Southeast Asia bowed out early from the VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) Stage 3 Masters tournament in Berlin, Germany after Singapore-based Paper Rex, the region's only representative present in the event, lost all of their matches in the group stage.
Paper Rex were seeded into Group A of VCT Masters Berlin alongside top Korean team Vision Strikers as well as European teams SuperMassive Blaze and Acend.
Paper Rex were swept by Vision Strikers in the opening match of the group last Saturday (11 September), sending the Singaporean squad to an elimination match against SuperMassive Blaze from Turkey on Wednesday (15 September).
Things were looking good for Paper Rex in game one of the series at Haven, as they managed to edge out SuperMassive Blaze, 14-12, in an overtime thriller. However, the Turkish team seemed undeterred by their narrow loss in game one as they absolutely dominated game two at Breeze, 13-2, to send the series to a decisive third game at Split.
The hard-fought first half of game three ended with both teams in a 6-6 deadlock. SuperMassive Blaze came out of the side switch with more vigor and went on a 7-4 run in the second half to claim a 13-10 victory in the decider and send Paper Rex packing.
With their loss, Paper Rex bow out of VCT Masters Berlin in 13th-15th place with US$10,000 and 175 VCT circuit points in consolation.
This early exit also meant that the Singaporean squad have missed out on a direct invite to VALORANT Champions, the final and marquee tournament of the 2021 VCT, by virtue of not having the required amount of circuit points at the end of Stage 3.
With that said, Paper Rex can still make the event through the Last Chance Qualifier for the circuit's Asia-Pacific region.
Two Southeast Asian teams were supposed to compete in VCT Masters Berlin: Paper Rex and the former Bren Esports roster from the Philippines.
The two squads punched their tickets to Berlin by claiming the top two spots in the VCT SEA Stage 3 Challengers Playoffs in August, which ended with Bren Esports sweeping Paper Rex in the grand finals.
However, Bren Esports were unable to attend the tournament due to visa issues, thus leaving Paper Rex as the sole representative for Southeast Asia in Berlin. The former Bren Esports roster parted ways with the organisation on 8 September then joined Team Secret on 9 September.
Paper Rex roster:
Aaron "mindfreak" Leonhart
Jason "f0rsakeN" Susanto
Benedict "Benkai" Tan
Khalish "d4v41" Rusyaidee
Zhan Teng "shiba" Toh