Team Secret’s BORKUM spoke with Esports.gg after their quarterfinals loss about whether Secret considered Champions a success, and the journey they took to get there.

It was a good run for Team Secret and Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza at VALORANT Champions. Despite low expectations, they took maps off some of the best teams in the world, including Gambit and Team Vikings, en route to a quarterfinals appearance. While they’d ultimately go down to Acend 2-0, it was a promising result.

BORKUM spoke to Esports.gg after the game to discuss what went wrong against Acend, whether they considered the result a success, and the journey the team went through to get here.

Answers have been edited for clarity and grammar.

BORKUM celebrates winning an earlier group stage game. (RIOT GAMES/Michal Konkol)

Shawn “Germanicus” Heerema, Esports.gg: Can I get your overall thoughts on the game today?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: I think they were just better today, you know? They had better sleep I guess, they had better food, and I don’t know. But I know we had it coming in Icebox and we fell short. They have momentum in, I think, the first five rounds they have the momentum, but we know that if we win one or two rounds, they’re on an eco, then we will come back, and get five or six before the half. And that’s what happened, and they got the whole game on Icebox and Breeze. It’s all about momentum. They had it.

Another part of this loss was that Team Secret lost every pistol round today. What do you think went wrong there?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: The reason for the pistol round losses I think is because of some clutches. Especially in Icebox second half, witz knew Sova was low, but Sova just got lucky and he headshot witz, and I don’t know.

Despite the loss, you managed to take maps off some very good teams this event and progess to the quarter-finals. Are you satisfied with your team’s performance this event?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: I think we didn’t expect too much because we’re the underdogs in this tournament, and this should be our second time around in Berlin, but this is the first time and we showed them.

We showed them our own playstyle and how we play in this tournament and we’re so proud. And for my teammates, I’m very proud to have them with me. When playing with my teammates we’re just all-in, you know? All in and against all odds here.

BORKUM gives Secret’s perspective

You guys were in a bit of a slump regionally before coming to VALORANT Champions. How did you dig yourselves out of that hole?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: I think the main focus was VALORANT Champions. I think that moment we had a slump because we were just playing online, I guess. I think coming in this together from online to playing at the hotel together was just a push to us, boosted the team, you know?

We had a slump, and that’s online, and I think it’s hard to fix things when online. If you’re together, you can pinpoint what’s missing, ‘what can we do next round’, but online I think some had a hard time focusing. But the main focus was VALORANT Champions and we don’t care about losing any local or international tourney, except VALORANT Champions.

BORKUM on-stage in a group stage match. (RIOT GAMES/Lance Skundrich)

What does it mean for you guys to have represented the Philippines at such a high level?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: It means a lot for us, because we like to represent the Philippines, and all our Filipino supporters are all out to support us. I think every one of them is happy for us just to be here, you know? They don’t care if we win or lose, but they will still support us in different ways.

From being unable to attend Masters Berlin to falling down a little bit and now making playoffs here at Champions. Can you describe Team Secret’s journey and mindset over the last few months?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: The last few months, at Masters, we were having a watch party and watching Masters 3 Berlin, and we were thinking about how we could do better at that time. And everyone’s new, and everyone’s hyped after the Reykjavik, Iceland Masters. But unfortunately, we didn’t make it, and we just needed some motivation after that. We tried to focus on VALORANT Champions after we qualified for Champions.

Some conclusions

BORKUM speaks with Esports.gg after Team Secret’s loss to Acend. (RIOT GAMES/Jianhua Chen)

Both you and X10 CRIT made playoffs at VALORANT Champions. Does that mean we can officially say that Southeast Asia is better than North America?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: [laughs] I think, in playstyle, I guess. Because Southeast Asia would like to aim well, play together, but C9 is chaotic and strategic. From Southeast Asia, we just want plain and simple. I think right now, at least, Southeast Asia is better. There’s a bright future for us.

Who do you think are the favourites to win Champions?

Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Team Secret: I think Acend. It’s our pleasure to have to play against them and to be their scrim buddy. The first two-three days, we scrimmed a lot with Acend, and we’re just happy to be here and playing here and playing against them. I think Acend is the better team in this tournament.


Stay tuned to Esports.gg for the latest VALORANT news and updates, and full coverage of VALORANT Champions Berlin.

Shawn

Shawn "Germanicus" Heerema

Writer of the Month: August | Twitter: @GermanicusCVIII

A writer from Niagara, Canada, Shawn covers VALORANT, League of Legends, and PUBG. He previously wrote for THESPIKE.GG and is a journalism student at Ryerson University. He has also been accredited press for Worlds 2021 and VALORANT Champions.