One of the biggest changes Paper Rex underwent at the start of the inaugural VCT Pacific franchised season is the addition of Ilya “something” Petrov. His inclusion affected two players: Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto and Benedict “Benkai” Tan.
PRX head coach Alexandre “alecks” Sallé explained that due to role clashes, Benkai sat out for the majority of VCT Pacific and the entirety of Masters Tokyo.
Since something is a duelist main (who also plays Breach on Fracture), f0rsakeN too had to adapt to the refreshed roster. Their Jett and Chamber staple — and our favorite Yoru player — expanded his agent pool to include Harbor, his most played agent this season, as well as Cypher and Skye.
What’s more, due to Visa issues, the team had to readapt again at Masters Tokyo — Patiphan “CGRS” Posri replaced something as their initiator. Altogether, the team had a total of 10 days to get him situated, alecks told press.
In an exclusive interview with ONE Esports, f0rsakeN shares how he feels about all the changes that have happened, their rivalry with DRX, and the gap between VCT Pacific and Masters Tokyo.
PRX f0rsaken is here to contribute and be the ultimate team player
How PRX keeps innovating against DRX over and over again
Paper Rex played against DRX once during the VCT Pacific regular season, a second time in the upper bracket semifinal, and a third time in the grand final where they momentously reverse swept their rivals 3-2. At Masters Tokyo, they met them for a fourth time in the upper bracket quarterfinals where they swept them 2-0.
Despite the favorable results, f0rsaken still deems them as Paper Rex’s “kryptonite.”
“Their team is very strong, and they counter strat very well. We always get pressured against them because their utility combo is insane,” f0rsaken told ONE Esports. “But I trust my team that we can beat them.”
More recently, his teammates have echoed that DRX are too predictable, to which Byung-chul “BuZz” Yu agreed. Despite this, PRX still had to come up with new strategies so that they can’t be countered.
“In this game, I have a lot of ideas. I can make a lot of strategies in my mind. I search for things, I imagine doing different things and understand what’s good and bad for us,” he said. “I always like to make new strategies, so I think it’s fine!”‘
His positive attitude towards role swapping, IGLing, and overcoming challenges at Masters Tokyo
Going from VCT Pacific to Masters, f0rsaken felt that “the gap is quite big.”
“As you can see, Masters teams have a lot of different playstyles, so we have to adapt more than playing in Pacific. EU and NA all play totally different styles,” he said.
Besides adapting at a team level, he too had to lean into his flex role a lot more due to roster changes, which wasn’t difficult because he doesn’t have personal preferences.
“Even before I changed to this role, I’ve always told coach alecks that I could be in a flexible role as well. I don’t always have to play duelist,” f0rsaken shared. Even though it’s different, he’s been enjoying it because there’s more opportunities for him to clutch. “You don’t have to entry, try to kill one or two, and then die. I like this role.”
Executing on a different role has also given him a deeper appreciation for his teammates and their team dynamics. “The support role is important to duelists because as duelists, they have to focus on their aim first before they talk, so trust is the key factor,” he said.
Trust is something Paper Rex has valued since their establishment, and it reflects in the way the team plays: all players give their input without a fixed, designated IGL. This tournament, with all the changes that have happened, f0rsaken has pushed himself to step up more on this front — and for good reasons.
“I’m totally different when I don’t make calls. When I talk a lot, I play better,” he said. “I think that’s better. I bring my ideas to my team. If they agree, we do it. If they don’t agree, then we don’t do it. Sometimes they just cancel the plan because I think it is too much when I call.”