C9's wippie a star in the making, DRX's Flashback scores poorly in key takeaways from TEN Global Invitational

Written By Sushant Jha Writer
Last UpdatedOctober 18, 2023 at 11:33AM
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The VCT 2023 OFF SEASON - TEN Global Invitational filled in the much needed vaccuum for competition during this long VALORANT off season. Cloud9 came out as eventual victors, however they faced stern competition from DRX VS, EDward Gaming, and T1. I would love to discuss some key takeaways from this tournament by focusing on one single graph.

TEN Global Invitational FBSR (Def.%) Total Engagements
TEN Global Invitational FBSR (Def.%) Total Engagements

The graph in question sheds some light on the defensive side of the competition as we look at First Blood Success Rate (%) w.r.t Total Engagements taken across the whole event. By doing so I'd like to highlight some Sentinel players that took part in this event.

  • Y - Axis : FBSR (%) On Defense
  • X - Axis : Total Enagements or total number of opening fights taken

DRX are a work in progress

DRX finished second at this event and although it doesn't say much I'd like to mention that they played this tournament with their academy player Flashback who replaced Kim "Zest" Ki-seok on the roster.

Flashback's positioning on the graph
Flashback's positioning on the graph

The addition of Flashback came as a surprise to many as Zest had an overall excellent year for the Korean team. Although a promising academy prospect, Flashback has massive shoes to fill and it became evident during the event. Flashback had one of the worst FBSR (%) on defense during the course of the event while being involved in just above average opening duels.

One might argue where does Zest or the rest of the DRX squad come in on his list. So below I'd like to attach some historical data from Zest's last event i.e VCT Champions 2023 : Los Angeles. The table also includes Multi-Kills Per Round (MKPR) on defense to actually gauge their impact on defense.

Rb, BuZz, Zest, and Flashback with respective FBSR, MKPR DEF, and event.
Rb, BuZz, Zest, and Flashback with respective FBSR, MKPR DEF, and event.

As you can see in the above table Flashback ranks far below than any of three DRX players that have played similar roles as him in 2023. He however records a higher MKPR than Rb on defense but not more than Zest who he replaced on the roster.

This article is just a comparison based off the recent event, it's nothing against DRX nor Flashback. I believe Flashback is still one of the best young talents to come out of Korea. Still, he has a long way to go to be as revered as his peers.

wippie will be a star for Cloud9

Maxim "wippie" Shepelev was sensational for Cloud9 during the course of this event. He was by far the best player on Cloud9 and one of the major reasons why they came out on top this tournament. While he tops the charts on multiple statistics I'd like to focus only on his defensive output.

wippie's placement on the graph
wippie's placement on the graph

He recorded the highest FBSR (%) on defense during the course of tournament roughly at 86% success rate. Another aspect to his game is the way he plays which can be explained by looking at this graph.

While he does record the highest FBSR on defense, he falls just below average when it comes to total number of engagements taken. From an analytical point point of view on attack you'd favor a duelist with a high engagement rate along with a high FBSR. But when it comes to defense and especially the kind of agents wippie plays you'd want a player with a high FBSR but a lower engagement rate.

A high FBSR (%) along with a low Engagement Rate on defense for a sentinel player indicates that he only takes duels that he is smart with his duels and doesn't go hunting for opening kills. As a sentinel player you'd never want to find yourself in a position where you die first. wippie in this case ticks all the boxes.

Will wippie continue replicating such performances? Is Flashback the buffer DRX needs moving forward? We will continue watching closely as the off season continues and VCT 2024 picks up in a couple months time.

Esports data enthusiast. I live and die by CS and VALORANT.

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