Cloud9 yay picked battle sage on Pearl against Paper Rex. What’s next?
VCT LOCK//IN 2023 has 30 teams from across the world competing in Sao Paolo. The brutal single-elimination format means some of the best teams are already out of the tournament after playing one series. The Cloud9 vs Paper Rex match was one of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament, but eventually, it turned out to be a relatively easy 2-0 win for the Cloud9 super team. A surprise agent pick for Yay on Pearl, however, signals the player's transition away from his famed Chamber.
Coming into VCT LOCK//IN all eyes were on one of the most exciting matches of the event - Cloud9 vs Paper Rex. While one team had a returning core, the other roster was the NA super team with the best player of 2022 on board. The match did not live up to expectations but VALORANT fans got a glimpse into what they can expect from the superteam in the future.
In the post-match press conference, Cloud9 players and their coach shared their thoughts on Chamber’s role in the current meta.
He's just simply not viable anymore."
More flex roles for yay
The previous year was dominated by C9 Yay’s chamber. For fans, it was probably exciting to watch the former OpTic player completely take over matches with Chamber. But his dominance also meant he had less flexibility to pick other agents. When Yay picked Sage on Pearl today, it raised quite a few eyebrows. But it’s all part of a plan - a plan to get out of the Chamber jail.
While Chamber has not fallen off completely, the agent now needs a lot more effort to extract similar results according to yay:
"Even after nerfing for some maps, he's still pretty strong. And there is like a few new ways you can play him. I think you have like a lot more creativity now for some of the angles and some of the maps but he is still like a pretty drastic nerf. And like especially for like a lot of maps. He's just simply not viable anymore."
C9 yay on the transition to a flex role
Yay’s Chamber on Lotus ended with 255 ACS with 19 kills and 13 deaths. Speaking specifically about the mentality that will characterize him this year, Yay was clear about his expectations.
"It's good to start flexing but in terms of how I'm going to keep at it - I'm just going to need to continue to practice and work hard," said C9 yay. "Because even though I played some of those agents even before Chamber was released, something that happens is that (when) we just don't play an agent for so long, you can become like really rusty on it. So right now it's just to learn as much as I can try, learn what maybe some other people are doing, and then also implement my own style, my own ideas, and approach, along with, whatever my coach has in store.
So, just for now, it's just going to be kind of a transition period. I'm not expecting to have like just absolutely amazing results on every single agent. I think that's kind of unrealistic. But I think given enough time, I've always been a person who starts off a little bit slow. But as the year progresses, I always get better on those agents over time."
Cloud9 will face DRX next, an opponent whose playstyle is vastly different from Paper Rex’s aggressive double-duelist comp. The single-elimination format means every match is a do-or-die at VCT LOCK//IN Sao Paolo. All eyes are on Cloud9 after their dominant performance and the lingering question - ‘How fare will they go?’