Bleed Esports Valorant Team Interview After VCL 2023: MY & SG Split 1


AFK Gaming

Bleed Esports Targets VCT Pacific Ascension With Eyes on Ultimate Prize: The Franchise

“There’s only one goal, making it to the franchise” - LEGIJA, Head Coach

Aditya Singh Rawat
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Singaporean esports organization Bleed Esports is perhaps the most dominant Valorant team in the South East Asian region that is not currently a part of the Asia Pacific League. The team has been on an incredible run through the Valorant Challengers League (VCL) 2023: Malaysia and Singapore, dominating its opponents and convincingly winning Split 1. 

Despite the results, Bleed Esports shows no signs of slowing down and continues to evolve the strength of its lineup by signing Marcus “Nephh” Tan just two weeks before Split 2.

AFK Gaming recently caught up with the team to learn about the organization’s recent roster changes and its aspirations in an attempt to figure out what makes Bleed Esports one of the best Valorant teams in Southeast Asia.

Bleed Esports is more than ready for VCT Pacific Ascension: Early planning, bold moves, and clear goals

The regional Valorant competitive circuit is currently taking place in full swing across the globe. For the Malaysia and Singapore region, Bleed Esports has already underlined its credentials as a dominant force by winning Split 1, where it claimed nine of its ten series, only dropping an inconsequential match to Enigma Gaming.

Now, the team is entering Split 2 as one of the favorites to qualify for the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) 2023 Pacific Ascension and shall represent the Singapore and Malaysia region.

A major contributing factor to Bleed Esports’ success is its commitment to training and development. Central to this commitment is the team's dedicated bootcamp, where players spend a significant amount of time honing their skills and building chemistry as a team.

We practice for about eight hours a day and I think this is why we were more dominant, coupled with the fact that we are able to win games with our individual aim.
Tyler “juicy“ James, 16-year-old prodigy from Singapore who is a former Bleed Academy player

Bleed’s Derrick "Deryeon" Yee, the 22-year-old from Singapore, credits the bootcamp for building the team’s chemistry both inside and outside the game, “We are getting along well and we have built strong team chemistry in a short period of time.”

He reveals that they do not rely on any specific team-building exercises, but they all stay and practice at a bootcamp so naturally a lot of time is spent together and they all end up bonding with each other at some level.“We spend most of the day together in our bootcamp, have meals together, and some of us even play ranked matches with one another after practice time,” he added.

Their time together under one roof meant that planning and organizing the training sessions were also much easier while being more effective as everything could be done in real-time and in person.

“The practice routine generally consisted of VOD Reviews, theory sessions, and Scrims (practice matches against other teams),” chimes Deryean, and this in itself ended up giving them an edge over other teams from the region.

Bleed Esports came well prepared for VCL 2023: Malaysia & Singapore Split 1, having set up early processes which they followed rigorously over a course of two months. The result was a dominant victory in the first qualifier where they lost only one match, an outcome that only motivated the team to work harder.

Switch before the last leap: Bleed signs Nephh, benches JayH

It is not hard to imagine teams getting complacent with their past laurels and leading to a drop in performance. It is a tale as old as time in Valorant, with multiple teams experiencing a massive drop in performance after they secure a big tournament victory. Bleed Esports is not one of these teams, the organization has taken proactive steps to continually evolve and strengthen its roster despite the victory in Split 1.

Bleed Esports sign Nephh to Valorant roster

The team has added Marcus “Nephh” Tan to its lineup and immediately promoted him to the playing five. As a result, Wong "JayH" Heng, had to be moved from the team’s active roster. The 19-year-old from Singapore who is currently studying cybersecurity confirmed that his school schedule and studies hindered him from committing wholeheartedly to the team’s practice sessions.

I think it’s a really good and fair decision by Bleed Esports. It’s just unfortunate timing because school is compulsory in Singapore and there is not much way to delay education, but I will still be part of the organization as a substitute.
Wong "JayH" Heng, substitute player for Bleed Esports

He further shared that a chance was offered to him for leaving and finding new opportunities as a part-time player, but for now, he prefers sticking with them as a sixth man.

Bleed Esports removes JayH from active lineup

Despite being added to the lineup just recently, Nephh is already well on his way to being integrated with the lineup. "We have enough time to start preparations for the upcoming Split (2). Also, with the new agent (Gekko) being added, it will make everyone change their (Agent) compositions and start fresh preparations. So, I don't think it will make any difference," says Sushant “Ominous“ Jha, Analyst for Bleed Esports

With a slight touch-up to its existing Valorant roster, Bleed Esports has shown that it is not scared to make bold moves, showing confidence in its support staff and ensuring that they are ahead of the curve at all stages of the competitive circuit.

Thoughts on the future: Making it before they Bleed out

Ultimately, the organization’s aim is to play in the VCT Pacific League. “For our goals in 2023, there’s only one goal, making it to the franchise. And I believe I speak for the whole team,” confirms Nikola "LEGIJA" Ninić - Head Coach for Bleed Esports, explaining that steps were being taken to ensure that they are on track to achieve this.

The acquisition of Nephh to bolster its team was one of the recent steps that the organization took to ensure it meets this goal. “I believe with him (Nephh) in our team we have one more experienced player that can help us achieve our goal. Obviously, we will have to put a lot of time into practicing and working on our game plans. From the organization’s side, we get the best possible support, which enabled us to completely focus on the upcoming Split 2,” says LEGIJA, wishing that the players make it because he believes that they really deserve it.

The 32-year-old thinks that the team’s formidable firepower gives them an edge even when the team is a player down, adding that the team is looking to manage pressure and evolve through the season as it gains more experience.

When it comes to weakness I think that we need to manage pressure better. If we go into a game as the favorite, we tend to play with a different mindset, but that also comes with experience.
Nikola "LEGIJA" Ninić, Head Coach for Bleed Esports

The VCL 2023: Malaysia & Singapore Split 2 is scheduled to take place from 29th March to 4th June, a long haul that would require teams to be equal parts consistent and persistent to qualify for the Pacific Ascension.

Undoubtedly, Bleed Esports is the frontrunner to emerge victorious. However, with high expectations comes immense pressure, capable of punishing even the slightest of errors. The organization's meticulous planning and strategic maneuvers have equipped it with the best chance of replicating its success despite these challenges.

In the end, it all comes down to whether Bleed Esports shall execute when the stakes are high or if it will buckle under the pressure in the upcoming Split 2.

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Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.

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