DRX stand alone with spotless VCT 2023 record, maintain map win streak with win over PRX

The Korean squad has a perfect record across four weeks of play.

Photo by Angel Franco/Riot Games

Week 4 of the VCT Pacific League kicked off in Seoul with a huge match between the two most experienced VALORANT teams in the Pacific. DRX, Korea’s top team, took to the stage with a perfect record, while Singapore’s Paper Rex has been looking worse for wear so far in 2023. Though this matchup was one earmarked by analysts and fans, DRX won 2-0 and kept their stats sheet squeaky clean.

PRX continues to have issues finding their form this year, despite a significant roster change that was predicted to give them even more firepower. Once more, something played for the team this week, but his overall presence was underwhelming.

DRX chose Ascent as the first map of the day, a place where the team has historically shined. The map started off rough for their opponents.

PRX struggled heavily on their defense, even though they theoretically should have had an advantage due to the nature of the map. The team seemed to be struggling to play in a more controlled style, which went against their strategies of the past.

They looked weak on the offense, too, as something was not playing up to the standard fans had been expecting; meanwhile, rookie Foxy9 continued to plow through his enemies with ease on the other side. Once BuZz caught something red-handed with his knife out, it was time for PRX to look forward to Split.

Though DRX ended up taking Ascent 13-5, one positive from PRX lied in f0rsakeN proving that he doesn’t need to be in a duelist role to make an impact. With the inclusion of something into the roster, one of PRX’s duelist players has had to make a transition to a new role. The team previously tried playing three duelists at once in week three, with disastrous results. Today, f0rsakeN showed that he can play with the same consistency he is known for on a different agent, topping his team’s scoresheet while playing Killjoy on Ascent.

But DRX still took the first map, with a bit of banter mixed in.

PRX chose Split as the second map of the match, which seemed like a clear choice. Though DRX hasn’t lost a single map yet in VCT Pacific, Split was where they have been contested the hardest. Back in week two, India’s Global Esports shocked everyone by pushing DRX to double overtime on the map.

PRX shuffled their roster around again, taking out their usual in-game leader Benkai in favor of putting Jinggg back in the mix and letting d4v41 call the shots. Despite his rough performance on Ascent, something remained on stage to play the second map.

In contrast, Foxy9 has been impressive through VCT Pacific so far, hyped up as DRX’s secret weapon. The young player not only has incredible mechanics and reaction times but also great mental fortitude. Even when he makes a mistake, he bounces back just a second later as if nothing happened.

PRX wouldn’t go out easily, and the second half of Split was one of their best showings so far in the Pacific League. This was almost entirely due to f0rsakeN and something finding their rhythm. D4v41 also seems to be getting more comfortable filling the in-game leader role each time Benkai is substituted out.

But at the end of the day, it is just all too clear who the best team in the VCT Pacific League is. DRX took Split 13-10 in another close contest, keeping their perfect record.

DRX is now the only team left across all three VCT leagues to maintain a perfect map differential. Though there have been some close calls, the squad hasn’t dropped a single map since LOCK//IN.

Next week, DRX is set to face the only other team in the VCT Pacific League that hasn’t yet lost a match: Gen.G. Though Gen.G are new to the Korean VALORANT scene, they have performed exceptionally well so far in 2023, and many are predicting they will slot easily by DRX’s side as the Pacific’s number two roster.

DRX will play Gen.G next week, on Apr. 22 at 7 AM CT.

About the author
Nadine Manske

Nadine is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. She covers VALORANT and Overwatch with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region and marginalized genders in esports. Before joining Dot Esports as a freelance writer, she interned at Gen.G Esports and the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her favorite Pokémon is Quagsire.