Singaporean VALORANT team Paper Rex have won Galaxy Racer’s VALORANT India Invitational Championship title after defeating Spain-based Team Heretics 3-1 at the Grand Finals on Sunday (20 November).
The first day of the US$100,000 prize pool tournament was riddled with production issues and a 4-hour delay.
However, despite this, Paper Rex performed well during the Group Stage, finishing with a 2-1 standing after defeating Godsquad 13-7 but losing to fellow Singaporean team Bleed eSports 13-6.
The Singaporean team bounced back with a solid 13-1 against BOOM Esports, allowing them to secure a slot in the Playoffs after finishing with a tie against Bleed eSports.
At the playoffs, Paper Rex faced Filipino Squad Team Secret, where they won the first round 13-9 on Pearl.
Secret, however, fought back, resulting in a 13-8 win against their opponents on Icebox and forcing a third-game decider at Ascent. Paper Rex eventually won the series after defeating Secret 13-6 to move on to the Grand Finals.
On the other hand, Team Heretics were the dominant team in Group A, looking very strong with two consecutive wins against SEA team Rex Regeum Qeon and Indian team Enigma Gaming.
However, Secret won against Heretics 13-6, resulting in a tie with the Filipino team after both teams finished 2-1.
Heretics then swept Bleed eSports 2-0, beating the Singaporeans squad 15-13 on Icebox and 13-8 on Bind to secure their place in the Grand Finals.
How the Grand Finals went
Shorter delays in between matches would persist until the Grand Finals, but fortunately, the teams didn’t have to wait for more than an hour for their matches to begin.
The first round took place on Bind, where Team Heretics started strong, winning 2-0.
However, Paper Rex's Aaron "mindfreak" Leonhart finished off Team Heretics in an ace to win their first game of the round.
Jason “f0rsakeN” Sunsanto’s presence of mind then allowed Paper Rex to take down their opponents twice to even out the score.
The Singaporean team’s momentum continued in Game 3, letting them finish the first half 9-3.
Heretics, however, did not back down, taking two more wins up after Paper Rex’s 10th win to close the gap.
— Paper Rex (@pprxteam) November 20, 2022
However, with their backs against the wall after Paper Rex took the 11th win, Team Heretics changed up their pace and nearly caught up to their opponents, after four consecutive wins that brought their score to 9.
After Paper Rex won their 12th game, Heretics went for scrappy plays to outplay their opponents and won two more games, closing their score to 11-12.
The Singaporean squad then decided to go aggressive for their final game, easily taking down their opponents after F0rsakeN found crucial information on the positions of Team Heretics players.
With only two members left, Paper Rex successfully defused the Spike and won Bind with a 13-11 score.
Paper Rex reach match point
The second round took place on the Fracture Map, where Paper Rex went on an aggressive slaughter against Team Heretics to win the first game.
Mindfreak on Harbor continued to shut down their opponents, allowing his team to win three more games against Team Heretics.
The European team continued to struggle against Paper Rex's aggression until the fifth game, when they finally overtook Paper Rex 6-5 with clutch plays from AvovA.
Still, Paper Rex managed to even out the first half of the round, 6-6, with f0rsakeN taking control of the 12th game.
The second half favoured Team Heretics, with Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt taking control of the map to allow his team to take seven consecutive wins against Paper Rex. This allowed them to win the second round 13-6.
The third round was on Breeze, with both teams hungry for kills. Team Heretics struggled against the well-coordinated gameplay of Paper Rex on the defence, who were ahead of them 9-5 in the first half.
The Spanish team found their way back after the Singaporean team’s 11th win, taking four consecutive games again, and closed the gap 9-11.
But after a tactical timeout, Paper Rex found their footing and shut down Team Heretics after their 10th win.
With f0rsakeN finishing off zeek to deliver the final blow on Team Heretics, Paper Rex won the third round 13-10 to take their team to match point.
The fourth round was played on Ascent, where Team Heretics started strong as attackers 6-2, though Paper Rex bounced back to close out the first half 6-6.
The Singaporean squad then decided to move around the map on the 13th round before committing to the crossfire.
This strategy paid off, allowing their team to set up for flanks and take out Heretics in a clean ace twice to equalise their score 8-8.
Paper Rex continued this momentum, successfully planting spikes and denying comebacks from Team Heretics.
With cheeky plays from f0rsakeN and mindfreak closing out the final game with a clean kill, Paper Rex won the fourth round 13-8, and with it, the VALORANT India Invitational Championship and US$50,000.
Meanwhile, Team Heretics bow out as the competition’s second runner-up, taking home US$20,000 in consolation.
Paper Rex Roster
Aaron "mindfreak" Leonhart
Jason "f0rsakeN" Susanto
Benedict "Benkai" Tan
Khalish "d4v41" Rusyaidee
Wang "Jinggg" Jing Jie
Patiphan "CigarretteS" Posri
Team Heretics Roster
Wassim "keloqz' Cista
Óscar "mixwell" Cañellas Coloch
Aleksander "zeek" Zygmunt
Ričardas "Boo" Lukaševičius
Auni "AvovA" Chahade
Anna is a freelance writer and photographer. She is a gamer who loves RPGs and platformers, and is a League of Legends geek. She's also a food enthusiast who loves a good cup of black coffee.