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Singapore’s Paper Rex are a VALORANT team known for bringing big personality to any stage they play on, particularly when it comes to their in-game leader Benedict “Benkai” Tan. He has delighted casters, spectators and fellow competitors alike with the costumes he wears when he walks out on stage at LAN events, and VCT Masters 1 this year was no different.
This isn’t a new tradition, either. Benkai introduced his antics to the world at Masters Berlin 2021, where he took the stage in double shirts for the first time and in a bathrobe, brushing his teeth for the second. His most recent international walk-outs have kept the trend alive, so we’ve decided to do the hard work of ranking them from worst to best.
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) September 15, 2021
4. Penguin suit
The penguin suit Benkai wore during PRX’s lower bracket match against The Guard was cute, especially when Benkai – still wearing it – hugged The Guard’s Ha “Sayaplayer” Jung-woo. Beyond that, it was probably a nice way to stay warm while playing, as stages at LAN events are notoriously chilly. His arctic attire probably made him feel right at home, since he and Paper Rex were the ones to send The Guard home in this match.
3. Skater boy
HE WAS A SKATER BOY HE SAID SEE YOU LATER BOY 😎🦖
— Paper Rex (@pprxteam) April 22, 2022
For what would be his final walk-out of 2022 Masters 1, Benkai rode a skateboard across the stage. Though it wasn’t as visually interesting or over the top as likes of the Viking costume or penguin suit, this still deserves a shoutout for the commitment to the bit and use of props. Benkai executes thoroughly on his jokes, even as he kept audiences guessing at what he’d do next for this tournament.
2. Viking costume
Dressing as a Viking for PRX’s match against Korea’s DRX is arguably one of the most complex costumes Benkai went for during this event. He had to wear the armor chest piece, horned helmet, and very scratchy looking fake beard, rather than a real or glorified hoodie.
1. Camera man
Benkai demonstrated the peak of his costume-based humor during the player walk-outs for PRX’s match against G2 esports in the Masters 1 playoffs lower bracket. G2’s Auni “AvovA” Chahade walked out, seemingly alone save for a camera man in a black hoodie and sweats. Said camera man followed AvovA as he stomped onto the stage, doing an exaggerated flex, before pivoting over to Benkai’s empty space beside the G2 player. He faced the camera, revealing Paper Rex’s IGL wearing a fake beard and flashing a peace sign.
This walk-out gag has to take the cake in these rankings because of the effort and collaboration that clearly went into it. Not only did Benkai come up with a clever way to re-use his Viking beard, he was able to get his opponent involved as well. This spirit of fun between competitors started this match off with impeccable vibes, and has kept Benkai as a fan-favorite when it comes to on-stage appearances.
As for Benkai, he revealed his personal favorite of these looks in a press conference.
“I think the Viking one,” he said. “The Viking one was the most thematic one according to the place we’re in.”