How Gen.G overcame their struggles and became champions at VCT Pacific

At VCT Masters Shanghai, Gen.G made history as the first Pacific and South Korean team to win a major Valorant tournament. They battled not only their opponents on the server, but also the demons from their past.

The South Korean team comprises primarily of FPS veterans from the region, many of whom have a background in Counter-Strike or Overwatch. The team’s coach, Kang ‘solo’ Keun-chul, is an acclaimed FPS player and was a member of the initial Korean squad to achieve significant success at a Valorant Masters tournament.

Despite it being before the start of the 2024 season, every member of Gen.G, including the rookie Kim ‘Karon’ Won-tae, was determined to prove their worth on the Grand Final stage.

Seeking redemption after their respective 2023 seasons, Kim ‘t3xture’ Na-ra and Byeon ‘Munchkin’ Sang-beom faced disappointments. t3xture was unable to qualify for an international event with Global Esports, while Munchkin struggled to make an impact at the highest level of play with T1.

David Lee/Riot Games

Both Kim ‘Lakia’ Jong-min and solo had just finished a season in Challengers Korea, a significant drop from their previous success in 2021. The only remaining member from the previous year, Kim ‘Meteor’ Tae-o, possessed the necessary abilities to compete at the top level, but lacked any significant accomplishments to showcase his talent.

Karon, who had never played on a LAN stage prior to January 2024, was determined to show that he was more than just a skilled player in online rankings.

“Upon joining this Korean roster, I quickly realized that we were a determined group of individuals, all eager for an opportunity to showcase our abilities. This drive motivated us to push ourselves and put in maximum effort. As our coach, Kim ‘HSK’ Hae-seong, often reminds us, we never slack off.”

Crumbling in Madrid

Gen.G made a swift entrance onto the global scene when they surprisingly dominated the VCT Pacific Kickoff tournament, effortlessly defeating top contenders Paper Rex and DRX to secure the top spot for Masters Madrid.

Although Madrid only had a few teams, it was home to popular fan-favorite squads such as Karmine Corp, EDward Gaming, and Sentinels.

Despite the distractions from the European crowd, Gen.G persevered and were rewarded with a spot in the Grand Finals.

Hara Amorós / Riot Games / LVP / lag

Despite their rigorous practice schedule, the team was still unprepared for the overwhelming sense of anxiety that came with repeatedly making mistakes at the final hurdle.

“According to solo, the series highlighted our weak mentality rather than any other factor. Our numerous mistakes seemed to exacerbate the situation, leading to a loss of control and amplifying our problems. These issues ultimately resulted in our defeat to Sentinels 3-2 in Madrid.”

After the defeat, the team was clearly disappointed as they shook hands with the Sentinels. Nevertheless, Solo reminded both his teammates and fans during a press conference after the game that there were still more matches to be played in the season.

He stated, “We will make sure to acquire as much as possible from Madrid.”

Heretics or Demons?

No one was going to underestimate them at this event.

Despite the Korean squad’s smooth progression through the Swiss Stage, other teams such as G2 Esports, 100 Thieves, and Team Heretics began gaining attention for their impressive plays and unexpected success.

Team Heretics, specifically, was the unexpected success story of the tournament. Despite having a substitute player and having to switch their Initiator to a Duelist role, the EMEA team did not falter. In fact, this change only made them more formidable. Mert ‘Wo0t’ Alkan seamlessly adapted to his new role as a Duelist and by the time Heretics reached the Grand Finals, he had already accumulated nearly 400 kills.

With Wo0t leading the way, the team’s two other young talents, Benjy ‘benjyfishy’ Fish and Enes ‘RieNs’ Ecirli, appeared unstoppable as they made their way to the Mercedes-Benz Arena.

For a moment, it seemed that not even Gen.G could prevent them from succeeding.

The team entered the fourth map of the series in the final best-of-five of the tournament, trailing 2-1. Despite taking early leads, they continued to make small mistakes throughout their games on Icebox and Ascent.

Despite the passing of three months, Munchkin made sure that the team did not forget what they had learned.

David Lee/Riot Games

He stated that after removing Ascent, the map that we were most confident in, we made an effort to boost the morale of our team and maintain our confidence. This was to prevent a repeat of what occurred in Madrid.

Despite facing their demons, the team persevered in the final two maps and prevented the Heretics from gaining momentum. The European wonder kids were limited to only eight rounds in the last two games, a testament to the hard work and progress exhibited by both t3xture and Meteor over the past two years.

“t3xture expressed that his emotions were indescribable after finally lifting the Masters Shanghai trophy, which he had been pursuing for a long time. Despite the challenges and difficulties he faced, he acknowledged that it was all worth it in the end. He also took the opportunity to thank his mother, as he had not been able to see her for two years due to his intense practice and determination to achieve the trophy.”

Thanks to Gen.G’s unwavering determination and countless hours of practice, VCT Pacific earned its inaugural Master trophy.

“There will be no tears shed tonight, I refuse to cry today,”t3xture declared.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *