By Colin Rhoads
Mizzou Esports is leveling up this year with the addition of our very own Valorant team. The Valorant team, led by sophomore captain Blake “Krinkle” Kronsbein, finished second in the NACE Collegiate League last spring as well as a second place finish in the University of Kentucky Valorant tournament before officially being inaugurated into the Mizzou Esports Program this fall. As the collegiate Valorant scene is expanding, Mizzou’s Valorant team is going with it. Kronsbein said “we have a lot more talent this year just from getting better over the summer [and] we got a couple new players who are really good” and that the “competition is going to be really crazy this year” as well.
Kronsbein is a sophomore from St. Louis studying business marketing at Mizzou. He has been playing video games for “as long as [he] can remember” and first got into competitive games playing Counter Strike: Global Offensive, “Once I started getting interested in the pro scene, I was like this is awesome, I want to try this out.” Much like other competitive players playing CS:GO, Kronsbein said Valorant “was like a breath of fresh air … because it is way more dynamic, it’s different in every round, every game”. Very similar to his supportive role in the game, Kronsbein serves as the “mom of the group” sending “constant” reminders to the team to get into practice and keeping everyone on track. Talking about the future of the Valorant team, Kronsbein said “we are in a bunch of leagues and tournaments [and] we want to win at least a big one …. we want to get to the point where we are a top 10 team.”