A first international title for DRX?

Formerly known as Vision Strikers, the Korean team DRX has never stood on the top step of an international podium. Rb, stax, Zest, BuZz, MaKo and Foxy9, undoubtedly the best players in their country, will once again attempt to lift the trophy at the LOCK//IN Sao Paulo. They are already one step closer to their dream with a win over BBL Esports, but must now beat Cloud9 to hope to achieve it.

Vision Strikers, Korea's first team

The DRX structure is young, but the players who represent it are regulars on the competitive scene. Before playing under this banner, the roster was known with Vision Strikers, the very first Korean team. In 2021, they even established themselves as the best team in the country, winning various Challengers as well as the Korean Masters.

Because of their regularity and their very good results, stax and his companions easily acquired a place for the Berlin Masters. First participation in an international LAN, and first frustration for the players. After having dominated the group phase, they were eliminated by Gambit Esports in the quarter-finals, finishing in 5th-8th place.

Photo by the Vision Strikers team

Thanks to its excellent performance throughout the year, Vision Strikers is at the top of the VCT points ranking. In doing so, it secures its place for the Valorant Champions. Here again, dreams of victory were dashed. Rb and his teammates were knocked out of the playoffs and finished 9th-12th in the tournament.

If the international results left something to be desired, the coach's objectives, termi, however, they were more than full:

Our priority at the moment is to create the best players in Korea and to be the best Valorant team in the country. In the longer term, we want to become the best in the world. We want to be respected and envied by all esport fans around the world.

Seon-ho "termi" Pyeon - Head coach of Vision Strikers and DRX

The DRX era begins

Vision Strikers has been remarkable, and has not gone unnoticed, either in Korea or by the world. On 7th January 2022, DragonX acquires the roster and changes its name. This is the beginning of the DRX era!

The team continues to dominate the Korean scene. It won, not surprisingly, the first Korean Challengers, crushing OnSla2ers 3-0 during the final. In the second Challengers of the year,they repeated the feat by beating Maru Gaming, and always with a perfect score.

It is a fact that DRX remains the best team in Korea. However, things get complicated again during the inter-regional competitions. At Reykjavik Masters, and then to the one at Copenhagen, the players survived the group stage before falling in the playoffs...

Once again, the roster enters Valorant Champions by taking the lead in the VCT points ranking in Korea. And again, the players achieve a clean sweep during the group stage, by successively beating FURIA, then 100Thieves.

After all these unsuccessful attempts, DRX were more than determined to take revenge on the international teams. At the start of the playoffs, they knocked off the European behemoth FunPlus Phoenix, before being sent to the lower bracket by LOUD. There, they eliminate Fnatic, then confirmed their domination over FunPlus Phoenix and advanced to the lower final.

Facing Optic Gaming, DRX proved to be a formidable force and even managed to cast doubt on the game after coming back from 0-2 down to a perfect tie. Unfortunately for them, the curse seemed to be real: the North Americans ended up winning and their hopes of victory were dashed.

Even though the Koreans missed out on the top spot, they reached the third step of the podium; an excellent performance compared to the previous year's results in the same tournament.

DRX wins against BBL Esports

Last September, Riot Games has revealed three new leagues, along with the thirty teams that will be playing in 2023. While some major teams, such as Optic Gaming, are absent, DRX has been given a place for the Pacific League. So the adventure continues and the dreams of international victory are maintained.

Like all franchise teams, the Korean team participates in the LOCK//IN Sao Paulo. It is even one of the favourites for this first LAN of the VCT 2023. DRX lived up to this status in its first match, by eliminating BBL Esports. Despite a defeat, 11-13 on Ascent, BuZz and his comrades largely dominated the match, winning Pearl 13 to 3 and 13 to 7.

While they are probably already looking forward to a first international title, DRX will first have to face several other teams. Cloud9 is in their way, so the task is not going to be as easy as all that...

If you want to follow this anthology meeting, go to VALORANT's Twitch channel, 18th February from 6pm.