TIGER has come out victorious at the ESEA S35 APAC grand finals, defeating Paper Rex 2-1(19-17 on Nuke, 8-16 on Train, and 16-7 on Dust2) and walking away with the $10,000 first-place prize.
Unlike the previous iterations of the APAC Open division, Season 35 saw 10 teams qualify from the regular season as opposed to 16. In total, more than 24 teams participated in the 10-week long competition. Singapore’s HuatZai was disqualified from play after several of its members received false VAC bans in the middle of the regular season. Other teams, either through inactivity or self-brought were labeled ‘dead’ before the half-way point.
The Mongolian side of TIGER came out strong, topping the regular season leaderboard with 14 wins and losing only 2 out of 16 matches. The South-East Asian team of Paper Rex secured second place, obtaining 13 victories out of 16 matches. They all proceeded to the league playoffs with 8 others, including TeamLZ, Checkmate, Mazaalai, to name a few. You can find the full standings below.
In the process of reaching the grand final, TIGER made swift moves. From the start, Gan-Erdene “dobu” Batbold and co. beat their fellow countrymen, Aim4rSaints 2-0, and dropped one map versus Mazaalai.
Meanwhile, Paper Rex also started from Round 2, after a BYE in Round 1. The South-East Asia roster obtained a spot in the grand final in convincing fashion after taking out TEAMnxl> 2-0, and beating Malaysian/Brunei mix TeamLZ 2-1. The result was the top two teams from the regular season in a fitting final.
The Grand Final – TIGER vs Paper Rex
In the best-of-three decider, Paper Rex decided to pick Nuke for the first map, a strong map for TIGER. The game started off with Khalish “d4v41” Rusyaidee‘s side cruising to a 6-0 lead, when suddenly the Mongolians turned the tables and tied up the map. The two teams traded rounds to end up with an 8-7 lead in the favor of Paper Rex. On the CT side, Paper Rex once again won the pistol round, followed it up, and then kept winning until getting the 13-7 lead. TIGER was relentless, however, and reverse swept their opponents with a dominant showing, but couldn’t seal the deal after PPRX tied it up to 15-15 and took it to overtime. Even though PPRX took the lead in the first round of overtime, they couldn’t quite deliver the final blow, and Batbayar “kabal” Bat-Enkh’s troops went on to shut down the Rex’s, 19-17.
The second map was a different affair, it was clear that Paper Rex did their homework. The SEA boys destroyed the Mongolian side in the first half, taking a comfortable 14-1 lead. Switching to the T-side and off to a slow start, TIGER mounted a small come-back,but ultimately, Paper Rex ended the match 16-8 beating TIGER on their strongest map. The duo of Benedict “Benkai” Tan and Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto made the second map an easy one by dropping 21 and 24 frags respectively.
Paper Rex could not find a footing on Dust2, however, as TIGER swept their opponents with an outstanding lead of 13-2 on the attacking side. Aaron “mindfreak” Leonhart and friends were able to get 5 more rounds on the board before TIGER emerged victorious at 16-7, taking the grand final and series 2-1.
ESEA Season 35 Asia-Pacific final standings:
|1st||🇲🇳 TIGER||US$ 10,000|
|2nd||🌏 Paper Rex||US$ 1,000|
|5th-8th||🇲🇳 Aim4R Saints||–|
|5th-8th||🇷🇺 Born in the East||–|
|9th-10th||🇲🇳 Aim4R Gaming||–|