Recruiting Showcase at PAX East Recap
Following the high-stakes Helix qualifier in Foxborough on Friday, Stay Plugged In headed back to PAX this past weekend, this time for PAX East at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center in the heart of Boston, MA. The $7,500 Valorant Stay Plugged In Recruiting Showcase at PAX East took place on Saturday, April 23rd and featured ToozyVal, the winning team of the Helix qualifier. The ToozyVal roster, made up of reece, Harmony, toozy, Ecrudox, and Rexgator earned $600 for placing first on Friday, along with an auto-bid into the top 8 on Saturday. You can check out the full summary of the Helix qualifier here.
The day kicked off with the pregame show, featuring Helix qualifier MVP Harmony and the true flex IGL reece of ToozyVal in a friendly 2v5 Spike Rush Challenge against the PAX Arena staff. Although it wouldn’t be their biggest challenge of the day, or any challenge at all, really (sorry PAX Arena team), it certainly served as a sneak peak of what the full house at PAX Arena would get to witness over the course of the day.
The open bracket began in the background of the pregame show, as teams lined the PC pit at the front of the PAX Arena. Their goal was simple: Win one best-of-one match and join ToozyVal in advancing to the top 8 bracket. That being said, when PAX attendees passed by and saw a majority of these games headed to overtime, “simple” probably wasn’t the best way to sum up the first round. The first team that reached the top 8 bracket via an OT win was Iron 1, who found ToozyVal as their Quarterfinal match. The teams met backstage, and then walked out to a cheering capacity crowd for the first official broadcasted match of the day.
Icebox was the in-game battlefield chosen following the veto process, simply a strong metaphor to portray Iron 1’s strong start coming in warm against a cooled off ToozyVal team who’s last true full squad reps came the night prior in the qualifier. Despite dropping the pistol round and force buying in round 2, ToozyVal proved that they were the team to beat early, as they were able to equalize the scoreline at two after four rounds. Following that round, ToozyVal only dropped one more round in the half. Their secret? A methodical step-by-step push onto the B-site and excellent Viper (Ecrudox) utility to shut down sightlines on the retake. Iron 1 couldn’t find an answer for it. Once ToozyVal extended their lead to 10-3 on the second half pistol round, the map was all but secured. The perfect close out on defense saw ToozyVal advance to the Semifinals by the final score of 13-3 over Iron 1.
SNHU Esports didn’t seem quite as intimidated by ToozyVal when they ran into each other in the Semifinals. As a rare full team coming in, as opposed to the many free-agent teams, this was to be expected. Prior strategies for all maps can be utilized. Teammate tendencies are already recognized and respected. So when SNHU jumped out to an early 3-1 lead, not too many were caught off guard by it. ToozyVal didn’t seem to be either. They were fresh off a decisive victory in their Quarterfinals matchup at the same map in Icebox. Two flawless rounds back-to-back brought back some life into the Helix champs, finishing the streak of rounds at seven in a row to climb to 8-3. SNHU would dig deep to grab one round back before the switch on an excellent retake on B-site, and they used the momentum to push into the second half with two rounds in a row. SNHU eventually pulled to within one round at 8-9, fighting off a few ultimates from the defenders, and eventually taking advantage of the save round by ToozyVal. This would be the closest SNHU would come to ToozyVal though. Thanks to a solid 26/12/5 KDA from Harmony, efficiency of Viper utility by Ecrudox, and the ridiculous 15 assists by their captain reece, ToozyVal won 13-8 to advance to the final.
After making quick work of their Semi Finals matchup which ended in a 13-1 final score and an in-game last round knife battle for the fans, Skull Emoji x7 advanced to the Best-of-3 finals against ToozyVal, riding a 22/5/6 KDA performance from slayte. Both teams had secured $2,500, but were eyeing the $5,000 first place check as they loaded into Breeze for map 1. ToozyVal shut down the confidence of Skull Emoji x7 pretty quickly, tearing through the map by winning 10 straight rounds after round 3. slayte, who had excelled as Breach in the previous match wasn’t quite as impactful on Chamber, the relatively new and frequently used frag-heavy sentinel. It can be quite tough to match a previous victory when Harmony of ToozyVal dropped 28 kills featuring three aces including the map winning round.
Skull Emoji x7 brushed off the 1-13 map-to-forget on Breeze and moved to Haven, the only map that ToozyVal had dropped over the course of their two day run. This map had a completely different feel to it from the start. The Skull Emoji x7 group was playing for their tournament lives and it definitely felt like it. A 4-2 lead to begin the map for Skull Emoji x7 showed that they felt confident on defense on a sizable map which is tough to lock down when defending the three sites. Despite the strong start, ToozyVal did what they have been doing all tournament long. It takes a couple of rounds to scout, analyze, and restrategize based on their opponent’s play-style on a map. Once adjustments are made, the round wins pour in one after another for ToozyVal. Six rounds in a row gave them an 8-4 lead to close out the half. A need-to-win pistol round was taken for Skull Emoji x7, and their advantage in the economy allowed them to hang around, and through round 17 they were back within 1. The comeback would ultimately fall short, as toozy of ToozyVal picked the right time to have his map of the tournament, leading the KDA charts in map 2 and receiving assistance from the 3k of reece in the final round to secure the victory.
ToozyVal are your 2022 Stay Plugged In PAX East Recruiting Showcase Champions, earning a grand total of $5,600 over the weekend for collegiate opportunities! A weekend to remember for the team and all teams who were able to compete for attending recruiters. A big thank you to all participants and to the PAX Arena team for their support in providing such an incredible platform for these players to compete!
Click here for a full event recap, including pictures, video content, and more.