What do you get when you combine a bunch of passionate dreamers, a state-of-the-art training facility, and a fierce ape as a mascot? You get Orangutan, one of the most exciting esports organizations in India. Orangutan was born in 2021 with a vision to create a brand that showcases the talent and potential of gaming in the country. They have invested a lot in the Game Changers scene to ensure that their team in Valorant is one of the best in the region. As they are about to head to VCT Ascension in Bangkok to represent India, let’s take a closer look at the team and the organization that went from the underdogs to the best team in India.
Building the team
It’s worth noting this journey wasn’t an easy one— Orangutan were trying something new. In the start, they intended to make a team comprising of players from South East Asia. That experiment didn’t go as planned and hurt the organization more than they felt it should have. The end result was the disbanding of the entire team in 2022. The main issue was the timing of Orangutans’ introduction to the esports industry. This sentiment was stated by the organization in the first episode of their documentary. They tried to make a Valorant roster while the best players in the nation were already contracted with other teams. Due to this, they had to scout and try to make the most of what was available to them at the time
Due to the lack of synergy and chemistry between its players, the squad felt very disjointed while playing together. So, when constructing their new roster, it was crucial to build a roster that understood one another and could play together as a team. Maybe it was luck or the stars aligned, but the upper management of Orangutan found their answer.
Enigma Gaming was an organization in India fielding a team consisting of both veterans and young players, which helped them become the third team to represent India in the APAC qualifiers in 2022.
Enigma Gaming wanted to shift to the Malaysian/Singapore region and compete there instead of India. As such, the entire Indian Enigma Gaming roster was available. Orangutan, seeing this opportunity, signed the core of the team, with the exception of Excali, touted as one of the best players in India, who went back to VLT. Alongside Azys, who was already a part of Orangutan, the 5-man roster was set. Their team consisted of the following players
Orangutan’s undefeated Split 1 performance (with some minor hiccups)
Going into VCT Challengers League South Asia: Split 1, Orangutan, alongside Velocity gaming, was one of the favorites to win the tournament. As both the teams were in different groups, fans would have to wait until the playoffs to see this match-up. Unsurprisingly, Orangutan won all four games in the group stage, putting them in 1st position. It wasn’t all smooth sailing, though; after finishing their first match 2-0 against Lethal Esports, they won all their remaining games 2-1. These were some of the cracks that could be seen in the team mentally, giving away maps they could have avoided if they had taken full control of those games.
Realizing the need to be more front-footed even while winning, Orangutan worked on their mental aspect in the game. They went in all guns blazing during the playoffs, not losing a single map, including the grand finals against Gods Reign, which they won 3-0 with ease. The victory was smooth sailing, showing the region Orangutan were out for blood. Their chemistry was finally in sync, and this could also be seen in the presence of most of their backroom staff showing up to support their team in the Grand Finals.
Leaving no stone unturned in Split 2
Before starting Split 2, Orangutan had to deal with quite a setback. Their ace controller, RvK, was diagnosed with an ear infection. Due to this, he was unable to hear clearly in one ear and needed time off to heal up and recover. Unfortunately, they didn’t have a 6th man who could play in as a substitute. With all the Indian talents already being a part of other teams, they turned to scouting for a youth player and found themselves Levi: a young Indian Player who previously played for the team OR5. OR5 reached the finals of the Open Qualifiers only to lose 2-1 to MLT Esports.
With Levi in the roster during the group stage matches, Orangutan began their reign of dominance, winning every game in the group stages with a score of 2-0. This also included a one-sided affair against Velocity Gaming, which effectively let everyone know who was boss. With Rvk healthy and available for the playoff Groups stages, chaos was unleashed into the tournament. Orangutan went on to win their upper bracket run with ease, going 2-0 in those games as well. They didn’t lose a single map until the grand final, illustrating how dominant their performances were.
But the Grand Final had something in store for everyone watching. The game against Reckoning Esports was one of the best games to watch from that split. It was a game where both teams gave it their all. Every single map was a test of the players and coaches’ talent and mentality at the highest level. With Orangutan losing the first map in the finals—their first loss of the split—their back was against the wall. Through sheer resilience, after being two maps down, they took the series to the final map. The final map in itself had twists and turns, but Orangutan could handle the chaos, with the score going 9-8 at one point.
The last map ended with a score of 13-8, resulting in Orangutan winning Split 2 and qualifying for VCT Ascension. The next part of their journey will see them face Bleed Esports in the first match of their group stage run. With the support and expectations of the Indian Valorant Community on their back, only time will tell how long the Ape Army will reign supreme in the Jungle called Valorant Champions Tour Pacific Ascension.
We’d highly recommend watching the Voice comms video released by Orangutan on their Youtube. It shows the peak of the fighting spirit within Antidote, RvK, and Tesseract and how each of them takes control and responsibility when needed to help their team clutch rounds.