Paradox is one of the most versatile and talented players in the Indian Valorant scene. He plays for Revenant Esports, a leading organization that competes in multiple esports titles. Paradox started his career as a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player and later switched to Valorant in 2020. He has played for teams such as The Rad Syndicate, True Rippers Esports, and Team Valor before joining Revenant Esports in June 2022.
Paradox is not only a professional Valorant player for Revenant Esports but also a student, who participated in the Red Bull Campus Clutch: a global Valorant tournament for students. He formed a team called Team Villainous with four other players who have experience in top-level Valorant competitions. They competed in the regional qualifiers and emerged victorious among hundreds of teams from India. He is currently competing in the Valorant Challengers 2023: South Asia Split 2, ranking in the top 3 players for ACS during the tournament.
We sat down with Paradox to discuss his journey into the world of Valorant, his time with various esports teams before finding his home in Revenant Esports, and his personal development as an esports player. We also delve into his experiences playing at international tournaments, adjusting to new metas and patches, and his thoughts on the upcoming NODWIN Valorant Challengers South Asia Split 2.
Dracorexia, BLIX.GG: How did you join Revenant Esports, and what made you choose this team after being with True Rippers for a year?
Kasif "Paradox" Sayyed: I wanted to leave True Rippers because I received an offer from Orangutan, but the transfer deal fell apart. Revenant Esports was the first to approach me after I became a free agent. It was an exciting experience for me as I never expected it, to be honest. I was expecting offers from many organizations, but Revenant Esports, at that time, the line-up was Logistaa, KnightRider, and Whimp. So when I was approached, I was so confused as our play style didn't match, but still, they offered me [a spot]. It was a challenge for me, and that's why I joined Revenant Esports.
BLIX: What skills have you learned that you realized are pretty crucial since you joined Revenant Esports?
Paradox: I would say the change of pace. From the start of Revenant's roster, a change of pace was very important to me as I am naturally an aggressive player. Other skills are some character development and whatnot, like making me do shoots and content. I gained confidence in stage acting through being a model for Revenant.
BLIX: How do you communicate and coordinate with your teammates, especially the two import players?
Paradox: English is the primary language we use. We just communicate in English, and if there is a clutch situation where the nationality is the same between two players, like two Indian players, then we talk in Hindi, or if the two Filipino players are left behind, then they speak Tagalog.
BLIX: How did you react to the information that you won't participate in Split 1 of the NODWIN Valorant Challengers South Asia with Revenant Esports? Did this news take a toll on you mentally?
Paradox: I was prepared mentally because I knew what was going on behind the scenes. I stood in for some CS events as well as GodLike gave me an opportunity to stand in for a match, which I am very grateful for. So nothing much, to be honest. Just a random day for me.
BLIX: During Split 1, you participated in the tournament as a player for Godlike against MLT Esports. While you did lose the series 2-0, you finished the game with 60 kills. How did it feel playing again in a LAN event?
Paradox: Playing a LAN event always feels the best. The LAN atmosphere, the players facing off each other, the trash talk, and the emotions are raw and real at LAN.
BLIX: In the previously mentioned game, how, as a player, did you keep your composure and confidence at an apt level while going into overtime and playing a total of 42 rounds?
Paradox: Being a professional player, you need to be very calm and collected, and I have learned to maintain a high level of confidence and composure because playing such a marathon game takes a toll on you. Since I switched from CS:GO, I have played some games that have crossed 57 or 60 rounds. 42 rounds was not a big deal for me, but I think it turns into a marathon game. The one who has the highest composure wins it all.
BLIX: Did you feel like this was the test you required to know if you are there mentally and skill-wise to win this tournament?
Paradox: Since I have been competing in events other than esports, I don't actually need a test because I am already very confident in both my abilities and my mental state. In fact, I am damn sure that I am among the mentally strongest players that you have ever seen on this circuit. I started participating in maths competitions at the state level when I was 8 or 9, so I was always ice cold.
BLIX: What form of training did you focus on while the other Indian Valorant organizations faced off in Split 1?
Paradox: The major change in my schedule was the introduction of Valodecks APAC; I used to play 10-man Valorant with the Tier-1 APAC pros, which was a great learning experience for me.
Competing in Red Bull Campus Clutch
BLIX: Many might not know this, but you went to Brazil as Team India with other players such as BuLL3T and Deadly10, to participate in the Red Bull Campus Clutch. How was the feeling of winning the event?
