In a stunning opening at the Valorant Game Changers 2023 in Sao Paolo, Brazil, Team SMG, the sole representative from the Asia Pacific region, made waves on its first match with a remarkable performance that stole the morning’s spotlight.
Renowned as one of APAC’s top contenders, SMG, boasting an impressive 34-match win streak in APAC Game Changers event, faced high expectations from the entire APAC Valorant community as they entered the VGC 2023 arena. However, their formidable challenge on day one came against Evil Geniuses GC, a powerhouse among North America’s elite female Valorant teams.
With fans anticipating a cautious approach against the formidable EG, SMG surprised everyone with an unconventional draft decision that bordered on trolling. Fielding four duelists—Neon, Reyna, Raze, and Phoenix—accompanied by only one defensive agent, Cypher, SMG embarked on a risky strategy that defied logic.
As the first game unfolded, SMG left spectators in awe by not only matching but surpassing the aggressive playstyles seen in any previous VCT competition. Despite lacking the role for initiating flashes or stuns, the Malaysian secured an impressive 13-3 victory on Lotus and succesfully capitalizing on their momentum to clinch game 2 with more strategic draft picks.
While viewers hailed SMG’s game one performance as a tournament highlight and a strategic breakthrough, the team’s ace player, Odella “enerii” Abraham, downplayed the excitement, attributing the unconventional draft to a miscommunication that led them to believe it was a rehearsal.
“We thought it was a rehearsal, and then we picked four duelists, and after we realized it was a mistake,” she stated. “It’s our mistake, so we have to follow through with it. We accepted it was our mistake, and we just kept playing.”
With a challenging match against former champions G2 Gozen on the horizon, the victor will advance to the Upper Finals of the VCT Game Changers Championship 2023. All eyes are on SMG as fans eagerly anticipate another surprises they might unveil in this highly-anticipated showdown.