think people like it. On the other hand, in team, I don't dare to be out of control for the moment, but I think that's what I should do. I need to take my marks so I can do anything freely.
From streamer to professional player
Mandatory: What made you want to join a professional and competitive team?
Jbzz: I've always competed, really. But joining a team is the best way to just do it. I find the soloQ ranking system on Valorant not very relevant so it seemed mandatory to join a team.
Mandatory: Will this new project push you to put aside your career as a streamer or will it not change anything for you?
Jbzz: With regard to the stream and the training sessions, I admit that it was not easy at the beginning. I absolutely had to manage to make an adapted schedule without taking too much time away from the stream. I mustn't fool myself, I don't want to change my job. I don't want to leave streaming and everything I've created to go pro. But yes, I have to adapt a little bit, to reduce the hours of streaming and to play a lot of Valorant. I don't hide from you that it's a lot of days on Raze!
Mandatory: How do you think your community will receive all this?
Jbzz: I think there are 2 groups in my community. Those who watch without really trying to understand and then there are those who think a bit more and analyse me. They will see that I like it a lot at the beginning, at least if it works well. But I think that in the long term, if they see that the results don't follow and that I'm less happy with it, they will tell me to go back to full time streaming.
But as far as the competition is concerned, they will really enjoy it! It's going to break the monotony of playing ten hours a day in a stream and making ranked games alone.
Mandatory: What convinced you to join the Mandatory project?
Jbzz: I'm close to ZeratoR and he convinced me during the World Cup Final cast. We talked a lot about it and I was excited about the project, I wanted to compete again, I hadn't done a LAN for a very long time (since Solary actually) and I was won over.
Mandatory: How would you define your role in the team?
Jbzz: I like to sacrifice for the team and play for them. The stats, yes, it's good, but I don't really care, I like to move on. I know there's already a captain and someone who talks a lot, but I like to talk too and try to suggest things. Well, that's not the case yet because I'm still the rookie, professionally speaking.
But yes, I like to talk, I like to motivate a little bit too when I have to. I like to play the fool, I like to make jokes, it can be useful in competition. It's very pretentious and it may sound like I'm a bit of a clown, but my greatest quality is to be able to relax the atmosphere.
Mandatory: How would you describe the team and your teammates?
Jbzz: It was HyP and I who built the Mandatory team. We took people we already liked from the beginning. For example, hoppY, we've known each other for almost 10 years, since before H1Z1. We played a lot of that game together, we also played Fortnite for a long time, and then a little bit of Valorant when it launched. After that, his career took off, and for me, it was more like full-time streaming. But now he was available, he liked it so it was perfect. I knew it would be a good fit.
As far as my other team-mates are concerned, I think they are very committed, potentially more so than me, who is a bit of a clown. But it's going very well, they don't hesitate to tell me things and it's going pretty well.
An atypical background in the team
Mandatory: What are your ambitions for the team in the short and long term?
Jbzz: First, I wish we didn't look ridiculous, because I have a little pressure on my shoulders. Theoretically I don't have to prove anything about the game. The truth is, I'd really like us not to do a Solary, that is to say not a 2-12 like when their team started (shout-out to my bros). So no 2-12 but not necessarily aiming for the title from the start because I think it will be a little bit delusional as they say, but I think it's much more realistic if everyone has fun and the results follow.
Mandatory: How do you deal with the pressure of being the only player without real professional experience?
Jbzz: It's not easy. Even though I think it's going to get better and better, I really don't want my teammates to accept the idea that I'm not as strong and not dare to tell me. I also don't want them to think that I'm untouchable because I'm a bit close to ZeratoR, or something like that. So I don't want them to have to accept the fact that I'm playing with a weaker person all the time.
And that's not easy, but my teammates are pretty cool about it. They never said anything negative to me, they never once told me 'oh you missed him, that's a shame'. I've always been told that I have the right skill, I just have to adapt my gameplay to the one you need in a team.
Mandatory: Does the presence of your mate hoppY make you feel better?
Jbzz: Actually it allows me a lot of freedom on my jokes. If I can't make jokes, I don't feel comfortable at all and I get bored. So it allows me to attack a bit verbally and that relaxes me a lot. It allows me to play more freely, more serenely and I think that's very important. If he wasn't there, I think I would be too serious and I think that being too serious wouldn't be me.
Mandatory: And how is it going with your new coach, menegh ?
Jbzz: So far, we've talked for a few hours about maps and I must admit that it's already helping me a lot. In general, I like to think about the games I try hard. I think it's a very good thing, especially for people like me where it's the first FPS I've ever played where I'm invested in it and want to progress. On Counter:Strike, I used to run straight and shoot everyone, but it wasn't structured like it is now.
Mandatory: Are there any teams you would like to play against in particular to test yourself?
Jbzz: I would love to play Solary and KCorp if they ever build line-ups. I like to play against the organisations of people I like. I think it would make for a healthy rivalry and we could take jabs at each other on Twitter. But going up against people I don't know at all, people I don't know, I don't think it's as cool.
In terms of specific players, I would love to play against Flights. I'm compared to him a lot and I'd love to beat him in a competitive game. I'd also like Sardoche to come to Valorant so I can kick his ass. [Editor's Note: We're just passing on the message.]
Mandatory: Do you have any last words you would like to say to the people who follow you and those who will discover you?
Jbzz: Do push-ups and read books!