Paradox: We competed for India at the Red Bull Campus Clutch Global Finals in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Winning a LAN competition, especially in one's home city of Mumbai, is an exhilarating sensation. Being named national champion while still a college student is a huge accomplishment for me. This kind of strength makes me happy because I'm a college student and participate in a tier-1 scene at the same time. I'm still in college, but I can't wait for the upcoming season of campus clutch.
BLIX: Once your teammates and you got to Brazil, what was the experience of going to a new country, and how was the experience of playing at an international Valorant Tournament?
Paradox: The people, the atmosphere, the vibes, and the fact that it was so breezy made Brazil seem like a more vibrant and glorified version of Mumbai. Since several of the teams had already competed in the inaugural LAN event on a large platform prior to the tournament, they were understandably a little anxious to face off against those competitors. The quality of our team is not represented by how we performed, and I'm confident we could have done much better. The results really disappointed me, but we are working hard to improve.
BLIX: Were there some keynotes since that tournament that you made sure to work on once you got back to the Revenent Esports Bootcamp?
Paradox: There were 47 countries in Brazil that had different work ethics, different cultures, and play styles. I definitely felt more inspired and determined to succeed after visiting them all and hearing about their experiences. They were all great folks, and after speaking with them, I felt more motivated to work harder and play more.
BLIX: How do you adapt to different meta changes and patches in Valorant?
Paradox: I believe I am intelligent enough to create my own META rather than copying someone else's. I can detect it even before others can, so why not? You don't have to be the sheep in the herd; instead, you can be the alpha wolf and command the attention of the others.
BLIX: At the start of the year, you won the Esportz Premier Series 2023; how did that win boost your confidence as a player and in your teammates?
Paradox: When the Esportz Premier Series 2023 was held in Mumbai, our hometown, once more, we won it all. As I've previously stated, winning a LAN competition in your hometown is an exhilarating experience. That boosted our confidence a lot even though the tournament didn't feature many amazing teams at that time, like VLT, God Squad, or GE. We cannot discount the teams that qualified for the event by defeating numerous other teams, so certainly, it gave the squad a lot more confidence. However, there were also many players who had exceptional individual skills.
BLIX: Speaking of the Esportz Premier Series, do you feel that winning that tournament on LAN has given you the edge coming into Split 2?
Paradox: Since almost all of the rosters have changed -- everybody has imported players, different playing styles, and good supporting staff in addition to the arrival of new coaches and players -- none of the squads are identical compared to last season's off-season. I don't believe we had any advantage over other teams competing in the tournament. Since every team is new, nobody can predict what will happen.
BLIX: Putting the Focus on Split 2, How did it feel that in your first group stage, you were put into the "Group Of Death" with Velocity Gaming and Orangutan?
Paradox: I always make this joke: I never have good luck, and I'm always chosen for the group of death. Even in the Red Bull Campus Clutch, all the colossal teams were in our group, but they all said things like, "Okay, bring it on; we like challenges." In Group A, we will compete against OG and VLT and cannot overlook Reckoning & MLT because they are the underdogs of the group. I am moving forward with the same mentality as before. Reckoning performed admirably at the previous split. However, they were eliminated as a result of a few minor errors... I enjoy a challenge, and we will succeed.
BLIX: Are you excited about facing off against your former teammate in Deadly10 in the group stages? Should the fans brace themselves for both of you fighting for the highest kills in that series?
Paradox: It will be an eagerly awaited match-up because Deadly and I are extremely close friends, we frequently meet and hang out, and he is well acquainted with me. He is a young genius who has yet to leave his impact on the scene, so I want to fight him. Although I haven't left a mark on the scene, I'm looking forward to that match-up because I'm not as young as I once was, and I have some experience from playing and other things.
BLIX: Personally, what are the expectations that you have set for yourself in the upcoming tournament?
Paradox: You always enter a tournament with a goal and a mindset, and that goal is winning the tournament. If you're not playing the tournament to win it, then why are you playing?
BLIX: Lastly, would you tell the fans of the organization of Revenant Esports and yourself as you prepare for NODWIN Valorant Challengers South Asia Split 2?
Paradox: We're prepared and ready to knock down some walls because we're going to do it anyhow. We are Revenant Esports, and while our team may not appear to be very powerful on paper, you will see it all in Split 2. Continue to support and be Revenant.