FORMATION Stories: JohnQT
Mohamed Amine Ouarid, 22, is the Moroccan Duelist who sits at #10 on the Episode 2 Act I VALORANT leaderboards as “JohnQT.”
Without the Closed Beta in his home region, JohnQt had to initially rely on streams and impressions to know if VALORANT would be his future main. The commitment would also mean transitioning from Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, where he had represented Morocco while playing in South Africa for team Viboras.
“Riot came in at the right situation and I saw that they were backing up the MENA [Middle East and South Africa] region, saying they would focus there—I was pretty hyped,” he said.
The change of pace eventually led him to embrace the Duelist role, when previously he filled the “clutch” role, the third or second player inside. The switch is based on what he considers to be the carry potential of Duelists for climbing the leaderboards as a solo queue player.
JohnQT also played briefly in First Strike before he had to leave for his studies in Montreal. With his focus now on university, he said the leaderboard grind helps him track his progress as a VALORANT player.
The grind paid off for JohnQT in March, as he was placed among the biggest names in VALORANT once the Act I leaderboard standings had locked.
“I had so many people from Morocco who knew me from CS:GO reach out to me. I made it to some online news in Morocco, and even saw my face on some Facebook pages,” JohnQT said.
“With the Arab scene, we don't really have that many famous or known players, so anytime someone has an achievement, everybody knows about it—from Morocco to Jordan,” he added.
The current state of remote studies allows JohnQT more time to stream VALORANT and keep his spot atop the leaderboard.
“Right now, I am just playing and seeing what the future holds.”
You can follow JohnQT’s formation on his Twitter.
How would you describe your playstyle?
I always get this question and honestly, I just try to play really smart. Like sometimes I can play Duelist and don't get that many first bloods, but I’ll still play smart—looking at enemy utility and what they will do in a round. I feel like most people don't do that. As a Duelist I try to play slow and smart.
Why the recent switch from Phoenix to Jett?
I feel like with Jett you can carry more and you can OP, and I feel like OPing is pretty OP. I think you can have more impact as a Jett player than with Phoenix.
Who do you not like playing?
I can’t say Cypher because he’s actually Moroccan. Viper for sure. I’ve never unlocked Viper.
What map do you love?
Ascent for sure. I feel like the map is big and you have a lot of plays you can make there. I also like the mid of the map, it’s more open than Bind or Split.
Either Phantom or Vandal, it depends on the skin sometimes. I would say Phantom for the Oni and Ion skin.
What does JohnQT want in VAL this year?
If I was back in Morrocco, I would say more tournaments for the MENA (Middle East, North Africa) region. I feel like they’ve been overlooked for years. I’ve struggled too [when I was living there]. I wanted to go pro when I was younger, but didn't really have any opportunities. Aside from that, I feel like VALORANT is doing a good job, it’s not perfect.
Oh also, nerf shotguns. Everything, just remove them from the game.
[Editor’s Note: This was answered before the 2.06 Bucky changes, so maybe JohnQT loves shotguns now, you’ll have to ask him.]
Where does the “JohnQT” name come from?
I wanted a name and it was thinking maybe John Doe? I feel like my real life is so different from my gaming background. Most of my friends in school don't really know I play or compete. It’s like I have a double life. That’s why I use “John Wayne,” it’s like “Bruce Wayne.”