The 21-year old star Jett player from Zeta Division, Dep, spoke with me after the win about their steady improvement, finding a higher level in the rematch against DRX and the Japanese fanbase
History and precedent are being shattered all over VCT Masters Reykjavik and Zeta Division, the Japanese VALORANT representative, is doing most of the shattering. Led by a team philosophy of togetherness, the young and dangerous Zeta has shown the mechanical skill necessary to compete but also the composure and game sense to win it all.
The 21-year old star Jett player, Dep, spoke with me after the win about their steady improvement, finding a higher level in the rematch against DRX and the Japanese fanbase
“I’m honestly just really happy” said Dep after the win. “I think we are improving as a team in terms of adapting to the other teams strategies within the game.”
Zeta Dep on pulling off the miracle upset
Zeta Division started their run at VCT Masters Reykjavik winning five total rounds in two maps against DRX. The same DRX from South Korea that Zeta sent home today with a surprising 2-1 victory. In the present, Dep points to the overcoming of nerves and becoming comfortable on stage.
“Biggest thing is we freed up the nerves that we had initially in the first series, and coming this far into the tournament, we have built up a confidence that has allowed us to perform at our full potential. But, it’s also a big support to our coach and our analyst.”Zeta Division Dep
Zeta coaches adjusting on Split and Icebox
The rise of Zeta is built from the ground up, starting with the coaches. The adjustments in the tactical side of the game from head coaches “XQQ” Hibiki Motoyama and Yuya “JUNiOR” Sawada, shows in their executions and gun rounds. After losing 88% of their full-buys in the opening match, Zeta came out today firing. Winning 64% of their full-buys and limiting the explosive playmakers on DRX in bigger buy rounds.
Furthermore, the map specific performances from Zeta improved by leaps and bounds. For instance, Icebox, a map Zeta got dismantled on in their first matchup with DRX, started with an 8-4 defensive sided half for Zeta. Despite a quick flurry of rounds from DRX in the second half, Dep on Jett and Ushidi “Laz” Koji found constant picks out of defaults and slowly overwhelmed DRX to close it 13-11. Zeta hasn’t lost on Icebox since their opening match (3-1 record)
On Split, a map Zeta struggled with against Ninjas in Pyjamas and G2 Esports, there was a clear adjustment in how the team was taking space on the map and forcing DRX into disadvantageous engagements.
“So, we had confidence in Split to begin with. We just needed a little bit of fix-ups and the combinations of utilities and the timings,” said Dep post-game.
The passionate Japanese fandom
Moving onto the massive Japanese VALORANT fan base, the East has taken the viewership during VCT Masters Reykjavik by storm. In Japan, the match was being played into the early morning. The stream still retained close to 60k viewers on the main Japanese VALORANT channel. Add on another 45k on popular streamer fps_shaka‘s channel and the numbers start to add up.
“I’m just really thankful for the fans,” said Dep. ”I really feel the push from all of my fans that cheer us and make our win for them. When I bring back the experience that I have achieved here in this tournament here to Japan, I really believe this will raise the competitive bar in the Japanese region”
For Dep, he wants to harbor an esports ecosystem that inspires one another through a level of competition and respect. The love between Zeta Division and DRX is well documented on social medi. There’s a mutual admiration between the organization and players.
“Having this relationship, especially with teams that are abroad, is very important for my own sake, first of all, because I can really learn from it and also for the region as well. We get to learn a lot of things from scrimming the other teams abroad, so we really want to continue this relationship and build more relationships with teams abroad”
The Tsunami heading towards Zeta Division
Zeta Division will have the pleasure of facing a familiar opponent in Singapore’s unorthodox Paper Rex. The winner will move onto the lower bracket finals, which is uncharted territory for these regions. Dep was looking forward to a potential rematch with G2, but was excited at the prospect of facing Paper Rex
The hype begins on Friday, April 22nd, at 1pm PST.