Paper Rex, one of the most promising Valorant rosters from the APAC region, will soon be making their way to the VCT 2022 Masters: Copenhagen after enjoying a flawless run in the APAC Challengers. They will compete with 11 other teams from all over the world over the course of two weeks to determine the tournament's winners.
PRX enjoyed an incredible campaign at the Stage 1 Masters in Reykjavik, where the team managed to claim a 4th place finish. Although they lost their Lower Bracket Semifinals match to ZETA DIVISION, Paper Rex put on several remarkable performances in the earlier stages of the tournament, notably against G2 Esports and The Guard.
Similar to Stage 1 of VCT 2022, Paper Rex will enter the Stage 2 Masters directly into its playoffs stages as a result of winning the APAC Challengers. They will be slotted alongside XSET, Fnatic, and Leviatán and will have to face the top eight teams from the Group Stage in a double-elimination bracket. VCT Masters: Copenhagen will kick off on July 10, with its Grand Finals scheduled for July 24, 2022.
PRX f0rsakeN discusses the team's preparation ahead of VCT 2022 Stage 2 Masters
In an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda Esports' Adarsh J. Kumar, Paper Rex's star Duelist, Jason "f0rsakeN" Susanto, spoke about his experience on APAC's best Valorant team, detailing their preparations for the upcoming VCT 2022 Stage 2 Masters in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Q: In addition to qualifying for the Masters: Copenhagen as one of the top seeds, Paper Rex has managed to lock in a spot at the Valorant Champions 2022 as well. What do you think makes PRX the best team in APAC?
f0rsakeN: I think what makes Paper Rex the best in the region is that all of us combined have good chemistry, having known each other for so long; it's been like a year and a half. Personally, I'd say we're the best because we're good at team chemistry, and we have confidence in our aim and individual plays.
Q: Paper Rex has maintained a near-flawless record against teams from the Malaysia/Singapore sub-region, recording only a single loss in the team's history. Considering that, what makes PRX so dominant in your region?
f0rsakeN: Maybe because we have so much experience when compared to them. Even before the VCT (MY/SG Challengers), we had already competed in Iceland, so I think we have a lot more experience than the other teams in MY/SG.
Q: DRX will be the only team at the VCT Masters: Copenhagen that you’ve played against before. Considering that, which team are you most excited to meet for the first time ever?
f0rsakeN: I think it's Fnatic. It's just because I want to meet Boaster. I also see that their team has improved a lot, with the new members, Alfajer and Enzo. I think I want to beat Fnatic.
Q: Apart from Paper Rex, which team would you say is a strong contender for the VCT Stage 2 Masters title?
f0rsakeN: I would say maybe DRX. They also have a good chance to win. Even in Iceland, they were really good. Maybe they were unlucky against ZETA when they lost. I think DRX has a good chance to win the tournament.
Q: You play a variety of roles for your team - Jett, Chamber, Neon, Yoru and so on. Which Agent do you enjoy playing the most and why?
f0rsakeN: I would say Yoru, especially on Bind. I think my Yoru is the best in the world for now. No one plays Yoru really aggressively like me, so I think Yoru is my favorite.
Q: You are among the handful of players that have found success with Yoru on a grand stage like the Masters. Considering Yoru is still one of the least picked Agents in VCT, what makes him so effective for you?
f0rsakeN: For me, it's because I can use skills like teleport and flash in the correct way. Apart from that, my teammates also support me well. That's why I can use Yoru so effectively on Bind.
Q: As someone who enjoys playing Yoru, is there anything in his ability toolkit that you would like Riot to change?
f0rsakeN: I think his abilities are perfect already.
Q: Just like in VCT 2022 Stage 1, PRX are slotted directly in the VCT Masters: Copenhagen playoffs. Do you feel any extra pressure in starting your tournament run directly in its crucial playoffs stage?
f0rsakeN: If you ask about feeling pressure, I would say maybe not. As you know, we at Paper Rex just play for fun. Even in tournaments, we play for fun, we play like how we usually play during practice. Maybe we just have a little bit of pressure. I think we will do our best at this Masters.
Q: What are your thoughts on Pearl, Valorant's latest map?
f0rsakeN: I've been playing Pearl recently, although not that much. I think the way I see the map is, it's such a big map, so it will be interesting when that map enters tournaments. I also think we need a lot of smokes on that map.
Q: Split is a map where we have seen you perform exceptionally well, last time at the VCT Masters: Reykjavik. What are your thoughts on Pearl replacing Split in the map pool?
f0rsakeN: Honestly, I think it's good to remove Split. A lot of people like to play with the Judge, even in ranked. I don't like it. So, I think it was a great idea to remove Split.
Q: You’ve consistently been one of the top Radiant players in the APAC leaderboard in almost all Acts of Valorant. How much do you enjoy your ranked grind, and how much do those games help you improve as a pro esports athlete?
f0rsakeN: I enjoy it a lot, but I think a lot of people already know how to play Valorant. In ranked, it gets harder since a lot of people are good in this game already.
Secondly, it helped me improve a lot. Even if you grind a lot, there may be situations where you clutch or play 1v2 or 1v3 situations. Personally, I think that if you grind a lot, it will help you think situationally, like how to clutch, win, and to improve your aim. So, I think grinding in ranked is good for you if you want to practice really hard. Just play every day; it will help you improve day by day.
Q: You just turned 18 this year and you have an entire esports career ahead of you. Which region outside APAC would you be interested in trying out, and why?
f0rsakeN: I would say EMEA. I like a team where they play strategically, so I think I will play in EMEA if I have a chance to go there.
Q: A lot of players have switched over from CS: GO to Valorant. But CS: GO is still going strong and people are still interested in the game. Considering you were a good CS: GO player as well, would you ever consider going back to pro CS?
f0rsakeN: Maybe I'm considering going back, maybe I'm not. But I believe that I will be more successful in this game (Valorant).
Q: What are your thoughts on Riot Games' plans to replace VCT with a franchise system in 2023?
f0rsakeN: I don't know that much, but I think it's going to be big for the teams who get franchised. I think it's good for Riot's future.
Q: Two wins and you will be playing in front of a live audience for the first time in Valorant. You must have had that experience before in CS:GO, but how excited are you to experience that in Valorant for the first time?
f0rsakeN: I'm really excited for myself because I can finally get to see the crowd if I get into the semifinals. So, hopefully I can make it till there. But I'm really excited to be able to see the crowd.
Q: Last time at the VCT Masters: Reykjavik, Paper Rex managed to finish in 4th place. What are your expectations for the tournament this time around?
f0rsakeN: I believe we can get to the semifinals at least.