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Spotlight: Bren Esports & Their Rebuilt Roster

If you’ve been following Filipino VALORANT, or Filipino esports for the matter, chances are you are familiar with Bren Esports. With so many accolades not only in Riot’s FPS darling but as well as in multiple esports titles, it’s impossible to dismiss Bren’s dominant presence in the Filipino esports scene. 

Even during VALORANT’s infancy, Bren was touted as one of the teams to always look out for. I mean, for a team who scouted for CSGO players surely they’ll be one of the best right? Well, the predictions weren’t wrong. In fact, Bren went on to dominate the scene (just like how their organization was known for).

However, Bren’s reign didn’t last for long as their former roster (composed of Jessie “JessieVash” Cristy Cuyco, Jayvee “DubsteP” Paguirigan, Jim “BORKUM” Timbreza, Kevin “Dispenser” Te, and Riley “witz” Go) all departed and went to Team Secret. 

Given the sudden departure of their former roster, Bren went into a rebuild mode. First, they got collegiate superstar Xavier “xavi8k” Juan, then fellow SunSparks teammate Joshua “JoshS” Miles Santos, and finally followed by Eroll Jule “EJAY” Delfin, Patrick “Derek” Lacson, and Zachary “BraiNfreeZe” Bajarias. They also picked up Yousef “Hotsauz” El-Yousef as an emergency substitute when they faced some problems right before the start of the season. Meanwhile, they also took See Wey “Evo” Kang as a coach who came from Kingsmen and was a former player for Resurgence.

With that said, we caught up with BraiNfreeZe and Coach Evo to talk about their team for the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Philippines Stage 1 Challengers. Here’s how the interview went:

What are your sentiments about the coming group stage in VCT 2022 where your group consists of Team Secret, Oasis Gaming, and Action PH? 

BraiNfreeZe: It’s going to be a tough group for sure. Regardless of either group, every team that made it to the group stage fought their way to be there. So I expect it to be full of hard matchups and good games. 

With two star duelists in EJAY and xavi8k, how did the team decide on the roles and team compositions to run? Has it changed before and after Coach Evo has joined?

BraiNfreeZe: Well, we have a lot of firepower between [EJAY and xavi8k] so having either of them on a duelist would have a great impact on the game. All I can say for now is that we’re gonna have them switch between the duelist and support roles on certain maps. When Evo arrived, he made sure our roles were a little more consistent. Before his arrival, a few of us would play 3 different types of agents (Controller, Initiator, Sentinel) depending on the map. He made sure that whoever was the initiator main they would [most certainly] play that role so they wouldn’t have to adjust.

Is there any pressure on the team carrying the Bren Esports banner, where the previous roster has made great achievements during their time in the organization?

BraiNfreeZe: I would be lying if I said there was no pressure, but it’s not as much as people think I guess. We’re a new team that started from scratch, we haven’t been teammates with each other ever in our careers except for Xavi and Josh. So I guess right now we just feel like we have something to prove as a team. 

With regards to VCT, there are aspirational goals and realistic goals. What are your goals for your current roster coming into VCT?

BraiNfreeZe: As for aspirational goals, going to Masters is definitely our goal. I’m confident enough to say that every team here wants to go to Masters. But realistically, we can go as far as we want to. Right now it’s just a matter of determination and how much work we put in. 

As Bren’s coach, are you looking to develop the team to play in the way you believe VALORANT should be played or will you guide the team to play how they want to play? 

Coach Evo: As I am still fairly new to coaching the team, the safer call for me would be to guide them on how they want to play. However, I will still give them my insights on how the game should be played on their terms to prevent them from going out of their comfort zones. In the future, there will be changes but we will stick to our roots for now. 

With the addition of Hotsauz to the roster, is the team looking to fully utilize the 6th-man roster (as with Vision Striker with Lakia playing on specific maps) or will they move to a pure substitute/support staff position? 

BraiNfreeZe: As of now, Derek is benched so Hotsauz will be playing for us as the 5th man throughout the tournament.

Anything else you want to say to our readers?

BraiNfreeZe: Thank you to everyone that has been supporting us since the start! I know we’re a fairly new team, but we’re still very thankful to everyone rooting for us.

Bren Esports will be facing off against Action PH, Team Secret, and Oasis Gaming in Group A of the VALORANT Champions Tour 2022: Philippines Stage 1 Challengers. 

The Bren Esports roster is as follows:

  • Players
    • Xavier “xavi8k” Juan
    • Joshua “JoshS” Miles Santos
    • Eroll Jule “EJAY” Delfin
    • Patrick “Derek” Lacson
    • Zachery “BraiNfreeZe” Bajarias
    • Yousef “Hotsauz” El-Yousef
  • Support Staff
    • See Wey “Evo” Kang (Coach)
    • Ishan “ggishan” Adolfo (Manager)
Daryll
Daryll
I love Pokémon GO as much as I love FPS, MMO, and MOBA games. I also write stuff.
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