Paper Rex are coming into VCT Masters Copenhagen with a target on their back

Declan Mclaughlin
Paper Rex's f0rsaken poses for the camera at Valorant Masters Iceland
Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games

Paper Rex will commence Valorant Champions Tour Stage 2 Masters Copenhagen with a target on their back, as teams look to them as one of the more prominent teams to match up against after their top four performance at Stage 1 Masters Iceland.

The team’s two star fraggers Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie and Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto are often cited as players that Master Copenhagen attendees want to test their metal against.

“I want to play Paper Rex, Jinggg’s team, I think that guy gets away with murder and he’s not going to get away with it against us,” XSET’s head coach Don “SyykoNT” Muir said when asked who he would like to match up against at Stage 2 Masters.

But Paper Rex said that they aren’t going in with any expectations for the tournament and will wait and see what XSET and other teams have in store for them. The Singaporean squad said in an interview with Dexerto that they are looking forward to having a fun event over-pressuring themselves to compete against top competition or hype up certain matchups.

Paper Rex pose as a team on the Masters Iceland stage
Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Paper Rex have now qualified for every major VCT tournament in 2022.

“We will just see when we play against each other if they’re right or not,” Jinggg said when asked about SyykoNT’s challenge. “I don’t really have anything to say about that.”

“Just tell them you’ll satchel in even harder,” Paper Rex head coach Alexandre “alecks” Salle told Jinggg. Referring to the player’s signature Raze style of launching himself at the enemy at the start of the round.

“Okay, I’ll Satchel in even harder,” Jinggg said with a laugh.

Paper Rex have already achieved their goals for the year

In 2021, Paper Rex fell short of qualifying for Valorant Champions. They were tied for second in Valorant circuit points in their region and had to go into the APAC Last Chance Qualifier because Team Secret, the other second-place team in terms of points, won the tie-breaker in terms of matches won.

If the team had won one more match, like their VCT Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs grand final against Team Secret, Bren Esports at the time, or their elimination match against SuperMassive Blaze at Stage 3 Masters Berlin, then they would have had enough points to secure a spot at Champions.

Instead, they were thrust into APAC LCQ competition and failed to make it through.

“It was really really painful for the whole team. So they really buckled down this year and making Champions for us was like the main goal and now that we’ve made it we’ve exceeded every single expectation we put on ourselves so we’re gonna just try and have as much fun as we can,” alecks said.

With their qualification to Masters Copenhagen, Paper Rex secured their spot at Champions as well for September based on circuit points.

Even in their pursuit of Champions qualification, alecks and the team didn’t put any pressure on themselves to perform as they have come to learn that piling on stress is not the way to get their best performances in the server.

“I don’t think we really have any expectations or anything because alecks doesn’t really put any pressure on us. He just tells us to just go have fun because we already hit all our goals so we just going to Master 2 to have fun with no expectations,” Jinggg said.

Meeting their contemporaries at Masters Copenhagen

While they may not have expectations, Paper Rex is looking forward to matching up against a few different teams and players.

Jinggg pointed toward FunPlus Phoenix and OpTic Gaming as squads he wants to test himself against, calling out  OpTic’s Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker in specific.

“We’ve never really played against yay in an actual match, so I want to see how good he is,” the Paper Rex player said.

alecks pointed out squads that he modeled some of his team’s play and strategies on, including FunPlus Phoenix and XSET. He called out XSET’s Brendan “BcJ” Jensen in specific as a player that he based his team’s Initiator play after.

“You would see like the first batch of Sova players were all lineup-heavy players. Where they would throw really amazing, like from really really far away, Recon Darts and they’ll double Shock Dart the bomb and play safe and they used to play for info. But I think BcJ went in front and shot people. He uses utility for himself more than he used it for the team and I thought that was a good way to play,” alecks said.

As for how a matchup against XSET could potentially go, he said XSET could be a tough stylistic matchup as Paper Rex like to rush in and the North American squad prefers to sit back and feel out their opponents.

Paper Rex players hug each other at Valorant Masters
Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Most of the Paper Rex team have played together in other esports before.

But no matter who they play against at Masters Copenhagen, Paper Rex will probably still smile and have a good time with a win or loss. At the end of the day, making international tournaments like these is one of the few ways the team gets to meet up in person as they are usually scattered across South East Asia and compete mostly online.

So while the competition is at the front of their minds, along with showcasing their free-wheeling style of play, right behind that is a desire to bond as team with Mario Cart or Mario Party and prepare for the ultimate challenge of Champions.

“Usually we just try to hang out as much as possible,” alecks said about their time at Masters events. “We miss each other.”

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