Paper Rex look prime coming into VCT Pacific playoffs with successful double-duelist strategy

Using Jett and Raze on most maps has led to success for Paper Rex.

Out of all the crazy compositions that the Pacific region usually brings to the VALORANT scene, Paper Rex are the ones taking them and making them work both regionally and internationally. In a meta where double controllers are consistent across almost all maps, Paper Rex are instead going with double duelists instead. Thanks to a key signing and their trademark aggressive play style, theyre still one of the best teams in the East.

So much of Paper Rex revolves around their duelists, and fans have seen that ever since they saw their great international runs in 2022 at Reykjavík and Copenhagen. With Jing Jie “Jinggg” Wangs extremely aggressive Raze gameplay and Jason “f0rsakeN” Susantos Yoru shenanigans, they quickly became known as the W-gaming team because they wouldnt stop playing aggressively and overwhelming their opponents.

Their start to the year was a bit off, though. After a disappointing close loss to Cloud9 at the LOCK//IN tournament, they came into regional play with some worries. They started 2-2, with losses against DRX and Team Secret, leaving fans worried that the successful Paper Rex might have been a thing of the past. As it turned out, they just needed some time and a key roster swap to get the ball rolling.

Joining the team after their second match, Russian duelist Ilya “something” Petrov seemed like a weird signing for a team that had two good duelist players at first. But then, as Paper Rex started to get consistent with their lineup with something on Jett and Jinggg on Raze, it all started to click. Something also replaced Benedict “Benkai” Tan on the roster. A bold call to say the least, as Benkai was their long-time IGL, but it led to the composition that worked best with their playstyle.

Ever since somethings introduction, Paper Rex has almost exclusively run double-duelist compositions. In fact, the only map that they havent tried double duelist on yet is Ascent, one of the few maps that allows for teams to run no duelists whatsoever. On every other map, from Fracture to Pearl, Paper Rex has gone double duelist. They have even used unique duelists on maps where Jett or Raze dont get value, from f0rsakeN on his signature Yoru against DFM to even Reyna on Bind against RRQ.

Related: Paper Rexs newest addition has something up his sleeve with surprise Reyna pick in VCT

It all might feel like pure chaos, but to Paper Rex, its just using their skills in the best way possible. Something, much like Jinggg and f0rsakeN, has that same ability to just run into fights and get value, especially with his staple Shorty kills in Jett smokes. Plus, since the team is used to playing around aggressive players, his style suits Paper Rex perfectly. Heading into the playoffs, something is second in match rating across the entire region according to VLR, firsts in kill/death ratio at 1.35, first in average damage per round at 157, and tied for first in kills per round at 0.85. Add a region-leading 31-percent clutch success rate on top of all that, and you have something (literally).

One stat that really shows how this team works is their assists per round, or really, the lack of assists. Aside from smokes player Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart at 0.42, each player from the Paper Rex roster has a weirdly low assists per round number. That is, until you realize that their goal isnt to set up kills with utility the same way double controller comps do; it’s to blast enemies to oblivion and rely on the fact that they arent as quick to your plans as you are.

Now, the only question is will this double-duelist, pure aggression style work in the playoffs? Its worked enough that the team rose from 2-2 to 7-2, and with that second seed locked up, Paper Rex starts in the upper bracket semifinals. They will face the winner of T1 vs. Gen.G, two teams that have their own challenges to overcome. If they can keep their form up, theyll most likely be fighting against DRX for the top seed in VCT Pacific.

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