Sometimes, a little trash talk goes a long way to adding hype to an esports matchup. But in Paper Rex’s short-lived rivalry against Evil Geniuses at VALORANT Champions 2023, the two teams didn’t hold anything back on and off the server.
Throughout their upper bracket series yesterday, for example, they both participated in some friendly banter while shooting each other’s dead bodies. In fact, some fans on the VALORANT subreddit counted how many times both teams BM’d each other in this manner and started up a counter that racked up to a hilariously high amount.
Starting off on the first map, Paper Rex and Evil Geniuses shot each others’ fallen corpses 21 times, according to Reddit user AntelopeFew7415, with the Pacific representatives posting one more body shot than their North American counterparts.
Although some spectators believe this was too toxic, other fans loved the playful nature that both teams maintained, even though this was one of the biggest series of their year so far. They kept their cool and played at a high level while still managing to BM a bit for the fans—and maybe to get into their opponents’ heads as well.
These interactions also prompted immediate reactions from the casters and the audience in Los Angeles and helped build a whole narrative and rivalry between these two fun-loving squads.
There were some repercussions to these actions, though. In a post-game press conference, Paper Rex confirmed they were given a warning from Riot Games officials for their actions, including the body shooting and the teabagging. But for most of the players, these actions were never done in a serious manner and were just for fun.
“Honestly, I don’t really like it when they teabag,” PRX head coach Alexandre “alecks” Sallé said. “They get carried away, and I usually tell them off in practice if they start doing this. But I guess because EG doesn’t mind, why not?”
Paper Rex are set to compete in the Champions 2023 grand finals on Aug. 26.