Hosted by the Mineski Pro-Gaming League, the Regular Season of the MPGL Asian Championship has just finished, with four teams now moving on to next weekend’s Grand Finals. Although most of the teams involved are relatively minor, this only makes the impressive $40,000 first-place prize much more important.
The Regular Season consisted of a Group Stage followed by Playoffs. In the Group Stage the 16 teams were split into two groups of eight. The teams then faced each other in a best-of-two round robin format.
The winning teams from each group advanced directly to the Grand Finals, with the 2nd placed teams advancing to the semi-finals of the Playoffs. Meanwhile, the 3rd ranked teams advanced to the third round, the 4th ranked teams to the second round whilst the 5th and 6th placed teams entered at the first-round stage. The bottom two teams in each group were eliminated. The Playoffs were a single-elimination bracket with all matches best-of-three, except for the best-of-five Finals.
The winner of the Playoffs would join the two group winners in the Grand Finals, with the fourth team coming from a China only qualifier.
The two winners of the Group Stage were determined earlier this month and perhaps unsurprisingly they were the only two teams that had received a direct invite to this event.
Group A winners Clutch Gamers, a prolific Thai outfit, won their group with an impressive 5-2-0 record. However, Indonesian team BOOM ID also shared the same record and proved to be quite a threat, only going down narrowly to Geek Fam in the Playoff semi-finals.
In contrast, Filipino team Execration, better known as XctN, absolutely dominated Group B, earning a maximum 14 points with a staggering 7-0-0 record, making them justified favourites for the Grand Finals. With their nearest challengers (EVOS Esports of Indonesia) scoring 4-2-1, no side in that bracket could even get close.
At the other end of Group A, Indian qualifiers Signify were eliminated without a win to their name while the Vietnamese team MEGA Aorus suffered the same fate. In Group B, the Myanmar-based Team No Throne at least chalked a win, but a 1-1-5 record was not enough to remain in the competition. No team scored lower than Water though, who forfeited after two crushing defeats at the hands of EVOS Esports and Neon Atomic.
In the Playoffs, XiT Woundz and Aggressive Slayer were the first to go, eliminated by DeToNator and Alpha Red respectively, with each bout ending 2-0. Neither victor lasted long though, as both sides immediately went on to suffer the same fate. Neon Atomic were rampant against Alpha Red whilst the Singaporean team PepeHands eliminated DeToNator.
Once again, the new victors didn’t last long as they were defeated in the very next stage, although not so decisively this time. Malaysian side Geek Fam, who were one of the more well-known outfits at the event, beat the Singaporeans 2-1. Meanwhile, two Filipino teams battled it out as Neon Atomic went up against the TaskUs Titans, with the later securing another 2-1 victory.
Unlike the other sides thus far, Geek Fam started to build some momentum and took down BOOM ID in a tense semi-final encounter that ended 2-1. However, EVOS Esports had no trouble bumping off the TaskUs Titans, not sustaining a loss at all. EVOS Esports team captain Aville proved to be a thorn in the Titans’ side, particularly in the first game by winning a few crucial team fights on Enigma, making great use of his Black Holes to leave the enemy team wide open.
In the Playoff Finals, EVOS and Geek Fam duked it out for the right to join Clutch and Execration in the Grand Finals. Although things started well for the Malaysian team, winning the first match with a 34-18 score, the tide quickly turned against them. One of EVOS’ top players, ilLogic, put the pain on Geek Fam using Bloodseeker, scoring crucial picks time and time again. With the second game going to EVOS, they were able to carry this momentum, sweeping the next two games without much trouble to secure their place in next week’s showpiece event.