Day 2: The Group of Death Proves To Be Entertaining
Our Chief Editor is in Jiaozhou this week covering the WESG APAC 2017 LAN Finals. Here are some observations and a summary of the second day.
What was apparent on Day 2 was the real lack of surprises. This tournament, while aiming to provide us with the best CS:GO teams in Asia, limits itself in competition because of the nationality restrictions. Teams playing with stand-ins and last minute dropouts mean that in reality, this is a competition to see who can get into the Grand Finals rather than who can be crowned as Asia’s best. The real fun begins on Day 3. As usual, we look at the expected and unexpected, but like me, I am sure you will find that most of Day 2 went as everyone could have envisioned.
MAX max it out
When the day’s games begun, we saw some predictable results coming in from both Group C and D. However, as the day unfolded, teams like MAX surprised us with their climb to the top of Group D. The Chinese team topped group D with only round difference separating them from favorites, Recca. What was surprising was their defeat by UTM, an anomaly of sorts. Some would argue that their win against Recca was merely Recca playing poorly, and Recca choosing Cache against a Chinese team (bad judgment on the map veto) meant they were literally handing them that victory. Regardless, this was an unexpected result and one that could see MAX go further in the tournament than anyone really expected.
NSPR is the True Dark Horse
Chasing B.O.O.T-Dream[S]cape to the very end, and taking comfortable leads against GameTV and SZ Absolute, NSPR is showing that they are more than capable of mounting an upset in this tournament. The newly formed Thai line-up consists of veterans from teams like Signature and MiTH, so there is no doubt they have what it takes to push a best-of-three to a full series. Their game against SZ Absolute on Cache showed some promising T-round tactics, dominating mid control and completely abolishing the Japanese defense. If they can wash out EMC on Day 3 and move on to play Parralax, it will be a good matchup for the New Zealanders, and perhaps their toughest opponents in the tournament thus far.
B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape Top Group C
While many expected them to do so, failure to top Group C would have spelled trouble for the boys from Singapore going forward. Although, that being said, their road in the playoffs won’t be easy from here on out. Winning all their games in Group C by mere margins, there is more to be said of their poor performance than their clear dominance. Securing a slot in the quarterfinals means they will face either Recca or Chosen 5, both of which won’t be a walk in the park. If Recca can pull through against Chosen5, the familiarity with play styles could give B.O.O.T-dream[S]cape the edge. What was clear was though was their shaky Mirage. Against both NSPR and GameTV, they barely came out on top winning 16-14. Then again, that’s why they are in the expected category; you can expect Dream[S]cape to show this kind of shaky start to a tournament.
In our preview leading up to the event, we commented how domestically, Mineski are the best Philippino CS:GO team, but that regionally, they have yet to really make an impact. As day 2 played out it was evident that the time for a change in Mineski’s lineup is overdue. While their showing at the ROG Masters 2017 late last year was good, they have little else to show for 2017. Starting off against Recca, things looked hopeful as they took an early lead on Mirage T side. However, when the halves switched, it was a constant game of cat and mouse between the boys from Manila and those from Jakarta, with Recca closing out the game 16-14. The real disappointment was the loss to UTM later in the day, losing 16-12 after being down 14-4. Despite almost mounting a comeback, with the poor momentum and broken spirits behind them, Mineski continued their downfall losing 16-14 to EMC and were finally broken by MAX, 5-16. This is surely disheartening for Filipino fans, as the confidence and maturity of their local CS:GO scene relies on performances of their team’s International presence.
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