Paper Rex star duelist Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto was forced to play his match against Guild Esports at Masters Copenhagen from his hotel room due to a COVID-19 infection. His team still found a way to bring f0rsaken with them on stage, wearing a cut-out photo of his face; in the post-game interview, they taped the photo to the headrest of a chair and put headphones on it, popping the questions on the empty seat.
During the team walkout, in-game leader Benedict “Benkai” Tan continued his antics from previous VALORANT Champions Tour international events by dressing up in a dinosaur costume.
“It’s a no-brainer for me because Paper Rex,” Benkai said in the post-game press conference. “You know, the name. So obviously I had to go out like a dinosaur at least once in my VCT career.
However, Paper Rex’s fun nature doesn’t end when he logs into VALORANT; their offside jaunts are just a warm-up for their in-game behavior. a downed KAY/O.
“I have no comment,” Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie said of the incident in question.
Even Paper Rex’s overall strategy and fundamental approach to VALORANT is fun. The team is hyper-aggressive, unleashing site runs that flatten their opponents in an explosion of utility and bullets. In a way, it works.
“It’s pretty funny,” said Guild’s Saif “Sayf” Jibraeel. “You know it’s happening, and you can read it three seconds before it happens, but it happens anyway.”
Paper Rex coach Alexandre “alecks” Salle has a theory as to why their attacks work even against teams that are prepared for them.
“I think we have a really good variation,” Alecks said. “So even though you know it’s happening, I think it helps that Jinggg can sit anywhere based on what he sees.”
Jinggg’s theory was a little simpler.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I just shot them. That’s it.”
Paper Rex in Copenhagen
In their opening match at the Copenhagen Masters, Paper Rex made Guild on Ascent mincemeat.
“They played as expected, but we couldn’t control the game.” Guild coach André “BARBARR” Möller said. “We are not used to playing [against] a style of play like Paper Rex, which makes it difficult because it’s a very momentum-based game.
This momentum carried Paper Rex to their map pick of Fracture, where Guild put up more resistance. They started reading Paper Rex, to the point that the Singaporean team had to change their hours to make visits to their site less predictable. it was enough to take them to extra time, and then the 2-0.
“Hopefully we can push ourselves a bit further,” Alecks said of his team’s play. “I think our Ascent is close to what we can do. Fracture, we made a lot of mistakes that I think we could have avoided. I think there’s a clip on Twitter of me doing badly.
Alecks may have felt the pressure, but his team seemed relaxed and confident throughout the game. The team’s laid-back attitude at the Copenhagen Masters is largely down to the fact that they have already achieved their goal for the season. Benkai previously stated that the team wants to reach all international events in Stage 2 of the VCT; the team have already racked up enough points on the Asia-Pacific Tour to secure their place at Champions 2022.
“We emphasize just going out and having fun, regardless of the outcome,” Benkai said. “We’re just going to come out of this a better team.”
It might seem like false modesty for a team as talented as Paper Rex, but there’s a tactical reason why they don’t push themselves to win every event.
“For us, we tend to fall into a negative downward spiral when we don’t achieve our goals,” Alecks said. “So we try our best not to set these really big goals. Small goals, small steps.
Paper Rex may be fun loving, but the team isn’t immune to bad mentalities.
“We fall into a trap if we start losing a few rounds,” Benkai said. “We’re starting to get tense ourselves, but we’re pretty good at getting out of that mindset quickly.”
With Guild defeated, Paper Rex continues in the top bracket of the playoffs. They are looking forward to taking on Fnatic, feeling that they will face the team managed by Jake “Boaster” Howlett. Specifically, the team highlighted the battle between f0rsakeN/Jinggg and Fnatic Duelists Nikita “Derke” Sirmitev and Emir Ali “Alfajer” Beder as a battle to watch.
“I can walkout with Booster as well,” Benkai said.
This is all well and good, as long as Paper Rex can avoid COVID; their close contact with f0rsakeN means more infections could be a very real possibility.
“I’ve already exceeded my goals, going from top eight to after-party now,” Benkai said.