Paper Rex reflects on how the entertaining Valorant Masters run “exceeded expectations”.

Paper Rex finished fourth at the Valorant Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters Reykjavík after losing to ZETA DIVISION in the lower bracket. But her run will be remembered in a tournament full of firsts.

In a tournament steeped in Cinderella tales and historic runs from teams from previously neglected regions, Paper Rex and his group of multinational players stood out as a team that brought a sense of lightheartedness to the event.

While their exit wasn’t as entertaining as their on-stage performances, Benedict ‘Benkai’ Tan made every strike a must-see entertainment, Paper Rex proved that their fast and loose playing style was just as workable as any other species, to play the game.

“If anything, I think we’ve confirmed that our style of play isn’t like flash in the pan, like you can only win a game,” Paper Rex coach Alexandre Salle told a post-game press conference.

Paper Rex celebrate a win at Valorant Masters together
Lance Skundrich/Riot games

Paper Rex defeated The Guard and G2 Esports in their lower bracket run.

While Paper Rex was hoping for a deep run, according to Benkai, the goal wasn’t to win the Masters Reykjavík trophy.

“I think we honestly exceeded our own expectations,” said Benkai after the loss to ZETA DIVISION in the lower division. “Initially when we came here, we were like, ‘Oh damn yes, baby top eight.'”

“You know, that kind of feeling. But every result that came after that was a bonus for us and I think while we’re feeling quite disappointed at the moment, at the same time we know we should be proud of what we’ve been able to achieve.”

Paper Rex handles pressure by not piling it up

f0rsakeN smiles as he takes the stage
Lance Skundrich/Riot games

F0rsakeN was a central part of Paper Rex’s run at the Masters.

Paper Rex are true W warriors when it comes to their Valorant playstyle. It’s Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto and Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie often runs towards the enemy as soon as the starting walls fall in both defensive and offensive rounds.

In order to successfully play Valorant in this way, Paper Rex treats the tactical shooter like the game it is and tries not to put too much mental energy into the gravity of it all.

“Having fun is a big aspect of how we bring our mentality to these competitive games and I feel like we would focus on just being like a serious team all the time and really looking at that as a job and too forgetting that we’ when we play a game, I don’t think we would be able to get the kind of results that we get,” Benkai said.

“Because it’s just a game at its core, right?”

The team was also excited just to see each other in person. Due to global health conditions and the logistics of having players from three different countries compete on the same team, Paper Rex only see each other when they qualify for major LAN tournaments like Masters.

Whenever f0rsakeN sees his teammates on a LAN, he first gives them a welcoming fist bump and then a big hug.

“I’m always very happy to see them again after a long time as I really enjoy their company outside of the game,” he said.

Boot camps are also rare for the team for the same reasons. While some teams can develop a personal connection before big events, Paper Rex needs to gain that ground as it prepares for the game.

“I think that we can all see each other again is great because we only see each other at events like this and coming here is really nice to build chemistry for the team because we get to interact with each other in real life,” said Benkai.

Fans could see the team on a big stage again

Benkai on stage with beanie and skateboard in hand
Lance Skundrich/Riot games

Fans could see more of Benkai at future Masters events.

The Singapore-based team exceeded their expectations for this event, but they have yet to meet their annual goal.

The team wants to keep meeting in person and improving towards Valorant Champions.

“We just want to participate in every LAN [Riot Games] will happen this year, as will Masters and Champions.” Paper Rex player Aaron “Mindfreak” Leonhart said.

They’ll have to wait a while for their next chance at a LAN, but if they do, fans can look forward to faster-paced play, benkai shenanigans, and fun matches. Paper Rex reflects on how the entertaining Valorant Masters run “exceeded expectations”.

Emma Bowman

Emma Bowman is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Emma Bowman joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with Emma Bowman by emailing

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