APAC powerhouse team Paper Rex had a shortlived VCT LOCK//IN tournament run, losing to North American squad Cloud9 2-0 on the second day of the event.

The high-stakes elimination match was filled with clever new strategies, including some noteworthy Sage wall plays you might want to try in your next ranked game. 

PRX used the first game of the match to showcase their creative side. They opened the series by picking Lotus, Valorant’s newest map that was recently added to the competitive map pool. However, C9 took a page out of PRX’s playbook and went for aggressive plays, which ultimately gave them the upper hand in the three-spike site map.

New Sage wall plays from Paper Rex on Lotus

Cloud9 versus Paper Rex at VCT Lock In Day 2
Credit: Riot Games

PRX and C9 had nearly the same agent compositions on Lotus with Omen, Skye, and Chamber picked. Aside from the surprise appearance of Chamber – the sentinel agent that dropped out of the meta after the massive nerfs from patch 5.12 – PRX also picked Sage for their IGL, Benedict “Benkai” Tan.

The APAC squad used Sage’s Barrier Orb wall to get unexpected vantage points against C9’s aggressive pushes. They also used the ability to create new paths on site pushes.

In the first two rounds of the game, C9’s Neon rushed from A site to take control of the A door and A rubble area. To counter this, PRX boosted Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto’s Chamber to get a quick pick-off with the Operator at the start of the round.

In the fifth round, Benkai used a Sage wall to boost himself to the elevated section of the C site. With Jing Jie “Jinggg” Wang‘s Raze flying into the site using his Blast Packs, and the rest of PRX swarming in, PRX avoided the enemy Cyper’s Trapwires on their entry.

C9 made an adjustment and placed another Trapwire to counter PRX’s Sage wall boost play. However, the APAC squad avoided it completely when they used Skye’s Trailblazer to activate the Trapwire.

Another creative usage of Sage’s Barrier Orb was when PRX walled off a section of the B site to secure a spike plant. The wall gave them enough cover to stick the plant, but they weren’t able to stop C9 from defusing the spike.

The last useful Sage wall we saw PRX use was when they were on defense. On the 14th round, C9 took control of the C site and planted the spike. In order to see over C9’s Omen smoke, Benkai boosted himself by placing the Sage wall on top of the high platform at C hall.

Despite their creative play, PRX couldn’t stop C9 from taking control of the map. Cloud9 took a convincing 13-8 win on Lotus, followed by a clear-cut 13-4 win in the following map on Pearl.

Cloud9 is now set to face Korean powerhouse squad DRX in the next round of the playoffs. The two teams will face each other on February 18, 9:00 a.m. PST | 5:00 p.m. GMT | 2:00 p.m. BRT | February 19, 1:00 a.m. GMT+8.

Valorant fans can watch the matches live on Riot Games’ official Twitch and YouTube channels.

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