The second of the five regional events for ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND CS:GO Festival 2020 came to an end a few days back on 10th January with the Singaporean esports organization Paper Rex becoming the Southeast Asia regional champions.
We got an opportunity to engage with the champions from the ‘Lion City’ who have won their first CS:GO tournament almost a year after its inception. During our conversation we spoke about their journey through the tournament, the challenges they faced, and what lies ahead for them in 2021.
Interview With Paper Rex
Q. How does it feel starting 2021 with a victory straight off the bat?
Tommy: Feels like we have a bit of weight lifted off our shoulders.. Its a win we really needed and one that took a whole year of losing to finally get. So its a mixture of feeling good and very relieved at the same time. Also nice to start the year off well.
Q. How would you guys describe your journey through the tournament?
Tommy: I would say it was pretty rough for us considering i was really sick during the whole tournament and couldn't play vs Huat Zai. Dsn had to stand in and play for me. Thankfully we managed to come away with a win, and the schedule was forgiving enough that I could recover enough to play. I was still having a lot of trouble concentrating during the games though.
Q. What was your best and worst player or team moment from the tournament?
Mindfreak: Best player, I don't know...some maps Benkai and f0rsakeN went ham and carried my ass, worst player was definitely me for the semi final and up until the finals too. I was playing some horrible Counter-Strike and made some huge blunders up until the last map where I redeemed myself a little thankfully. Best moment from the team was definitely the round we won the grand final, it means a lot to me because we had a really shitty 2020, and also this is my first regional competition victory.
Q. What was the level of competition in this tournament? Where do you think can the organizers improve?
Mindfreak: This is the South East Asia level, so honestly nothing much, I thought it was all great. Maybe I'm a little bit sad that the prize pool was only 1.5k for a regional level competition, but what can they do, COVID hits everyone hard and its already fantastic that we had a tournament to play for. Big thanks to the organizers for putting in the effort to host, it was seamless and we had a good time.
Q. Apart from ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2020 what other big CS:GO tournaments are you guys participating in?
D4v41: We qualified for the Hyperion tournament which will be hosted on Guam servers, that's an interesting one because we get to play against teams from Australia, the Chinese region and apparently there's a possibility that the Americans could get like 100 ping to the servers, but I am not too sure about the details. That tournament is in late February / Early March. We've also been asked about our availability for one or two upcoming Chinese tournaments, so that's also on the cards.
Q. Which team was the toughest to beat this tournament and why?
F0rsakeN: I think it's beyond, I chose them because qqgod in my opinion has a big influence on the team and he's smart enough to lead his team very well, and it can have a very good effect on the players of the team. I felt like they were very tough to beat.
Q. What are your takeaways from this tournament?
D4v41: I would say the main takeaway was nothing is impossible if we trust the process, and it was unfortunately a very painfully long process but we managed to perform at a decent level finally. Lately my teammates have been putting in a tremendous amount of work on the server, and we're all very thankful that it's starting to translate into the game.
Q. Which team are you guys most eager to face off against in 2021?
F0rsakeN: I really want to play and beat Tiger, we've been making too many mistakes against them and especially on our favorite map nuke, we always take a huge lead and then proceed to throw it back to them somehow. 2021 is the year we finally win on nuke vs Tiger.
Q. Are you guys aiming to qualify for international tournaments this year, if possible?
Benkai: We would definitely be trying to qualifying to any international tournaments this year, as would any other team haha, the more the better. I hope the qualifiers are held regionally too like one qualifier for SEA so we'd have an easier time lol. We're mainly looking forward for this years BLAST pro as we've caught wind of there being one this year that we could qualify for.
Q. How does it feel to be the SEA regional champions and where does the team go from here on?
Benkai: Feels good for the time being but we're gonna have to keep practicing and improving on what we have if we wanna keep that spot as the top dogs. We probably caught the other teams at a good time too since most of the teams probably just came back from their respective player breaks. Obviously the next step for us is to dominate Asia in its entirety so that's what we'll be working on in the weeks to come.
It was great having a chat with all the Paper Rex lineup who are the Southeast Asia champions for the 2020 season of ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND. With three more regions still left to be played out the competition is still very much alive.