Champions Spotlight: Paper Rex bring something new to Champions
What is something that Paper Rex has that the rest of the teams at VCT 2023 - Champions don't? Where can you get something that can change the tides of battle in VALORANT? Enough with the cheap puns. Ilya "something" Petrov will finally step on an international VALORANT stage and what a stage to do it on for a debut. The Russian has been running rampant in Japan for the last 2 years, garnering experience and training to join the big leagues. Paper Rex are looking like a force to be reckoned with at VALORANT Champions 2023.
Japan begin to mould something
Before joining Paper Rex in March of 2023, something was clicking on heads in Japan. Kicking his career off at Insomnia in 2021, the team did decently well at VCT 2021 - Stage 3 - Japan - Challengers 2 and VCT 2021 - Stage 3 - Japan - Challengers Playoffs, getting a 3rd-4th and 5-6th spot respectively. It's worth highlighting that something was among the top 4 players at both events in terms of his rating. He then left Insomnia and found a new home.
BLUE BEES would end up being his new banner to represent. There, BLUE BEES failed to find much success in terms of the VCT, playing many Challenger events without having an impact within the Japanese VALORANT scene. However, something did have an impact on BLUE BEES' dub at UTAGE VALORANT - Season 3. Still, the team struggled to make a breakthrough on the VCT front. Additionally, something did not have as great of an impact at BLUE BEES as he did at Insomnia or Sengoku Gaming later on, which leads us to assume he did not thrive within the team. something departed the squad in May of 2022 following a half-year stint.
Sengoku unleash something's potential
It wasn't until the Russian joined Sengoku Gaming that the world took notice, especially in 2023. The fierce Duelist would finally put on display his true potential, however, it did take a bit of time for him to get there.
At Sengoku, things were much different than at BLUE BEES. The team actually saw some success at the Japanese VCT circuit in 2022. Yet, it wasn't until 2023 where we saw something truly shine.
At VCT 2023 - Challengers League Japan - Split 1, despite Sengoku finishing in 3rd in the regular season and then falling to FENNEL in the Lower Bracket 2/4 in a best-of-5 thriller, the world truly paid attention. The Russian prodigy maintained an average rating of 1.47 having played 26 maps in the event. A performance that is simply unthinkable. It's usually a rather bold thing to say that a team failed to match a single player's level. In this particular case however, the statement is very much true.
In a lightning-fast signing, Paper Rex swooped in for something. something's exceptional performance for Sengoku against FENNEL would be his last showing for the team as in March, he would be unveiled as a player for Paper Rex.
A new beginning at Paper Rex
Paper Rex, despite signing the Russian player, struggled to get something to Korea, where the VCT 2023 - Pacific League was taking place. Paper Rex played the two first matches of the league without the new signing. He finally made his debut against T1 on April 8, and what a show did he put on for a debut. While Jason "f0rsakeN" Susanto took center stage, Paper Rex crushed T1 with something attaining a 1.44 rating in the matchup, having played Pearl.
Paper Rex took the runner-up spot in the regular season with 7 wins and 2 losses to show for. The playoffs went in favor of Paper Rex as by that time, something has truly acclimated into the talented lineup. A dub against T1 brought the ultimate test for Paper Rex, and that was DRX. In the group stage, something was lackluster in the matchup against DRX, as the Korean side figured out how to shut down the Russian efficiently. The next time, however, they were in a world of hurt.
something popped off in a surprisingly easy victory in the Upper Bracket Final. He attained a 1.37 rating playing Breach and Reyna in a 13:5 and 13:6 dub. This left the VALORANT world speechless. DRX flopped hard, and it was at the hand of Paper Rex and their dangerous weapon in the shape of something.
The story doesn't end there. DRX rallied to reach the grand finale of the Pacific League. This time, things were not as easy. And yet, Paper Rex clinched the title following a 3:2 dub in a 5-map thriller. Who was at the top of the scoreboard you ask? Take a wild guess.
After winning the Pacific League, PRX qualified for Masters Tokyo and VALORANT Champions in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for Paper Rex, something was unable to attend Masters due to VISA issues. This was a massive disappointment for the VALORANT fans. However, kudos to PRX's Patiphan "cgrs" Porsi who did a hell of a job standing-in for something at Masters Tokyo.
Following a spectacular showing in the league, something is now poised to show the world his true potential. And what better place is there than to show something in Los Angeles, at the most important event of the year, VALORANT Champions.
For all information about the VCT 2023, check out our VCT Hub. There you will find our FAQ to answer all of your questions and details about the teams, different Leagues, and more.