Despite being the region’s second seed in her first international appearance in two years, VCS’s Saigon Buffalo has stormed into the MSI 2022 Rumble Stage. Jungler Trần ‘BeanJ’ Văn Chính doesn’t stop there, warning the world to expect more worlds.
The International League of Legends sorely missed the VCS. The Vietnamese teams had always brought an exciting game and pushed the world’s best to their micro limits with constant fights.
After a two-year absence, there were slight concerns about how the region might have fallen out of step. These problems were compounded when the VCS was the only team to send its second seed – Saigon Buffalo – to MSI 2022 because the winner played GAM Esports at the SEA Games.
In the end, however, these fears were unfounded. Saigon Buffalo finished second in Group A with a 4-2 record, including decent games against the dominant T1 and nail-biting eventual third-place finishers DetonatioN FocusMe of Japan.
One might feel forgiven for believing that the Vietnamese team just took the win – watch mid laner Bùi ‘Froggy’ Văn Minh Hải lean back in his chair at the center of Busan Esports Arena, after securing their spot early in the day 6.
Internally, however, there was equal amounts of hype and relief, jungler BeanJ told Dexerto.
“I’m very happy right now because our team did our best to reach the Rumble Stage,” he said. “We said to ourselves that if we had the skills and ability, we would have progressed. If we didn’t have them, we would have just gone home!
“In the last moments [against DFM], we just had to keep calm and tell ourselves that ‘everything will be fine’. We played to the strengths of our composition and performed well to win the game.”
Saigon Buffalo was the shining light of what many considered a boring group stage. They made every game exciting with the highest combined kills per minute of 1.28 after Oracle’s Elixir.
They weren’t afraid to check their opponents, even T1. Nguyễn ‘Shogun’ Văn Huy, seen by many as just a “role player” on the road to MSI 2022, set the pace himself with the tournament’s first kill against Lee ‘Gumayusi’ Min-hyeong. He finished the group stage with a combined 35/22/35 KDA.
It was signature VCS aggression, but BeanJ said it should have been expected given the region’s notoriety.
“The VCS has always been known for its aggressive playstyle, so I don’t think it should come as a surprise to teams,” he said.
However, it shows that if Saigon Buffalo pushes the limits as a second seed, what damage could Vietnam’s best GAM Esports do?
“We’re only second seed, but we’re already in the top six,” said BeanJ. “You should wait for many surprises when the VCS goes to Worlds. The world should fear GAM.
“We silenced all the critics who doubted us because we were second best in the VCS.”
The group stage brought a lot of experience to the young team — which has an average age of just over 18 years old. Not only did they finally get international attention after two years of isolation, they also felt every cheer from the crowd.
The guidance of veteran Đặng ‘Bigkoro’ Ngọc Tài and head trainer Nguyễn ‘Ren’ Văn Trọng definitely helped, but the young Oxen were undeterred.
“We definitely feel a bit under pressure because we’re not only playing in front of an audience, but also in front of an international audience. However, this also gives us more motivation to play better and be more explosive,” said BeanJ.
“The most important [about Bigkoro and Ren] is that they help us to keep a very positive mentality and feel comfortable in the game. They ensure that we go into every game with 100 percent feeling.”
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Now with a harder Rumble Stage ahead with China’s RNG, Europe’s G2 Esports and NA’s Evil Geniuses in the mix, Saigon Buffalo has the writing on the wall according to some.
But similar to how they approached the group stage, they are taking it easy.
“If we have the skills, we will also advance to the knockout stages. If not, too bad, we’ll just go home.”
https://www.dexerto.com/league-of-legends/saigon-buffalo-beanj-vcs-power-msi-2022-world-scared-gam-1824362/ Saigon Buffalo’s BeanJ claims “the world should fear GAM” after MSI 2022 triumph