Filipino squad Bren Esports has emerged as one of the clear favorites, after displaying an impressive performance to start off their VCT SEA Challengers Playoffs campaign.

Bren Esports sent their Southeast Asian rivals, BOOM Esports, to the lower bracket after taking two clean map victories at the start of Day 2. The Filipino squad dominated BOOM with wins on Haven and Bind that resulted in a 13-3 round score.

All players from Bren’s roster notably did their part, making each victory round look seamless. There were minimal mistakes as Bren capitalized on BOOM’s indecisiveness with their own aggressive plays.

Bren’s new addition, Riley “witz” Go, was a key factor in the team’s success. By having both Skye and Sova on their team, Bren knew exactly what BOOM was up to. They used this information to plan timely rotations, and even set up aggressive flank plays to take things up a notch.

The star of the match was Bren’s team captain, Jessie “JessieVash” Cristy Cuyco, who earned MVP honors on Haven for his 20/7/8 KDA and 366 ACS performance. During the following game on Bind, JessieVash finished with a 17/6/7 KDA and 261 ACS score.

After Bren’s win, team coach Gilbert “Gibo” Sales Jr. told ONE Esports that the team’s improved performance was because of their new squad member. “In my opinion, witz has been a huge help to the team because we are now able to use agent compositions we’ve always wanted to run.”

Witz has a CS:GO background, and was his team’s designated AWP player. He then made the switch to Valorant with NG.Blue, which was later acquired by Made in Thailand. 

Gibo shared that during witz’s time with MiTH, he was asked to play the Initiator role. So when he joined Bren, they requested that he main Skye. The team unanimously believes that she is an important agent in the current Valorant meta.

Unfortunately, though they put up a valiant effort, Paper Rex proved to be a handful for Bren Esports, as the latter lost their match 1-2. Nonetheless, in the final game, Bren notably forced overtime, and was consistently giving their opponents a difficult time.

During their post-match interview, Paper Rex’s Benedict “Benkai” Tan admitted, “We weren’t prepared for the kind of pace Bren was running.” 

He noted that Bren’s pushes were a particular challenge. “Their attacking side was the harder part. The match boiled down to adjusting to their pace.” Benkai also praised Bren as “the hardest team [they’ve] faced thus far.”

Bren Esports could go up against either NXL, CERBERUS Esports, or CBT Gaming in the lower bracket quarterfinals. Meanwhile, Paper Rex advance to the upper bracket final where they will face X10 Esports.

Check out the VCT SEA Challengers Playoffs site to stay up to date on the latest news.

READ MORE: Complete match results for the VCT SEA Challengers Playoffs