Paper Rex Gears Up for VCT Pacific: Cohesion, Progression, and Expansion

Conversation with the glamorous and hearty team from Southeast Asia.

Aditya Singh Rawat
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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Paper Rex Prepares For VCT 2023 Pacific League</p></div>

Paper Rex Prepares For VCT 2023 Pacific League

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AFK Gaming

One of the top esports organizations from Southeast Asia (SEA), Paper Rex, is a partner team for the Valorant Champions Tour (VCT) currently competing in the Pacific League against top lineups from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

The team started 2023 on a disappointing note facing a first-match elimination by Cloud9 at the VCT 2023: LOCK//IN São Paulo. Since then the team has kept its main roster intact with the addition of a young prospect to add more firepower, but what else have they been up to during this time?

AFK Gaming recently caught up with Paper Rex to discuss the team’s build-up to the VCT 2023: Pacific League, problems of staying away from home, and the reason behind extending its roster.

Trusting the process: Paper Rex continues growing stronger together

The Singapore-based organization currently has seven active Valorant players on its roster, a proper international lineup consisting of mixed nationalities from Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Russia. However, the interesting thing is that its core has stuck together for more than two years now. Even more, if one was to consider their time competing in CS:GO.

The management's high level of trust and commitment in its players is demonstrated by their persistence in sticking with the same team, celebrating their successes, and learning from their failures. This is exemplified by their decision to maintain the same lineup, despite being swept by Cloud9 in the opening round of the VCT LOCK//IN. Although Jinggg mentions that the team had a confidential discussion that only Paper Rex was privy to, the details of the conversation - whether it was a scolding or a pep talk - will forever remain a mystery!

Amidst the excitement and anticipation of moving to South Korea, Paper Rex had to handle the practicalities of relocating to a new country. “The team spent the time to get our visas for South Korea as well as running last-minute errands in preparation for our move. I also spent time with my family,” explained f0rsakeN.

Paper Rex - Main Valorant Team

Despite the busy schedule, the team still managed to squeeze in practice sessions, to expand its limited map pool. This became their focus going into the league, “We tried going back to basics as we have a small map pool now. Focusing on rebuilding our map pool from scratch. It will eventually make us better in the upcoming weeks,” said mindfreak.

Despite limited training and the challenges of moving to a new country, the team remains confident. According to the head coach, Alexandre "alecks" Sallé, the team had a good run in 2022 and had a lot to live up to.

Many of the teams have to relocate and get used to a new way of life, so there’s bound to be an adjustment period. As of now, we are just trying to do our best to get used to our living situations.
Alexandre "alecks" Sallé - Head Coach of Paper Rex

Moving to South Korea and welcoming its new member

The Paper Rex team recently relocated to South Korea for its participation in the VCT 2023: Pacific League, and set up a bootcamp for the duration of the 64-day event. The players had different opinions about their new location and training facility. Mindfreak shared that he found the practice place to be alright, but what he really loved was the weather. On the other hand, CigaretteS mentioned that he enjoyed taking walks around the area, and appreciated the abundance of food options nearby.

“I like the office as Paper Rex has provided us with a great PC and it is also near our apartment. I love the fashion and Korean fried chicken over here,” said f0rsakeN.

The organization made sure that the players were comfortable, but moving to a new country and staying away from their families could be a challenge for the players of Paper Rex over time, as pointed out by their head coach alecks.

He acknowledged that it would be the longest time they would be staying away from their families, which could take a toll on their morale and motivation. Additionally, the team was facing issues with the lack of variety of food around their area, which could further affect their performance.

Despite these challenges, Paper Rex continued to add to their already talented team by signing a new player, ‘something’, just days before the start of the event. The young prospect was scouted from the Japanese competitive scene, and his arrival was a testament to the organization's commitment to improving its roster.

“When you have a chance to sign someone as talented as something you’ve got to do it,” said alecks, explaining the working conditions of the extended lineup, “We plan on trying to make a seven-player roster work, with players picking up specific agents, but naturally he will be playing the role of a duelist.”

However, this decision raised questions about how the team would manage with two substitutes at any given moment, considering that they hadn't even used CigaretteS yet. Alecks explained that it would all depend on what agents the team intends to use for any particular match.

He also praised CigaretteS for possessing a unique skill set that compliments the team well, “We just haven’t had time to incorporate him into the lineup yet.”

Paper Rex is not only known for its competitive prowess but also for the team's quirky and fun personality. Senior player Benkai is especially famous for his outrageous walkouts during tournaments, which has become somewhat of a tradition for the team.  We have yet to see one from him but inside information from the team has confirmed that he has planned something fun for the playoffs!

Despite their jovial nature, Paper Rex is a team that takes its games seriously. They have already played against DetonatioN FocusMe and Team Secret, winning the first and losing the other. Currently, the team stands in fifth place on the overall points table, with seven more matches to play in the regular season.

It's still too early to tell if Paper Rex will make it to the playoffs, but fans are hopeful that the team will be able to pull off some impressive performances and secure its spot in the next stage of the competition. Only time will tell whether the team’s roster management and unique strategies lead to success.

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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.