On the third day of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2023 LOCK//IN Brazil tournament, Talon Esports eliminated local Brazilian team MIBR in a 2-0 fashion. Despite losing one of their star players for the tournament due to wrist surgery in early January, Talon Esports showed exactly why this core was known for underdog runs in international LANs.
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That star player who couldn’t show up, Patiphan “Patiphan” Chaiwong, was filled in by duelist player Apiwat “GarnetS” Apiraksukuma. But, before they even stepped into the server, Talon Esports had a walkout wishing luck to Patiphan in his recovery. They all had papers with Patiphan’s face on them, walking out to wave while all sharing their teammate’s face. Not only did they show appreciation, but they had to work around that sudden departure.
“I think in terms of changing plans, of course, Patiphan was one of the main players,” Thanamethk “Crws” Mahatthananuyut said. “We came a bit unprepared but had a lot of practice coming into the game.”
A great debut for garnetS, a great game for Crws
Despite making his international LAN debut in this series, garnetS was quick to impress. There were plenty of times when he made crucial plays or decisions that were key to round wins, surprising for a rookie.
While garnetS was new to this feeling, some of his teammates aren’t. One of the best examples of this was the best performer across both maps, Panyawat “sushiboys” Subsiriroj. As Killjoy on both maps, sushiboys continued his strong international form on Talon Esports, helping eliminate MIBR from the LOCK//IN tournament. While the crowd was against them for most of the game, as it came to an end, there even were some cheers for the Talon team.
“Towards the end, we even got some support and the crowd started cheering for us too,” Crws said. “The crowd was really nice.”
Another experienced player is Crws, who had to make a big change heading into this tournament. In previous years, his role was mostly initiator agents like Breach and KAY/O. Now, with the roster changes and Patiphan’s injury headed into 2023, Crws took up the smokes role for the team. It couldn’t have been a better start for him, dominating on Haven as Omen with creative lurks and clutch shots.
“I’m going to be the main controller of the team and I’m pretty comfortable with it,” Crws said. “It isn’t much of a hassle for me, but it can lead to messier games. Three of us are mixing roles, so that’s the hardest part.”
MIBR happy with their LOCK//IN performance against Talon Esports, but want to get a trophy
With this fight over, Talon Esports moves on in the VCT 2023 LOCK//IN tournament while MIBR leaves it winless. Despite the crowd cheering them on, they just couldn’t top the international experience that Talon brought to the series.
“The pressure today came from the fact that this was the first international LAN tournament we had together,” said MIBR coach Matheus “bzkA” Tarasconi. “I think we did a good job. I see a strong roster and strong staff, and I see that we can take a trophy home in the long term.”
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Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.