With competitive VALORANT still in its infancy, there are few players who have been on as many top teams as Patryk “paTiTek” Fabrowski. After playing on G2 Esports and Team Heretics, the 22-year-old Pole now finds himself on Excel Esports, a team that is fielding a new international roster.
Excel recently qualified for the brand new VALORANT Regional League in Northern Europe, alongside teams like TENSTAR, KOVA and Alliance. Even though paTiTek and the team are happy, the feeling is a bit bittersweet. VRLs are better than nothing, but there’s no top team that doesn’t want to play at the highest stage, the VALORANT Champions Tour. After falling short in both qualifiers, Excel were denied that opportunity for the first season of the VCT.
“It was rough,” paTiTek said. “You always want to qualify to the biggest leagues and play with the best teams. It’s not even about the money or the league itself.”
In the first qualifiers, Excel were eliminated early after losing to the newly formed KOI. According to paTiTek, the team lost to their own mistakes as they were still trying to find their footing.
“The first qualifiers didn’t go as we expected it to go,” he said. “Coming into the second qualifier, we felt really confident because we knew what we were capable of. I think it showed because we had a pretty good showing.”
Welcome to the team! 🤝 pic.twitter.com/7fRLCE68QD
— EXCEL (@EXCEL) January 10, 2022
Excel made a much deeper run in the second week, making the Closed Qualifiers just within grasp of a VCT slot. They were sent to the lower bracket by G2 Esports before losing to LDN UTD in the elimination match. Falling just shy of the goal is never ideal and the team took the loss hard. Still, they bounced back, took the qualifiers as a learning experience and set their sights on the Northern Europe VRL.
“We went into the qualifier pretty confident that we would qualify, but not overconfident,” paTiTek said. “There weren’t many teams that could create pressure on us.”
Now that they’ve qualified, Excel are taking things step by step and focusing on improving their gameplay. PaTiTek says that Excel have great chemistry, both inside and outside of the game, and that it’s just a matter of slowly building themselves up. SO what about going against TENSTAR, KOVA, Alliance and the rest of the VRL teams?
“The other teams that qualified for the VRL are not that scary compared to the VCT teams, but they’re still good,” paTiTek said. “So I’m not taking anything from them because obviously I don’t want to sound overconfident. I don’t wanna say we’re going to smash everyone 3-0, 2-0 and we’re going to f*ck the whole league and qualify for the VCT promotion tournament.”
Ultimately, VCT promotion will be the goal of all the VRL teams. That said, paTiTek and Excel are going to make the most of the regional league itself. The level of competition will be high as “everyone is going to try-hard,” as paTiTek puts it. The team plans to use the experience to keep pushing themselves to new heights.
“We know that we can be a Tier 1 team and we know that we can deliver, but we just need time,” paTiTek said.
The Northern Europe VRL regular season begins on Feb. 14.