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At 31 years of age, Jessie “JessieVash” Cristy Cuyco has seen a few things in his time as an esports player across DOTA, Overwatch and now VALORANT. At his first VALORANT event with his new organization, Team Secret, JessieVash and his teammates made history as the first South East Asian team to qualify for the knockout stage of VALORANT Champions — and were then quickly followed by X10 CRIT.

While he did exit the tournament a series later, losing 0-2 to Acend in the quarterfinals, he said he had a happy experience and was just glad to be at the event after missing out on VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 3 Masters Berlin due to travel restrictions.

“We are really pleased to be here,” JessieVash said in a post-match press conference. “Finally, we have time to show our FPS skills, the Filipino FPS skills, and I hope that next year it will continue.”

JessieVash’s esports career

A participant in the first DOTA 2 The International, he said the this loss was different than the prestigious Valve event. The first TI was a direct invite and he did not have time to practice before the event, mainly due to his region’s high ping playing the new game. He compared losing with Team Secret at the first major international VALORANT tournament to losses later in his DOTA 2 career at similarly tiered events in Asia.

“I think every Philippine team will improve a lot by watching champions now and by watching us. It’s possible for us to compete with the rest of the world.” JessieVash said.

But with their elimination, Team Secret will return home or to their families. JessieVash said he will go to Italy to be with his wife and child, and hopes to continue to play for Team Secret come 2022.

As for the other SEA team at Champions, JessieVash said he thinks they have a chance at beating Masters Berlin champions Gambit Esports. X1o beat North America’s Envy to qualify for the quarterfinals.

“I think everyone have a chance right now,” JessieVash said. “We played against Vikings that almost beat Gambit and we also beat Gambit on one map and I think X10 have a pretty good chance since they have the momentum they want after beating a stronger team. I think they have a chance.”