NAOS Esports continues journey to Valorant glory

Michelle Lojo - Philstar.com
NAOS Esports continues journey to Valorant glory

MANILA, Philippines — Settling for second place in the local league of the Valorant Challengers Tour (VCT PH) Stage 1 and bidding an early goodbye in the Asia Pacific Challengers, NAOS Esports craves a win as it prepares for the coming VCT PH Stage 2.

Speaking to Philstar.com, NAOS Esports captain Oscar “Kakarot” Farin Jr. bared having mixed feelings on representing the country in a regional tournament for the first time. 

"[I felt] happy and sad at the same time. Happy, because it is one of my dreams to represent the Philippines on a regional stage, and sad because I know we could have done better," Farin said.

Players Shaun “blurred” Maglasang and Emmanuel “jEEE” Buenavidez were proud of what they had accomplished as a team while teammate Franz “kvzx” Dingal also had mixed feelings due to the pressure on their shoulders.

"I felt happy, but at the same time there was a big amount of pressure representing the Philippines in a Big Regional Tournament," added Dingal.

Indeed there was pressure in part due to last year's successful outing of Philippine representative Team Secret, which not only won the Stage Three regional tournament but managed to reach the top eight of Valorant Champions 2021.

With such a tough act to follow, NAOS Esports hopes to win APAC in Stage Two and also make it to the Valorant Champions.

With NAOS being one of the newer teams in the Valorant scene, Buenavidez believes they still have to work on several areas of improvement.

"We’ve had our chemistry. We click as a group no doubt to that, [though] we’ve only been together for a short time. We have a lot of room to improve. A big learning curve [but] it will only make us much more dangerous as a team," he explained

Dingal and Maglasang agree that the strength of their team is the chemistry among the players but need to be more consistent which is what they are working on.

Comparing last year’s local Valorant scene to this year, the team sees a more competitive and steadily improving year with more teams, players and organizations joining.

"The local scene right now is so competitive with a lot of organizations building a roster, and there are a lot of veterans and also a lot of young bloods with lots of talent that makes this scene grow stronger than ever," said Farin.

Team Secret, formerly Bren, had been consistent in all three stages of the local VCT last year with most of the same teams qualifying for the final rounds of the tour. This year saw Team Secret reaching the playoffs by a slim margin, bidding goodbye to the tournament early on having been outplayed by new teams who entered the qualifiers.

"Valorant has been steadily growing here in the Philippines. Performance-wise, we will be back on the international scene. There is a huge improvement in every team since last year’s VCT," added Buenavidez.

NAOS Esports will once again see action in Stage Two of the Philippine leg of VCT. Having placed second in the previous stage, they immediately qualify to the group stages taking place from May 11-22. Matches can be streamed via the channels of the Philippine Pro Gaming League (PPGL).




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