2021 got off to a rough start for Asian Counter-Strike as Paper Rex have become the latest team to withdraw from CS:GO, and make a switch to VALORANT featuring a six-man roster.
Paper Rex entered CS:GO in February 2020 with the signing of ex-dream[S]cape trio featuring d4v41, alecks, and Bobosaur. Throughout the year, Paper Rex signed various players and ended up with 2 Singaporeans, 2 Indonesians, and 1 Malaysian under their banner. The full lineup has remained together since September 2020 with the arrival of Tommy and f0rsakeN.
The disbandment comes one month after the team went on to find big success at eXTREMESLAND CS:GO Festival 2020 Southeast Asia, and as well as a runner-up finish at the ESL Season 35 Open APAC Playoffs in November last year. Therefore, Paper Rex CS:GO will not participate in the upcoming ROG Masters 2021 APAC.
READ MORE: ROG Masters APAC 2021 Announced
Paper Rex CS:GO followed the steps of multiple esports organizations who had decided to leave Counter-Strike to pursue more opportunities in Riot Games’ VALORANT, such as Absolute, Alter Ego, Global Esports, TEAMnxl>, Made in Thailand, and many more. With the shift, Paper Rex players will once again meet fellow top Asian CS players on the same server, such as Sha “ZesBeew” Mohtar, Tejas “Ace” Sawant, Kevin “dispenser” Te, and many more who made the move to VALORANT as soon as the game was released.
Chief Gaming Officer of Paper Rex gave his thoughts to CSGO2ASIA.com on the switch:
“At the end of last year, we spent a lot of time trying to figure out the games we wanted to be in for 2021, and we came to the conclusion that it would be best for us to leave CS:GO. This was not an easy decision – all of the people behind Paper Rex have a background in CS, and we are all very passionate about the game. Unfortunately, the region we are in is just not the best for running a professional CS:GO team, with low fan interest and limited opportunities to play big tournaments due to few qualifier slots allocated for Asia.
For VALORANT, we have a much more positive outlook. We believe that the game is a better fit for the region we operate out of, with more players, teams, fans, and better opportunities to prove ourselves playing tournaments. For now, we are all really excited to start working hard and see what the future holds for us in VALORANT, and we hope that at least a few of you that supported us in CS:GO will continue to support us on this new journey of ours.“
– Harley “dsn” Örwall, CGO of Paper Rex
Five Top SEA Talents Departed to VALORANT
The move would mark the end of a lengthy career of the five Paper Rex players. Kumaresan “Tommy” Ramani and Benedict “Benkai” Tan have been consistent figures in the Asian CS:GO scene since 2016 and 2015, respectively. The Singaporean duo’s long career as a player saw them play under various organizations, most notably represented the country at DreamHack Masters Malmo 2017 under the BOOT.dream[S]cape banner. The original Paper Rex players, Khalish “d4v41” Rusyaidee and Alexandre “alecks” Sallé, who has moved to the coaching-side in September last year, have decided to call it quits and make the switch over to VALORANT, ending their five and eight-year stint respectively in CS:GO.
Meanwhile, before their time with the Singaporean organization, Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart and Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto were most known in the local Indonesian scene for the time in BOOM Esports, in which they won GeForce Cup Pacific 2019 as the final trophy for the team. This move reunites the Indonesian duo with former BOOM Esports teammates in the same server yet in a different team, Nanda “Asteriskk” Rizana and Saibani “fl1pzjder” Rahmat, who are now playing for BOOM Esports and TEAMnxl>, respectively.
Other than the five newest addition from the CS:GO roster, Paper Rex will keep one player from the original Paper Rex VALORANT roster who reached runner-up place in TheGym Singapore Invitational in November last year, Jorell “Retla” Teo in order to create a six-man roster.
Paper Rex VALORANT roster now looks as follows:
- 🇮🇩 Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto
- 🇲🇾 Khalish “d4v41” Rusyaidee
- 🇮🇩 Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart
- 🇸🇬 Benedict “Benkai” Tan
- 🇸🇬 Kumersan “Tommy” Ramani
- 🇸🇬 Jorell “Retla” Teo
- 🇫🇷 Alexandre “alecks” Sallé (coach)
Cover photo courtesy of Paper Rex