DRX stax spoke with the media after the teams dominating 2-0 win over Japanese region champion Northeption

In what felt like Deja vu, South Korea titans DRX opened up another VCT Masters facing the Japanese representative and showing off their gargantuan skill. With a 2-0 win over Northeption and +15 round differential, it brought back memories of the dominating win over Zeta Division at Reykjavik. 

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK – JULY 10: Teams Northeption and DRX greet onstage after their match at the VALORANT Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters Group Stage on July 10, 2022 in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

As the story goes, Zeta got their revenge on DRX later on in the playoffs, eliminating them en route to a third place finish. DRX’s star Initiator, Kim “stax” Gu-taek, spoke to the media after the Northeption win on facing the Japanese region again and overcoming the pressure of expectation.

DRX stax on the added pressure of expectation

“Obviously, there is some pressure on because I know a lot of fans back in Japan were really excited to see them play despite all the pressure,” said stax in a post-match interview. “I’m always happy to play against the Japanese team and I know it’s not over for them just yet. I hope the best of luck for them and hopefully we face each other towards the latter half of the tournament and go to playoffs together”

In classix stax fashion, he shows a grace and appreciation for his opponents and especially the Japanese region. It continues a trend since Reyjavik where DRX and Zeta displayed a comradery, despite being rivals in the server. However, DRX understands that winning in groups doesn’t erase the doubt and only adds pressure. Stax and his teammates aren’t focusing on that added pressure and looking towards improving.

“Although I’m aiming for the top seed and winning it all,” said stax. “But, as a team, we’re trying to get some weight off our shoulders and not be pressured so much, maybe let us have some space to be more competent. So, this time we’re here to play without any pressures.”

DRX Continue to put up huge KAST numbers

Based on this result, DRX hasn’t lost a step since Reyjavik. It’s a roster with five dangerous players that can win aim-duels, but more importantly, play as a team. No team, whether that be Internationally or domestically, matches them in terms of KAST%. Against Northeption, DRX ended with a staggering team KAST of 83%, showing an ability to stay alive and play off one another.

We’re trying to get some weight off our shoulders and not be pressured so much, maybe let us have some space to be more competent. So, this time we’re here to play without any pressures.

stax

For stax, it’s all about not allowing for unreasonable deaths. It’s clear in the DRX approach that they’ll avoid taking bad engagements and always play to their advantages. 

“Not losing any unreasonable deaths mindset even when its 1v5 situations,” stax said on DRX’s high KAST, “we try not to give any advantages to the opponent and I think that mindset is what makes a good team which results in a high KAST”

Stax on the possibility of facing FPX and ardiis

The DRX narrative is a world-class team unable to get the big win later in tournaments. Expectations remain sky high for the team entering their fourth Masters event dating back to their Vision Strikers days. Now, one win away from getting back to the playoff stage, DRX will either face their scrim partners XERXIA or one of Europe’s strongest FPX. 

(Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)

“We’ve faced XERXIA several times during our scrims so I’m not super excited or curious about facing XERXIA, whereas FPX we’ve never encountered them and I know they’re one of the strongest teams in the EMEA region. So, I’d rather face FPX and experience them and play against them.” 

Furthermore, stax is cautiously excited about the prospect of facing FPX Initiator Ardis “ardiis” Svarenieks. Similarly to his interview at Reykjavik, stax saw the size and girth of adriis and is reconsidering any friendly trash talk. 

“I remember moving out of his way and I just want to be friends with him. So yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do any trash talk, I just want to be friends with him.”

DRX stax

“I’m not going to trigger him because he’s so big and huge,” said stax. ”I remember moving out of his way and I just want to be friends with him. So yeah, I don’t think I’m going to do any trash talk, I just want to be friends with him.”

DRX will play the winner of FPX and XERXIA on Tuesday July 12th at 6AM PST.

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Blake Van Poucke -

Blake Van Poucke

| Twitter: @TokyoDown

Blake Van Poucke is a Valorant writer at esports.gg. He found esports through the early days of MLG and the Super Smash Bros Melee scene. He's been competing and writing about esports dating back to 2008. He has written for several publications and wishes to return to in-person esports events in 2022