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When it came to predicting who would make it out of the VALORANT APAC Last Chance Qualifier, amateur Thai team FULL SENSE were scarcely at the top of anyone’s list. They’d finished fourth in the most recent Southeast Asia Challengers tournament and, with seasoned teams like F4Q and DWG KIA in the mix, it didn’t seem likely that a team like FULL SENSE would make it very far. 

In fact, their standings begged the question whether the FULL SENSE members themselves even expected to make it out of LCQ.

“No,” was Chanitpak “ChAlalala” Suwanaprateep’s answer to that question. “Not at all.”

Regardless, make it out they did, and now they’re headed to the first VALORANT Champions as representatives of Thailand and Southeast Asia alongside X10 CRIT. Throughout the tournament, FULL SENSE only dropped one match against Northeption in the upper bracket finals; a loss that they successfully exacted revenge for in the finals. It was an impressive feat for a team that had placed fourth in Southeast Asia Stage 3 Challengers just two months before LCQ.

“During Stage 3 Challengers, the members were all in such bad shape that we didn’t expect anything,” said Kititkawin “PTC” Rattanasukol, the team’s flex player.

So, how did the team end up making it after all? According to ChAlalala and PTC, expectations were tempered all around, with the team ready to just take each match as they came. But a semifinal victory against South Korean team NUTURN Gaming, who had previously gone to Stage 2 Masters: Reykjavík, gave the team a sudden burst of hope.

“When we won against [NUTURN], it boosted our confidence,” ChAlalala said. “After that win, we got our spirits up and took the competition even more seriously, with more rigor.”

From that point on, FULL SENSE began improving in real time. Japanese team NORTHEPTION knocked them out of the upper bracket in finals, but FULL SENSE were able to meet them again in grand finals and win in a close 3-2 series. In the grand finals, at first, it seemed like history would repeat itself, but FULL SENSE continuously adapted as the match went on. By the time the fifth map, Haven, rolled around, it seemed like FULL SENSE had their opponents’ numbers. After finishing the first half down 5-7, FULL SENSE went 8-1 in the second half, winning the finals and punching their ticket to Champions.

The victory was due to a combination of individual skill and team cohesion. Ace Jett player Chanawin “JohnOlsen” Nakchain was impressive all tournament, racking up kill after kill, but flex player PTC’s wide agent pool was the key to FULL SENSE’s versatility. He played five different agents across the five maps of the LCQ finals; two Initiators, two Duelists and even a Sentinel. He was able to change up his playstyle seamlessly depending on what was required of him on each map and was a crucial factor in the team’s ultimate success.

“Our star player is different in every round,” ChAlalala said. “For me it would be PTC or JohnOlsen, depending on the map.”

Southeast Asia has historically been a region capable of producing world-class individual talent, though its teams have struggled on the international stage. In VALORANT Champions, there will be three Southeast Asian teams on display, with FULL SENSE having defeated the top teams in Japan and South Korea to make it through. Being a representative of the region means a lot to them, according to ChAlalala, and they hope that they can use the opportunity to showcase the region’s talent to the world.

FULL SENSE were the underdogs in APACC LCQ.
FULL SENSE were the underdogs in APACC LCQ. | Provided by FULL SENSE

As for the other teams in Champions, FULL SENSE definitely aren’t shying away from the challenge. When asked which teams they most want to face off against, PTC selected Team Liquid because JohnOlsen’s idol is FPS legend Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom. Similarly, Elamrahim “LAMMYSNAX” Khanpathan said he is eager to face off against Team Envy’s Austin “crashies” Roberts and Jaccob “yay” Whiteaker.

Just from the way the FULL SENSE players interact with one another, it’s clear they’ve formed close bonds and are completely comfortable playing together. Buoyed by a fun-loving attitude and momentum-driven playstyle, FULL SENSE have the potential to massively surprise come December. They’ll be in the same group as powerhouses Vision Strikers, Fnatic and Cloud9. This means expectations will be low — but, as we know, that’s never stopped them before.

“Thank you very much to all the fans for keeping up with us and supporting us,” said Team Manager Sorawit “Joke” Nakkasem. “We’ll do our best. And,” he added, laughing, “for international fans, if there are any sponsors out there, please contact us. We would really appreciate sponsors on our team.”