Interview with menegh, Coach of the Valorant Mandatory Team
As a man behind the scenes, Thibaut ' menegh ' Brognard has been working behind the scenes since the beginning of Valorant. After having been a coach for HypHypHyp, Ninjas in Pyjamas and FunPlus Phoenix, this outstanding analyst joins the team Mandatory to give his precious advice. In this interview, he explains the goals he has for the team, but also for each of his players.
Mandatory: Can you introduce yourself for people who might not know you?
menegh: My name is Thibaut, I come from Rennes, I'm 27 years old and I've been playing FPS for about 15 years. I started on Counter Strike and now I'm on Valorant.
Mandatory: What made you want to become a coach rather than a professional player?
menegh: I was never really a professional or tryhard player, I actually went straight to coaching. I was a casual player before that, but I went into coaching because I really wanted to get into esport and I never really had the skills to be a pro player. I decided to coach on Valorant because it was a new challenge for me after CS:GO. And with a new game like that, there was still a lot to create on it.
Mandatory: What do you think are the qualities of a good coach?
menegh: The qualities of a good coach are to be objective, to know how to talk to the players, to have a lot of distance from situations and to always be present for the players.
Mandatory: Which teams did you work with before coming to Mandatory?
menegh: I've been in different teams. First of all, I was part of the mix HypHypHyp at the beginning of the beta, where we were number two in Europe. Then I quickly signed up with Ninjas in Pyjamas, and then I moved to FunPlus Phoenix.
Mandatory: What made you decide to join Mandatory?
menegh: I wanted to join Mandatory because it was a brand new project, a new adventure that offers the opportunity to build something from scratch. I think that's what motivated me the most.
Mandatory: What are your plans with this new team?
menegh: My first ambitions for the team would be to show that we are really potential challengers for the top places in VRL France.
Mandatory: What are your first impressions of the team?
menegh: What I noticed immediately was the cohesion, even if we don't all know each other. The alchemy takes already very quickly and that's a good thing.
Mandatory: Does it make a difference to you that the players all come from different backgrounds?
menegh : The fact that the players come from different backgrounds, from different games, it had its impact at the beginning of the game, but it's not the case anymore. They've all been playing Valorant for a while. Now they are all Valorant players in their own right.
Mandatory: What will be your first missions?
menegh: First of all, I have to coach everyone. I have to establish where everyone is at, individually, and find out where everyone can develop. I have to structure the game as soon as possible so that we can start on a good basis. This will require a lot of discussion with the players, both one-on-one and together. I will have to put them in the right direction so that they can make clear progress.
Menegh's view of his players
Mandatory: You have already worked with HyP, APO and CREA^. Does the fact that you have to integrate new people in this group make things more complicated for you?
menegh: Actually, it's quite easy to integrate new people because we already have a core that exists and that I know well. Adding a player is ultimately about discovering new people and seeing how to implement their qualities into the overall cohesion. It's quite simple really.
Mandatory: Is it a challenge for you to integrate a player like Jbzz into the team?
menegh: The fact that Jbzz lacks experience in the team and the fact that he hasn't had any real professional experience yet, high level experience I mean, that's a real challenge for me. The aim is to show him that he can gain confidence and that he has the necessary level. He is a very underrated player and very, very skilful. We'll have to teach him a lot of principles and give him a lot of confidence, because he lacks a lot of that.
All this will mean that, with time, he will progress very quickly, until he catches up with the others. With four other experienced players around him to show him the example, he will be able to copy what he sees, he will be able to be in a similar dynamic to them. He is in the best conditions to learn a lot and extremely quickly. Behind, all the understanding of the game will come little by little, but for him the evolution will be very great!
Mandatory: How would you describe HyP?
menegh: In the case of HyP, since he is the captain of the team, he is the one who will take care of all the tactical aspect in game. He's really the engine of the group, he's going to talk a lot during the game. He's a real force and he's a very important person in the process of improving the team in general.
Mandatory: A word about APO?
menegh: APO has a lot of skill and he has very good mechanics. Now he has to work on his consistency. As much as he plays games where he tends to be extremely explosive and performs very well, he will sometimes be a little bit below. I think that's his main area of work.
Mandatory: And how do you see CREA^?
menegh: CREA^, is someone who has a lot of qualities. He's going to have a bit of a co-lead role. He can totally support HyP, or make good calls. He has a lot of experience from his former teams and he knows the game extremely well. He is also very versatile in his roles, while remaining extremely skilful in each of them. Finally, he has a huge potential as a player.
Mandatory: You see me coming, but do you have something to say about hoppY?
menegh: HoppYis a bit of an alien in terms of skill. He's someone who can be extremely fast and has incredible reflexes. However, he still needs to work on his consistency, just like APO. But he also needs to support the team a bit more, especially in communication.