Kusqt discusses Knights' comeback at Paladins World Championship - Dexerto

Kusqt discusses Knights’ comeback at Paladins World Championship

Published: 16/Nov/2019 22:13 Updated: 22/Nov/2019 22:00

by Dustin Steiner


Jake “kusqt” Jenkins has been a veteran of the Paladins scene since its inception and has made one of his most impressive tournament performances at the 2019 Paladins World Championships.

Melissa “BestTaco” Posada caught up with Kusqt after the Knights takedown of Natus Vincere and Envy at the Paladins World Championships to get his thoughts on the event so far, and how his chances look for taking home the trophy.

“We’ve been prepping for this our whole season,” Kusqt said, ecstatic. “I’ve made it to four Worlds so far, and this is the furthest I’ve ever been in the event. Envy played so, so well, but we played just as well, so we were able to get the win.”

But the Knights almost didn’t make it out of their match against Envy alive, down 3 points on the final map of the set. However, it was the Knights’ poise that ultimately led them to victory.

“We just took it one point at a time, and we get the comeback mechanic, so we just kept focused,” he enthused. “They’ve been here before, we’ve been here before, so there’s nothing to be nervous about, right? We played as best we could, and we ended up pulling out the win.”

Kusqt, perhaps more than any other member on his team, has been in high-pressure situations before, appearing in four Paladins World Championships. He reflected on what it meant to him to get that far in his career.

“[This time], it’s good that I don’t have to spend as much time at the bar,” he joked, clearly at ease with the situation. “I can’t wait to get up on the stage again, it was my biggest goal for Paladins, and all we have to do is win it now.”

For a team like the Knights, that is quite the statement. No one expected them to get this far in the World Championship, especially not with their side of the bracket, including heavy hitters like Na’vi and Envy.

“We’re an underdog team, eight seed,” he enthused. “We took down Envy. We took down Na’vi, who were former World Champions. If we beat those two teams, we can beat anybody.”

Pittsburgh are already calling their shots for the Grand Finals, calling it “destiny” that they made it there. Simsloo has never lost a match on LAN before, so they’ll be putting that good luck to the ultimate test in the Grand Final.

The Knights will now have to go up against Ninjas in Pyjamas, a juggernaut in their own right, on Sunday at 12:45 PM Eastern.


NiP Paladins champion isbittenner on emotional grand finals win

Published: 18/Nov/2019 1:36 Updated: 22/Nov/2019 21:53

by Scott Robertson


Ninjas in Pyjamas claimed the Paladins World Championship over the Pittsburgh Knights in a near reverse sweep. After the finals, NiP player and Paladins champion Leander ‘isbittenner’ Aspestrand spoke to Melissa ‘TheBestTaco’ Posada and Dexerto on the Ninjas’ emotional win, and how they bounced back from a mid-season slump and two-game deficit in the finals.

Before the SMITE finals, the two best teams in Paladins squared off on Championship Sunday at Hi-Rez Expo. A dominant contender in Ninjas in Pyjamas met an underdog Pittsburgh Knights squad that had taken the long road through the lower bracket of the PWC qualifier.

But despite grabbing a 2-0 lead, the Knights couldn’t hold on as their adversaries borrowed some NiP magic from their CSGO division to win fourth straight games to raise the championship trophy.

Following the raising of the trophy, the young NiP damage star from Norway, isbittenner, could barely keep his emotions in check, telling TheBestTaco and Dexerto that he “would just go up in tears” when he’d try and think back on the hard-fought series.

NiP were forced to climb out of a 2-0 hole in the grand finals, but isbittener said that the roster was no stranger to having to reverse their fortunes themselves. They had a very strong Phase 1 of Paladins Premier League, but started off slow in Phase 2 with a collection of tough losses.

Isbittenner said he was really happy that the team was able to pull themselves out of that slump, and make their way to the championship finals. One of those tough losses during the PPL season was to Pittsburgh Knights, who they would meet in the grand finals.

When asked if they expected to meet the Knights again in the championship series, he responded,

“If you asked me two months ago? Never. But now? For sure, they’ve become a lot better.” He also said later in the interview that he expects the Knights roster to improve even more.

The NiP star praised the Knights’ ability to outdraft them, but credited the words of his coach and the energy of the crowd as being instrumental to gaining back momentum.

As the secondary drafter, isbittener said his leadership strength emerges pre-game, but his ability to be a playmaker during matches was instrumental to the Ninjas’ success as well.

As for the champion, he says that the immediate plan is for the team to go get “a nice dinner” and then go out and have fun to celebrate the title. As for next season, he says that NiP will take their time to “relax and re-group” after the long campaign, and come back strong for next season.