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After VCT PH triumph, JA, South Built out to conquer Asia-Pacific region


By: Paolo R. Trinidad

South Built Esports had a horrendous start to its VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Philippines Challengers campaign.

To kick-start, its campaign, the agents from the south fell at the hands of Zeal Esports via a tough 0-2 sweep. South Built showed signs of improvement in its second match against Looking for Org, but eventually went down through a tight 1-2 affair.

Then, to cap the dreadful opening week that saw them drop to a 0-3 slate in Group B, South Built Esports absorbed another 0-2 beating, this time at the hands of NAOS Esports.

Johnty “JA” Arone and the rest of the squad knew that something needed to change in order to revive their playoff hopes. As rough as it was, the team sat down and talked with each other prior to the second week.

From there, the team quickly licked its wounds and made sure to limit its mistakes in order to have a fighting chance in securing one of the three playoffs slots in the four-team group.

“Yung first week namin sa group stage medyo malas talaga nung time na yon. Kumbaga bad week e,” JA told Tiebreaker Times.

“After naming ma-0-3, nag usap kami about sa mga mistakes namin na dapat di na maulit kasi kailangan namin makuha yung wins para makapasok sa playoffs.”

The meeting proved to have paid off as they were able to fix their errors to complete their final push to qualify for the playoffs. When the dust of the group stage finally settled, South Built – which won two of its last three games – tallied a 2-4 standing, good enough to barge into the next stage.

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Just like in the group stage, the squad’s playoff journey was not picture perfect. There, the team dropped to the lower bracket after losing to NAOS Esports anew in the semifinals via a 0-2 sweep.

But again, just like in the group stage, South Built managed to keep their composure for a crucial push.

The team clutched their remaining games in the lower bracket, beating Oasis Gaming in the second round of the losers’ bracket, 2-0, before taking down Action PH in a thrilling 2-1 fashion to enter the grand finals.

In the finale, South Built Esports faced a familiar foe in NAOS Esports. Both squads faced off twice prior to the finals and the latter came out victorious both times. Aside from that, the young and hungry NAOS Esports have yet to drop a single series in the playoffs.

But in the end, the defending VxV Champions showed that they are the more experienced team, leading by as much as six at the half in Game One. However, the 9-3 curse caught South Built as they dropped Map One, 13-11.

After the tough defeat, South Built bounced back and won Game Two in their own version of a 13-11 victory. They also took Game Three, 13-8, as they try to close the series in four.

Come Game Four, South Built was once again up 9-3 at the half. But this time, the veterans made sure that there would be no comebacks as they closed the big stage with a 13-8 victory. South Built Esports won the grand finals with JA leading the way for his team, finishing with a game-high 28 kills and a high 374 Average Combat Score.VALORANT-Champions-Tour-2022-Philippines-Challengers-SBE-Finals After VCT PH triumph, JA, South Built out to conquer Asia-Pacific region ESports News Valorant  - philippine sports news

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“After ng first map, nagusap-usap kami na kailangan mag-mental reset kasi hindi pa naman tapos ang laban,” said JA.

“Alam namin na kaya naming maipanalo lahat kasi hindi kami papayag na basta-basta na lang kami matatalo. Naiadjust namin agad para hindi na ma-9-3 curse sa final two games.”

With the championship at hand, JA said that he still has bigger plans for him and his team.

“Excited ako sa APAC (VALORANT Champions Tour Asia Pacific Challengers) playoffs. Gusto ko makapag-champion sa APAC at makuha yung slot sa VALORANT Masters.”

The reigning champions South Built Esports, together with NAOS Esports and Action PH all qualified for VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Asia Pacific Challengers as Philippines representatives this March.

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