MaxD Esports, the team formerly called VRNoobz, shocked the system when they won the world’s first and most prominent global university Valorant e-sports competition ‘Red Bull Campus Clutch Pakistan’ about two months ago.
The underdog, five-person team defeated the odds-on favorites Portal Esports in the finals on April 4, 2021 and claimed the crown. Since then, they have usurped another bigger crown when they defeated India in the South Asia regional finals recently and fast-tracked to the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Finals.
But who are the former noobs who, within months, have turned into a dynasty?
MaxD Esports is a Valorant team formed in November 2020, just four months before the mega tournament Red Bull Campus Clutch launched. The team’s five members - Abdur Rehman (AbduR), Muhammad Anas Ayub (traNz), Owaisuddin Khattak (KriminaL), Musab Taufeeq (MUSABB) and Abdul Haseeb Khan (HSB) - all belong to different universities in Karachi
Rehman, Ayub, Khattak, and Toufique founded VRNOOBZ, which was later renamed MAXD Esports, whereas Khan joined them only 21 days before the tournament was announced. With a unique set of skills, all members have a defined role in the team. Their gameplay is planning out a strategy and executing it to perfection in order to raise the victory flag.
Abdur Rehman (AbduR)
AbduR, a Bachelors of Arts student at the University of Karachi, is the most experienced player with 540 Valorant matches since he started playing the game in September 2020. Out of his 540 matches, he has won 276 games with 8749 kills. His average kills are 0.8 per round, and he has 32 kills as his most kills in a single round. 30% of his shots are headshots.
In MaxD Esports, AbduR uses the weapon Vandal and plays the controller position. He aims to disrupt their opponents' sightlines whilst providing cover for teammates as they take control of an area. His favorite controller agent in the game is Omen because it helps block areas, and can make an aggressive play.
Talking about Valorant, the 25-year-old AbduR, whose most significant achievement is winning Gamers Arena 2018, said, "I played a few games with my CS:GO team, and it was amusing to play, so I decided to switch completely when the scene grew."
Besides being a pro-esports player since 2009, AbduR is also a professional snooker player and plays during esports' offseason.
Muhammad Anas Ayub (traNz)
TraNz is a BBA student at Iqra University and has played the second highest number of matches in Valorant among the team. To date, traNz has won 262 games out of 524 played. He has killed 9375 opponents and 29% of them from a headshot. His average kills are 0.8 per round, and he has 39 kills as his most kills in a round.
He is a defense expert and plays at a position of Sentinel who can lock down areas and watch flanks, both on attacker and defender rounds. He uses Vandal to either hang back or lay traps to watch his teams flank when attacking. His favorite agent is Killjoy because it helps him lock down any Bombsite.
The 23-year-old player started playing Valorant in November 2020. "I really loved the game and the sentinel agents really suited my playing style. It was fun," he said
For traNz coming into esports was not the primary plan. He was a semi-professional U18 cricketer but left cricket after his father's death and got into esports. One of the biggest achievements for ‘traNz’ since he began playing in 2012 till date is when he represented Pakistan in WESG China 2018.
Perhaps now that has changed since Anas was declared the MVP in the South Asia regionals finals of Red Bull Campus Clutch, where his team annihilated the competition with13-6 and 13-8 scores in each round and came out with a dominant victory.
Owaisuddin Khattak (KriminaL)
The 25-year-old KriminaL is a Bachelors of Arts student at the University of Sindh. He has been playing Valorant since September 2020 and has won 242 of his 468 matches played to date. In these matches, he has knocked down 7122 opponents and 26% of them with a headshot. His average kill per round is 0.7, and holds a personal best 34-kills per round record.
KriminaL, being at the Initiator position in the team, specializes in planning and executing offensive pushes. He assists his team in many ways and breaks through the defensive positions of the enemy team. He focuses on earth-based abilities which can damage the opponents through walls. He is the only player in the team that uses Phantom, and his favorite agent is Sova as it helps gather useful information for the team.
His favorite Valorant team, just like his other team members, is 100T, but his biggest gaming influence is Hiko from the same team, and KriminaL rates him as the best initiator in the world. His most noteworthy achievement in esports is when he represented Pakistan in WESG China 2018.
"I started playing Valorant in September 2020. The game felt better than CS: GO, and this was when I decided to make a switch from CSGO to this game Valorant," he said. Apart from playing Valorant now and CS: GO since 2007, KriminaL also has an interest in singing, and can often be found humming while he’s winning matches.
Musab Taufeeq (MUSABB)
MUSABB is a 23-year-old Bachelors of Arts student at the University of Karachi. He has been playing Valorant since November 2020 and has won 251 matches out of the 462 played. Out of his total 8233 kills, 30% have been with a headshot. His average kill per round is 0.8, and he has personal record of 39 kills in a round.
MUSABB plays at the duelist position as an offensive expert in Valorant with abilities that allow him to be aggressive and self-sufficient when creating opportunities to engage with opponents. He uses Vandal, and his favorite agent is Jett, as he can get really aggressive with it and make space for the team because he is an ‘Entry Fragger’.
His biggest achievement since he started playing in 2010 is when he won Gamers Arena 2019. Apart from being a gamer, MUSABB also runs his own business and is a salesman.
Abdul Haseeb Khan (HSB)
HSB is the youngest team member. The 20-year-old joined the team just 21 days before Red Bull Campus Clutch was announced and was able to gel in well with the team. The BABS student at SZABIST has played 519 matches since he began playing Valorant in February 2020. He won 272 matches with 8009 kills and 20% of them from a headshot. His average kill per round is 0.8, and he holds a record of 42 kills in a round.
HSB, along with KriminaL, is a duelist in the team. Both play aggressively, engaging opponents to make way for the team. He also uses Vandal, and his favorite agent is Reyna because of his dismissive ability.
Like some of his fellow members, one of HSB’s most significant achievements to date is when he represented Pakistan in WESG China 2018. He was a semi-professional cricketer like traNz before getting injured and switching to esports. "Now, I would call my cricket ability as an extra skill while gaming is what I do all the time," he said.
MaxD Esports is all set to represent South Asia in the Red Bull Campus Clutch World Finals, to be held in Spain next month. These supremely talented and confident fellas are setting up a boot camp to prepare for the final battle and looking to cause a bigger shockwave through the esports realm by becoming reigning, defending, undisputed Red Bull Campus Clutch world champions.
Watch this space for an exciting coverage of MaxD Esports’ preparation as they head into the World Finals.